This brooch is based on a photo I took at (yet another) recent visit to the Victoria and Albert museum in London. I love decorative ceilings, and this was a good one to use! The actual ceiling has a skylight in the middle, but I filled the skylight in with a pattern made from some details in the decoration. I really like how this turned out with using one of my own photographs, but I’m also glad that I changed it a bit by adding the pattern, because otherwise it would just be a photo of a ceiling that any museum tourist could easily photograph. This is something I think I’ll work on exploring more in some future brooches.
In this piece I really got back to my metalworking roots: “bezel setting” this plaster disc, which is about 5 inches wide and 3 inches tall. (For those of you jewellers out there, imagine how much filing and sanding it took to get a bezel that is perfectly even on the bottom AND the top, since it was connected to sheet on both sides- I was sanding by hand for about two days).
I got really good at using the laser welder in making this piece- it’s such an amazing, revolutionary tool for jewellery production!
Sorry for the slightly blurred detail photo- this was just a quick snap of the piece that I took at the studio yesterday. Each of those little dots (“beads” is the welding term) is where the laser beam has “shot” the silver and welded it together. Because it’s such a small-scale operation, I was working under a magnifier and had to have REALLY steady hands to keep the laser welding in a straight line. It took about 3 hours to do all the laser welding on this brooch, as I had to weld both the front and the back plates to the side wall. Because of 3 hours of looking through a glorified magnifying glass, I think I’ve probably done my eyes a little bit of damage- I welded for a solid hour before I saw note thing posted that you weren’t supposed to weld for more than 15 minutes at a time. If I end up permanently cross-eyed, it’s all the fault of this brooch.
Back to the studio now- I need to do the finishing work on this brooch (sanding, polishing, etc) and work on finishing up another exciting brooch that I’m in the process of making! Keep an eye out for photos of Brooch the Third, coming soon. Happy Thursday!