Design and Production-
I finalized some of the designs I was going after. I found that some of my original ideas were overly complex and that I liked the aesthetic of the more simplistic forms, especially if they are being cast in the white metal.
They are still a bit rough but, I think with some more finishing they will be viable for what I need them to be used for. I hope to send them out shortly to be cast in the white metal. I want to try and get some more details into the next few samples I make so I can chose the ones I want to send out. I think a safe number to shoot for by the end of the week is around 15 or 20. I will go back and recreate the first few that I did now that my skill level has increased a bit. I also think that it may be possible with the new tools I picked up this weekend to go back in and define some of the shapes I already produced. I grabbed some wax burs to hollow out these shapes as well so I can make the internal containers as well as make them able to be cast.
It has been a long drawn out discovery of the form this container will take over the past two weeks. I really want a design I can commit to, not something I just put together "because I liked it". I think that phrase needs to be banned completely from the studio forever. I was thinking about why jewelry is placed on the neck and the wrist ect, and I think that more thought needs to be placed on the placement of jewelry on the body. The assignment did not say "locket" or "necklace" yet we naturally go to those stand-by locations. I decided this does not fit the piece. I have designed a container that is broken into pieces and hinges open at the top and comes together to form a shape. These pieces are going to be held together by a dense forming of gut that is "riveted" to the skin and held in place by surgical tape and balled up silver. My gut should be here by early Friday to begin work and I hope to have a die-form to begin molding off of by that time or at least some of the materials I want to try to put through the gut. I was also wondering if gut and vellum can be layered in some way. The piece is small enough that I should have a lot of gut to work with.
Now, I don't know if this is my final shape. I want to make a few more maquettes before I commit. I want to divorce the shape from my design and production work a little more. I want it to be more personal. I have been working on some designs and sketches based off the image of the heart that I think are working well, so I will post the final image tomorrow or Wednesday and begin working on the die for Thursday.
For the final piece, I have been thinking pretty hard about whether it will be different textures only on each little part of the form or whether it will be different metals, textures and have cold connected elements. I really want to take these as far as I have the skill to do so I was thinking that each element be a different metal depending on what it contains and that every piece of it has a different "identity" of my grandmother. I need to finalize this quick so I made a game plan of how this will commence from here on out that I hope to follow and produce the final work with a week to spare for clean up and final adjustments. That means its 100% important for the design and die to be completed this week so I made make all the forms next week and begin the soldering as well as shaping of the outer gut layer. The gut has been ordered from an online retailer, about 3 lbs was $7 with shipping which is quite decent. I ordered hog gut, fibrous casing, and collagen casing. From what I read of the research done already with the gut, the hog gut is stronger but, I want to try the other two types of casing to see if different results are achieved. I want to experiment with piercing the gut as well as drawing on it with prismacolors once it dries.
As for the surgical tape/adhesive, I am still researching types. I think I have one picked out, but I will finalize it this week and have it ordered. There are some really nice places online that sell surgical tapes and adhesives quite cheaply that are a better quality then found at a Rite-Aide or CVS.