New Jewellery! (…thus the silence)

Well, the weeks have flown by and my to do list keeps saying “update blog!”, but I’ve had so many exciting new developments in the jewellery that I’ve spent my time making instead of writing. I’ve discovered that it’s hard for me to do both all the time- sometimes I’d rather be writing about my work than actually making anything, and lately I’ve been way too busy trying to make all the ideas in my head instead of stopping to write about them. But here we are, it’s Monday of yet another week, and I decided that before I went to the studio for the day I’d post photos of the pieces I’ve been making.

Before I post photos of what I’ve been working on, just wanted to say thanks to everyone who suggested colours I try for the chandelier necklace pieces- I’ve been working on those colour tests but haven’t had a chance to photograph them yet, so that should hopefully be ready to post in the next entry.

Rather than talk you through every single experiment and all of the advances I’ve made in the past few weeks, I’ll just give you a brief overview: I figured out how to transfer images onto the plaster! They’re chemically transferred on, so they don’t wash off and they don’t rub off if you try to scrub them. It’s opened up SO many possibilities. After going to the V&A Museum and being really impressed with their print collection, I started using their prints as image transfers- my favourites were samples of wallpaper and fabric, as well as some French fashion drawings from the 1930’s-1950’s, like these plaster pieces shown below:

William Morris Wallpaper Transfer

Marcel Fromenti Image Transfer

I did a lot of tests and had to experiment with a lot of little variables to get the image transfer process right, but luckily I had a lot of different wallpaper and fashion drawing images to choose from (I cannot say it enough- the V&A Museum’s online print gallery is amazing!).

Image Transfer Tests

Image Transfer Tests 2

As I was doing all these tests, I started thinking about how these pieces might look if they were combined. I started doing some Photoshop combinations, and really liked the look of them:

Combined Image Transfer

I used this combined image idea to make my first new piece: the oval-ish shapes depicting elegant females remind me of cameos, so that’s what I’ve called this necklace:

"Cameo" Necklace

"Cameo" Necklace, Front

Because the format of the necklace is very similar to a lot of traditional necklaces, I decided it would be fun to use the blank space on the back for a little surprise: embedded pearls and amethysts.

"Cameo" Necklace, Reverse

I also decided to make a piece using my own photos- I’ll probably start using my own photography a lot in these image transfers- this is a photo of a silk rose that goes with a dress that I bought recently.

"Rose Garden" Necklace

I have plans for improving this one and will hopefully have a few revised editions to show soon- I’d like to do one with the pieces set in silver and would like to do another that’s longer and can go over the head. I’ll get to those soon, hopefully.

I spoke with my professor last week and showed her the mountains of test pieces I had from my weeks of experimenting. She suggested that I not waste all the time I spent on my experiments and then just leave them in a box as “test pieces”- instead, she suggested I take all the successful test pieces and combine them in different ways and make a series of necklaces with lots of different elements in them. I’ve started making a few of those:

"Nouveau Night" Necklace

"Nouveau Night" Detail

"Fromenti Rose" Necklace

So that’s the new jewellery so far: I’m hoping to make a ton of new things this week and in the next few weeks before this part of the project is due, on 11 May. I’ll post photos as I can, and like I said, for those of you who suggested colour wash ideas for the chandelier piece, I’ll hopefully have those photographed and posted sooner rather than later.

I’d love to hear reactions to the new pieces- they’re SO different from the things I turned in for my last assessment! I’d love to know which of the new pieces is your favourite, any changes you’d suggest…. anything!

Back to the studio for me… my week will be spent making jewellery and dodging Icelandic volcanic ash. Bye for now-



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12 responses to “New Jewellery! (…thus the silence)

  1. Nancy

    You’ve had a creative breakthrough, and I absolutely love the results. You are bringing so many different things together in these pieces, and the fusion is something fresh and original. Stay in the studio; don’t worry about updating this blog.


    Miriam, You are on the creative frontier–no,you are pushingit forward!

  3. Thanks very much! I’m really enjoying the studio time, but it was also nice to take a bit of time to organize photos and do a bit of writing about the things I’m making- I think it’s helped me organize my thoughts a bit! Another successful studio day today- finished another necklace. Will post photos again next week of the new pieces I make between now and then :)

  4. Oh my word Miriam! I absolutely adore the last two pictures! I think combining your pieces is a brilliant idea. It amazing how well they compliment each other.

    I also love the Cameo necklace, it’s gorgeous! Keep playing, I’m excited to see what you come up with. These are awesome!

  5. P. Rowe

    I can hardly wait to see what’s next.

  6. Diane

    These are very cool!!! So different. Love the Fromenti Rose necklace. I

  7. Anna Olson

    Hello Miriam,
    I enjoy seeing the jewellrymaking you have made!! The rose garden and cameo necklaces are just AMAZING! You have such talent young lady! Keep working! :) :)

  8. janine

    love the image transfers! with color and ability to use your own photos….wow…limitless possibilities! Fromenti Rose is pretty and like the surprise of the cameo! Joining the images was ingenious!

  9. I love the cameo necklace. You are so talented, Miriam!

  10. Trish Henry

    Hi, Miriam. Beautiful, as always. My favorite is the Rose Garden necklace. I could see myself wearing it to the opera with a white silk strapless, bustled gown (in my dreams). I also like Fromenti Rose. I think this necklace would also look fabulous with a selection of cameos. I like the asymmetry of it. Hugs, Aunt Trish

  11. stefani

    I am madly in love with this direction you are taking! Especially since they are on plaster… I imagine the cool weight complements the classic imagery perfectly. Absolutely breathless to see what comes next!

  12. Hello Miriam,
    I have just discovered your jewellery and blog through the Crafthaus site – your lovely work stood out immediately. The Fromenti Rose necklace is beautifully balanced…

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