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This week I have learnt a lot more about which direction my work might go in.  This exciting move forward came from having to present my Study Plan to the department on Monday.  As you all know, I have designed all summer, mainly on Curly Tail Animals (see Pre-Columbia gold if you don’t know what these are!).  But still something was missing.  That little piece of the puzzle fell into place while I was preparing my talk.

What is it I like about gold work from these long gone ancient civilisations?  Lightbulb moment!  It is the fact that the gold still bears all the marks, decoration, power that the original maker put into the work.  I realise that many art and crafts that have survived through the ages also carry marks, decoration, skill, that remind us of their creators (I am thinking paintings, tapestry, etc)  but metalwork is a craft that requires PERSONAL ENERGY INPUT from the maker.  PHYSICAL ENERGY is used to manipulate the metal, physical sweat is dropped, physical injuries are often caused – it is a very physical process.  I think that when you have learnt metal craft or are learning it, you get a key to the secret code that is hidden from the rest of world.  The physical presence/ ghost of  the makers hidden in the metal work, can only be seen by people with the key to the secret code.  We, alone, can read this physical essence of the metalwork.  We alone can feel the energy of the maker.

Well that’s my theory anyway!

So to carry on with this lightbulb moment – I realised that it was important in someway to include a reference to makers from the past in my work.  One of my ideas with which I can achieve this aim is to actually get old metal pieces, deconstruct them in someway and include a piece of the old work in my new work.  Annina Vogel is a jeweller that I have mentioned before, look her up, as she uses old jewellery and makes beautiful new pieces that can be worn.  I was not thinking of creating pieces in Annina’s style – but just using a tiny piece of an old object and include it into my work.  Maybe designing my design around this one little piece.  In Annina’s work, she uses pieces of old jewellery that you could distinguish as being “old jewellery” but I want to use pieces that are not distinguishable.  HARD TO EXPLAIN – I had better start making so that one day I can show you.

ANYWAY – on my quest to find old pieces of metalwork I went to the local antique shop.  SUCCESS ON A PLATE FOR ME! (is that from an old advert?!).  I found two great Rococo candlesticks that dismantled easily and can be remade when I have finished working with them.  There, as feet, were ROCOCO ZOOMORPHIC ACANTHUS  ANIMALS.   WOOOOOOOOOOOOW!

I use these as a model for mould making

I also purchased a piece of a different scale.  This tiny gold brooch can be used to gives me old pieces for smaller scale work.  I envisage deconstructing the piece and using a tiny piece in my own work.  Is it awful to cut up an old piece of jewellery – well, if it enables the jewellery to be worn again as a contemporary piece then I suppose it gives the work and the artist who made it, new life!

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