Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Silver Earrings

Thought I'd post a couple of photos of these earrings I made last night for Jenny's birthday. I cast them using a cuttlebone, which I know I've posted about before. Summary - cut top few centimetres off a cuttlebone with a hacksaw. Then cut it lengthways across the width (ie you're splitting a long, wide, thin thing into two even thinner ones). Carve your design in negative into one side of the cuttlebone, then wire the two halves back together and pour in the molten silver.

One reason I like this technique is the texture you get from the surface you carve. The cuttlebone is made up of alternating harder and softer layers, so when you pour in the silver, you get curved, almost wood-grain markings on the surface. This is what you can see in the left-hand photo.

I'm rather pleased with them, partly because of two unexpected effects. First, I did nothing to smooth off the saw marks from the side which I didn't carve, so I ended up with straight lines on the backs. Second, I wanted to curve them round so the semi-circular surface faced out from Jenny's ear, but as I did so, the silver twisted. The combined effect means she can actually wear them either way around and they still look good. Even the inadvertent saw marks make an interesting texture.

Phew! A birthday present that's actually just for her, rather than both of us!


Can Bass 1 said...

How very clever. Are you sure such intricate designs could be merely the result of evolution?

Rob Clack said...

Now now!

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

What lovely earrings - organic forms have a wonderful strength and naivete, somehow. And what an original gift for Jenny's Birthday - I do hope she loves them. M xx