Sunday, 6 May 2018

Tripping Over Afterthoughts, Teetering On The Brink of 'Art Jewellery', and the Dilemma of When Components are Complete in Themselves . . .

Back to what passes for normal round here, after the the somewhat frantic goings on of the last few weeks. Still managed to be late with this blog post though. But never mind, the only person nagging me is me, and I never listen to me anyway. . .

As you can see, I got inspired by the electronic components I indirectly inherited, and by various other bits and pieces, and made some interesting things. . . 
But more on that, later in the programme, there is the small matter of chronological precedence vis a vis the blogging process to discuss. 

As you are possibly aware, I like to blog every ten days or so. Over those ten days I will have likely explored two or three different ideas at least, some successfully, some not. Each idea worthy of being documented on this blog. The trouble is that come blog writing day, the most recent idea, my day ten obsession, if you like, is going to be the one my head is full of and the one I most want to share. Which leaves the previous good ideas as mere blogging afterthoughts if they get a mention at all. Not sure what I can do about this. I don't want to blog more frequently so I think I shall just have to live with it and go with what is is uppermost in my mind at the time.

Which is - My messings around with electronic components and other bits and pieces.

Repurposed beads plus electronic bits and wire mesh stuff - 2" by 1-1/2"

A combination of events has led me down this interesting route. Firstly, inheriting these electronic components from my late Father in Law. Secondly, deciding to break up some old necklaces that I had hanging around, which never sold. I still quite liked them but have come to realise that they just weren't up to the mark. It's quite liberating to actually admit that things don't work and to reclaim the bits that are worth repurposing. And thirdly, there being bits of garden related wire and mesh and suchlike lurking in and behind the shed. These things had caught my eye and been stored in the 'Possibilities Pending' file in my head. These three things and a good dose of 'Why not?' when following spontaneous creative ideas led me in this hopefully fruitful direction.

More repurposed beads etc - 3-1/2" by 3"

I even ventured into larger pieces, using resistors (I think) as decorative elements alongside some old dremel carved poly clay beads I made many moons ago and couldn't find a good use for. 

And again - 4" by 3"

This stuff does start to look like something you might see in some kind of gallery. (I did say 'might see'. . . ) It has a certain confidence in what it is, if that makes sense. 

And again. . . 3-1/2" by 3" - image trans bead plus big hollow organic pod thing 

I feel more free to explore composition and balance. And to enjoy the juxtaposition of unlikely partners, neither of which were intended to be combined but can co-exist successfully once the right balance is found.

Interesting though this process is, it does leave me with my biggest dilemma. A lot of the more complex components I make, and quite a few of the simpler ones have a certain completeness as objects in themselves. Adding an ear wire, or attaching them to some kind of chain/string/thong seems like an afterthought. Which of course, it is. 
The type and shape of ear wire and the length and thickness etc of the string is very important, and I worry that I haven't left room for additions to my design.
It's something I need to work on, think about and explore. Not being a jewellery maker is a disadvantage at present. I want to have some finished pieces to show at our upcoming open studios thing at the end of May.
Nothing like a deadline to get the mind working. . .

OK - Afterthoughts. . .

1 - I followed up my experiments in combining image transfer and turned look beads, and made a bunch of immensely cool spike things. Big buggers too, about three inches long.

2 - I also made some small turned look beads for more delicate projects, around 1" long. That intense blue when varnished looks almost like glass. I love that blue!

There is probably other stuff I could show you, but as I don't want to write, and you don't want to read a flipping novel, I shall stop.
See you next time,
Jon x


  1. These are so cool! Great work and imagination!

  2. Can you hear me clapping from over their Jon?!

    I'm bowing at the feet of the master - indeed.

    Getting those electronic components has suddenly launched your imagination in leaps and bounds and seeing you go there has me all agog.

    I love your 'components'. Combining your transfer images to the spikes is also like it was meant to be. My first response was - Of course! I'm ashamed of myself for not having thought of that beforehand and suggesting it. Because it just seems natural that that is what you do. We all should have seen that....duh!

    As for stringing your new ideas - how about some nice coloured leather to match any of the electronics or your turned beads or whatever. That seems like a good way of stringing them. You could also make your own chain - not as hard as it sounds - maybe out of annealed steel? It has a nice dark look to it and would compliment every single one of those nicely. You could do long links or S links or anything you wanted. Even combine your pot beads into the chain - one or two - as another compliment.

    Jon - you've got this nailed I believe. I'm still clapping over here...Well done indeed!! I'm gobsmacked as you guys say!

    1. Thanks ;-) My head is now four sizes bigger than it was. . . Nice suggestions on the stringing front. I like the idea of making my own chain. I also do need to try out some basic soldering and suchlike as i was given a blowtorch for xmas the year before last and haven't touched it yet. hmm.

  3. PS - Don't forget to put a good price on these Jon. They are definitely 'art'!

  4. Don't forget your soldering iron. You can get a ton done with one of those things!

    I have adaptable nozzles on my blow torch. I prefer working with the smaller nozzle for some work and the big one for colouring copper sheet and wire. Such fun!