I work full-time in an office and enrolled on my course in January 2018 without any experience of jewellery design. My course has helped me to see objects differently and more creatively while also learning a new skill. I was inspired by the moulded armchair at the V&A as I could instantly understand the method of production and appreciate the seamless visual aesthetic.
Through my course I have learned what it means to be ‘inspired’ and how to develop a conscious and flexible design process. Looking at the armchair I was drawn to the way that I could visualize forming sheet metal into a 3D sculptural object.
I chose to make a silver ring as I enjoy wearing this type of jewellery and felt it suited a dimensional design. My design process started with constructing ring shapes from paper and experimenting with different ways of making cuts and bends. After paper I moved to copper test pieces to see how the paper forms worked in metal.
While making copper models I found that overworking the metal and using pliers left bumps and ridges in my work. I quickly realised that my method must be designed around my material and its inherent qualities. Therefore I ensured my design could be moulded by hand to create smooth curves. I found this was an interesting contrast to the inspiration piece as it was made by machine. The most challenging part of my design was opening up the metal to form the ring band: I found an unusual helper by using wooden chopsticks!
My ring is made from one piece of metal, two drill holes, and four cuts. In my piece I see a simplicity of process and evolution of design, just like the V&A armchair.
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