Beaten But Still In One Piece! - Rachel Hall

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London View Inspiration Details

Artist Statement

Rachel Hall

was inspired by the organic flowing form of “GRILLE”- the way the metal has been manipulated to form a near perfect rectangle whilst being made from one continuous piece of metal that you can trace maze-like through from one end to the other.
I love sculptural jewellery and usually work with large irregular gemstones and silver. Having first practised my design in copper, I decided to work in bronze, a material I have never before worked in, but one associated with sculpture and statuary. It tells a story as it ages, patinating to that soft brown, except in areas of wear like Winston Churchill’s one shiny rose-gold foot in the Houses of Parliament.
Starting with a 500g reel (yes really!) of bronze wire, I gradually worked from one end of the necklace to the other, annealing a small section of wire, then bending it and flattening it to lock it in place, before moving onto the next section of metal and the next bend. I used various sizes and shapes of mandrel to achieve the shape of each curve (plus a little bit of brute-force in some instances) and a selection of hammers to stretch and smooth the metal.
To mimic the natural aging, I have chemically patinated the metal, then polished back areas of wear, revealing the warmth of the raw metal and giving it depth.
To make the piece wearable I have graduated the size of the swirls as it flows from the chest up to the shoulder and the section that runs around the back of the neck is simply curved and flattened so it sits comfortably on the wearer.
The necklace is made in one piece and weighs in at 219g!

Beaten But Still In One Piece! - Rachel Hall

©Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Inspiration details:

Grille

Germany

1980

Klaus Walz

V&A collection reference number(s):
M.947-1983

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