Thursday, 30 October 2014

Lichen Brooch and Burdock Hair Pin

Along with learning enamelling, I have also been continuing to learn and improve my jewellery making abilities with Pam Ritchie. Pam is an amazing artist who often incorporates unusual materials in her work, such as plastic and found objects and she encourages her students to do the same.

Our first assignment was to make a pin back. Rather than just make a pin back, our class all decided to make an interesting pin back.

I had picked up a beautiful piece of lichen earlier in the week. Given my love of them and their relevance to my work, I thought I would include it in my pin back.

This is what I made:

Brooch with living lichen
3.3 x 6.3 cm
Pin back detail
before the lichen was attached

And our first major project was to create something that was inspired by an image that was chosen in class. The image I chose focused on communication, and also hair. So I decided to create a hair pin, in reference to Geisha. This was the final result:

Fine Silver Hairpins
containing burdock seed
Initially the pins were designed to be empty. But the wires seemed to loose definition when pinned in the hair. So it was decided that they needed to contain something.

Dried burdock seed hair pin

I stumbled across some burdock in a vacant block of land in the middle of the city, and thought that these weeds would be perfect. I see weeds as a metaphor for pioneers, or settlers.

Dried burdock detail
I was also amazed at just how sticky these seeds were. They stuck to my fingers and even plastic (just like velcro)
Green burdock hairpin
 The green seeds were less sticky.

Green burdock detail.

An exciting development with this discovery is that seeds contain so much information. So I see these hair pins containers for information or communication. Originally I was thinking about Victorian lockets and how they do this.....  Im really looking forward to exploring this concept further.

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