It was really wonderful to make again, as I often don't have the opportunity in my current work and I found that my (rather neglected) crafting skills weren't entirely lost, just a little nervous as I turned my hand to something new and indeed, something that my friend does so very well!
I noted down the various steps in my sketch book (which has been great in allowing me to reflect on the day's achievements) and we also took photographs to document the activity.
She set me loose with a blowtorch soldering the pearl wire into a circle.
We then marked the silver that was to become the backing for the pendant to fit the pearl wire circle before sawing it to shape (below). I found the sawing a particular low point as I found the technique difficult to master and was afraid of making a mistake. Nicola was great though, and rescued me as and when I got into trouble.
The pieces were then soldered together and filed to make the pendant. This was also a rather frustrating episode - I was painfully slow at catching the solder squares and getting them in place onto the silver backing. But we got there. And it was definitely worth it to see the pendant slowly coming together.
More pearl wire was added and soldered to the pendant at this stage to form the loops that would attach it to the necklace chain.
The whole pendant was then put into the pickle to clean up.
Whilst the pendant was in the pickle, Nicola taught me about beading and oxidising - I worked with wire to form the sections of the necklace to be beaded and cut the chain to size, fitted the chain loops etc before painting it with the oxidising solution. This part was pretty magical - I haven't worked with such an accelerant before! I felt a little more at home with this technique as it fits within the ideas I worked with in my degree show project of speeding up the ageing process of a material.
Brushing up the chain post oxidising:
It's coming together now...
And ta, da! The final article. I love that the little felt circles that I laser cut all those moons ago are still being incorporated into the project now, and indeed in Nicola's own work with her Salvaged Bijoux collection. Very much in the Re-worked spirit.
I found the day to be a great learning curve - the process of making together and sharing skills is a great way to broaden creativity and to channel conversation and learning; indeed, upon reflection, I learned a great deal more that I had been conscious of at the time. The methods and technical making skills that Nicola shared with me were not only specific to her discipline but to her own personal brand of jewellery making, which I very much appreciated - there was a breadth of inspiration to be had and I am extremely excited to, a) plan a workshop/skill swap for Nicola here in Dundee and, b) marry the skills we have shared to create some amazing Re-worked final pieces!