Pinhole Spring

At last the terrible weather and 'flu have abated and we've had a few decent days which, along with light for my bike ride to and from work, always raises my spirits!

I've finally completed the Verdura-inspired cuffs for my client and am very pleased with the results:

Fencing With Fulco Verdura - 15

Although the original cuffs on which these are based are much more random and less formal, this was what I discussed with my customer and she was pleased with the results. I love the colour combinations in these especially. The original cuffs looked like this:


It was a really pleasing commission as I had been looking at these last year when I was working on my Chanel-inspired "Sautoir". I would love to have been able to hinge them but time and budget were against that.

I was delighted to have been asked by Judy R Clark if I would accessorise her lookbook for Milan Fashion Week 2014. Naturally, I agreed and by a strange twist, it was photographed by my colleague, David Stanton. I hadn't realised that David knew Judy until these photographs were taken.

Judy R Clark - Regency Lookbook - 1

This is the first outing of the (still incomplete) Fashion:Victim - In Memoriam ALMcQ which is especially pleasing as Judy worked for Alexander McQueen some years ago.

While I was looking for something else in the workshop - a strip of embossed iron which I found in a field in Sussex some years ago - I found a beautiful carved quartz which was given to me by the talented lapidary, Jamie Slade at Aeon Quartz.

Die Entführung aus dem Serail - WIP - 6

I completely forgot that he had sent this to me and I started making some sketches which started to remind me of my visit to Istanbul, notably this:

Cafe Kybele - 1

As the drawings progressed, I thought that it should be possible to remove the quartz from any setting I made and allow it to "escape"... hence the birth of "Die Entführung aus dem Serail", a pendant based on the narrative of Mozart's opera/singspiel.

Die Entführung aus dem Serail - WIP - 7

Amazingly, I also have in the workshop an Ottoman 2 Zolota coin, dating from 1782, almost exactly contemporary with the writing of Mozart's work:

Die Entführung aus dem Serail - WIP - 15

Thus the whole thing started to come together. The setting for the quartz was designed in CAD (Rhino) and milled out, then constructed:

Die Entführung aus dem Serail - WIP 11

Die Entführung aus dem Serail - WIP 9

For me, this method of working really suits. I am not happy with the idea of making things wholly in CAD and then simply setting stones and polishing the result. I need the work to be more than that, to quite deliberately use CAD as another "tool" in the arsenal.

Die Entführung aus dem Serail - WIP - 18

This being a tale of the Ottoman Empire, love, kidnapping and freedom, the main elements are shown here:

Die Entführung aus dem Serail - WIP - 21

As regular readers of the blog will know, I have a long-standing commitment to a group of young people with learning difficulties whom I work with on a Thursday afternoon. I've posted work by them before but this time I feel compelled to post this Work-in-progress by one of my group. The lad who is making this has been with me for two years and this is his own idea, from drawings he made... a raised copper scorpion:

Every Thursday, I work with a group of students with learning difficulties and sometimes I'm blown away by their work. Here is a hand-raised copper scorpion being made by one of them.

He's made the legs too, but they haven't been attached yet. It was such a pleasure to see him just completely understand how metal behaves under the hammer. All I've had to do is leave him to it each session!


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