Sunday, November 8, 2009


Lace ring, silver nickel

After many broken saw-blades later and washing the nickel filings out of cuts on my hand, I think yes, next time I'll keep a record of how many hours, cuts and broken blades it takes me to saw-pierce a length of metal into lace. Though it was very much worth it and I am happy with the result. This piece was inspired by my childhood and the frilly, lacy, puffy meringue sleeve party dresses I adored in my hey-day as little girl. I finished off to a high shine as that was the sort of thing I loved and marveled at as a child and would have definitely considered it princess couture!

a close up..

As the lace saw-piercing gave the ring all its detail, I want the form and line to quite simple, and resemble the way real fabric lace falls and tumbles.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Hunter's Thistle

My latest work has begun with a beautifully dangerous, dried thistle, found in the terrain of the Hunter Valley. It's thorns cause much injury to those that try to break through its harsh exterior, proving well as a defense mechanism that protects its precious seeds inside, that rest on silken beds. I have taken these thistle defenses and interpreted them into a metaphor for the fragility of the human heart, and our attempts to often guard its inner contents so closely, we can set up such painful defenses, potentially hurting those that may try to get through. More so, we tend to defend and protect our own heart from ourselves, we can become our own worst enemy.

This is a picture of the delicate framework of the the inside of the thistle. It appears almost vein-like.

I managed to also cut-off individual thistle thorns and get them cast in silver. It was exciting to see how every single little beautiful detail of the lines and crevices on the surface have come out perfectly.

I took these cast thorns and soldered them into a silver, heat-treated white ring. Inverting the thistles to make them appear more floral rather than like thorns, I wanted to convey the message that even the most painful ordeals of life can become a hopeful, beautiful occurrence.

Painful Beauty, silver, cast thistle thorns

Here's a close up of the ring on the body..

I took another cast thistle thorn and placed it inside the vessel of the thistle head, in the place of a natural one. By changing the material, I feel I have changed the context of a dry, harsh element of a thistle, into a beautiful, precious and valued object.

Vessel, dried thistle, cast thistle thorn

The thistle as vessel, houses a heart-shaped locket, that in turn holds the seeds that were enclosed in the thistle head.

The heart locket can be worn on its own..

or can slot into the thistle vessel and is worn as a unit...

I cut another section of thistle to set in a bezel of a silver nickel ring.

Emotional Armour, dried thistle, silver nickel

I cut out the bottom of the ring to expose the thistle's soft underbelly, so the wearer has access feel the silky underside.

On the body..

I really enjoyed working on these pieces and would like to develop it further. I think one of the great things about working with objects from nature is that they each have their own individual characteristics in terms of their material and it is always new to discover how to work with what they are. In this series in particular, the thistle's harsh but delicately brittle nature resulted in having to handle the material in such a way as to not break the thistle and to not be hurt by it at the same time. Perhaps another metaphor that strengthens the work's overall concept.