Sunday, 22 April 2012

Precious Puzzles

Whether it be jewellery making or mosaicing, both are a combination and an assembly of small pieces whether they be engineered components out of precious metal or handcut pieces of glass and mirror. Proportions and functionallity have to be considered in both to gaurantee that the end product result in something beautiful.

Six Little Dickie Birds

As a jeweller I am fascintated by detail, colour and design and the combining of these elements into a pleasing aesthetic whole has led me to explore mosaicing techniques.

Flaming Firepetals Mirror

 I am intrigued by how the small pieces make up the big picture. As with pixels and puzzles, there is always the perfect piece. As a sideline I have created a range of mirrors and mosaics in which hints of colour compliment the silvery reflectiveness and allow the detail to take centre stage.

Lovebird Mirrors

As with my jewellery where each piece is hand made with the mosaicing I handcut all the mirror and
tiles to ensure a quality pattern and picture.

Lotus Leaf Mirrors

Saturday, 21 April 2012

It`s only glass                                                 by Maike Valcarcel

When I tell a client that these necklaces are made out of glass beads
I often get the reply: oh, it`s only glass. Then why is it so expensive?
This is why:
They have history! Some of them are thousands of years old,
some have travelled and changed hands more than we can even imagine, some took lot of skill and time to make, some were used as money, some were traded against gold, slaves and ivory,  some have supernatural powers.
They are a microcosm of historical and cultural information.
They are beautiful! 

Millefiori beads – the technique was invented in the first millennium A.D. in Asia, and then revived in Venice about 400 years ago and to go into detail about the process would fill a couple of pages….

Left: Naga beads from the Naga tribe in India
Middle: Egyptian beads: these turquoise, lapis and carnelian beads were found in Egyptian tombs and could be around 2000 years old. The bone pendant is a symbol for fertility.
Right :“Fake coral” – I got these beads from Jemen. They are a substitute for those who couldn`t afford the real corals

Wind trade beads:  up to 500 years old, coming from India and were shipped to Africa by Chinese, Indian and Arabic merchants, who sailed with the monsoon winds

A new version of millefiori bead- not quite the same!

Do you still think this is only glass?

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

in the eye of the beholder

by Adi Cloete

left: Rene Magritte 'The False Mirror"
There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect.  ~Gilbert Keith Chesterton

As someone in a creative career,one has to consider 'beauty' on a regular basis... 
one's own ideas about beauty, but also creating beautiful things based on other peoples perceptions of beauty. 

A few years ago I made this ring, not intentionally for me, but it has ended up on my finger.  Happily. 
Its a swivel ring with the words 'create' and 'beauty' on either side.I love it because it says a lot about me and how I see that what I do.

create/beauty ring by Adi Cloete (Firepetals) 

Beauty inspires and bring lightness to the heart. BUT as the saying goes: 
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 
And one person's ecstasy could be another's nightmare.
Beauty is personal and relative.

Eye Miniature Brooch. Anonymous. Watercolour on ivory. Tears made out of diamonds. 1790-1810

"bright eyes" by ElaineCK

In certain creative expressions I think the creation of un- beautiful things can still be tolerated (or ignored), but there are a couple of things that cannot be forgiven.

Using a natural resource and making it into something horrid should not be allowed.Wood and stone cannot be melted down like jewellery made from precious metals, where at least the metal can be re-used.
And then there are 2 other genres that often produce some challenging moments for me: bad ceramics and architectural monsters.

So keep an eye out: creating beauty should be handled responsibly, as far as possible!
Rainbow Eye by ThErEaLDoLLyFrikka, Eye of time brooch by Dali & I dream of Freedom by loopyluv

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.  ~Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Short courses with Frieda

Last weekend I held the first Tricks workshop at my studio in Roodebloem rd. This one was a three hour workshop on seamed tubing. I wanted to take a lot of photos to share with you but then I got so wrapped up in the course that I completely forgot. It was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to do more of these courses. There are so many amazing techniques, so there will be more Tricks workshops in the future.

Twice already I held a weekend setter course concentrating on tube and swiss setting. The next setters course will be on the weekend of the 26th-27th of May.

Apart from that there are so many techniques, like anticlastic raising, repossage, engraving, riveting and many more, I would like to explore myself.
Once I gained some experience I will pass it on.