It’s been a long time coming, but now the studio time has paid off- I’ve now got two new pieces to show!
The Floral Wallpaper Brooch uses a wallpaper pattern from the early 1900’s-
I took photos of the wallpaper (which is still in use at a house here in Birmingham), then used Photoshop to isolate parts of the wallpaper design that I wanted to work with. I changed the scale of various parts of the design (like the line of daisy-ish flowers that are found on a small scale on the front of the brooch, then used as a large piece on the back of the brooch). I made the plaster disc (front and back pieces) first, then set about making a metal frame that would fit around it all. Let’s just say that I spend several days filing and sanding again! All in a day’s work, eh?
For the Damask Brooch, I had some photos I’d taken in an 1800’s museum house in London-
I loved walking between these two rooms, seeing everything go from reds to greens. I used photographs I took in both of those rooms to inspire this faded red/pink and green pattern that I put together in Photoshop. I liked the way the pattern changed with the folds of cloth on the drapes (as seen in the Red Room photo) and decided to try to mimic this in the plaster damask piece. I’m really pleased with the result: the rigid plaster gets a soft, smooth cloth-like feel with this new method of construction.
Always a sucker for punishment, I decided that I wanted the same damask pattern to be used on the back of the brooch, and set out piercing that pattern into the back plate. I softly formed the back piece of metal, making it curve and ripple slightly to mimic the “cloth” plaster piece at the front. The softly curved metal piece makes a good transition between the very 3-d front element and the very flat brooch back plate.
My normal working method is to only make one piece at a time, and while I work on that piece I’m busy thinking up the next one. Somehow these two pieces ended up happening at the same time- it was a nice change- when I got tired of looking at one pattern for hours on end, I could just change and look at a different pattern for a few hours. The only problem is that since I was concentrating on two pieces at once, I didn’t plan out what to do next! I spent a morning at my favorite coffee shop (www.urbancoffee.co.uk– if you’re in the Birmingham area, you should give this place a try!), designing some new pieces and now have 8 more designs that could possibly happen. Not sure when the next piece will be finished, but I’m hoping to have a new one in another week or so- see you then, if not sooner!