Sunday, 26 June 2011

Anodised Aluminium_____

I have recently came across jewellery designers who use anodised aluminium. The colours achieved are incredible. They are vibrant and maintain a quality that I feel enamel finds hard to achieve. 

I had a quick look into how these colours are achieved and found process information from John Moore (below).

"Anodising aluminium is the process of forming an absorptive layer of hard transparent oxide on the surface of the metal which can then accept dye. This is achieved by passing an electric current through the metal in a solution of sulphuric acid.
For practical reasons I do not anodise the metal myself and I buy pre-anodised sheet from a company that produce the material for industry.
The process begins at home in my basement where sheets of pre-anodised aluminium are cut into smaller pieces (approximately A5 size) and then submerged in baths of special aluminium dye, which is heated to between 40 and 60 degrees celsius. Using only four colours of dye I am able to achieve infinite colour ways by dipping into one dye after another any number of times, thoroughly rinsing the metal in between. Effectively I am building up layers of transparent colour but without contaminating each dye. I am currently using a 'dip dye' technique to achieve a subtle fade evenly across the metal, which is difficult and often unsuccessful resulting in a lot of waste material. Afterwards the metal is steamed for half an hour to seal the the pours in the oxide and fix the colour permanently."   - taken from

The results: 

John Moore

Helen Swan

Sophie Honeybelle

I think these are all stunning. I would definitely like to try experimenting with this material in the future!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Report on Niessing comp/trip_______

***My lecturer requires a report on the overall trip to justify it to the College. Here was my take on the overall experience. ***

Niessing report 2011
Victoria Woods McMeekin

I found the Niessing competition 2011 an invaluable experience!!!!!!!!!!!!

The competition aspect gave me the opportunity to compete with my peers in a professional manner.  It also allowed me to use my organisational skills to complete the brief to its tight deadline. Also, I was able to experience presenting my work to a team of judges. This gave me a taster of what I will have to do to get my work into gallery’s and shops in the future. 

The trip took us out of our secure bubble that we are surrounded by in college. Having the insight from Carl Dau opened my eyes to the world of manufacturing jewellery. The contrast of Carl’s work to Karin Seufert’s work gave me the stark realization between the difference of making money from jewellery or having it as a bonus to your steady wage.

Carl Dau = Having the design ideas and getting people to manufacture them quickly at high volume to keep low cost. With a small in house team putting them together to orders. His designs are timeless, classic and appeal to the elite, thus providing Carl with a steady income to live comfortably on.

Karin Seufert = “Labour of love” design/methods. Karin’s designs are more suited to art lovers looking for an investment in a piece of history. The time it takes to make Karins pieces and her incredibly niche market means that Karin must charge high prices within a gallery setting. Therefore Karin makes a living from her 9-5 job and supplements her wage with her jewellery.

I have learned how to make money from my jewellery designs. I now need to decide wither I want to be a manufacturer or gallery jeweller. Only time will tell as I progress through Art School, but my designs will  be influenced by the knowledge I have gained from the Niessing competition. This is my career and not a hobby. I want to make money from it, and now I have the know how to achieve my goals!


Friday, 10 June 2011

Prep for meeting Carl Dau_____

"A strict clear form has its own special beauty. It is not plain but restricts itself to the essentials of being unobtrusive and natural.

Our eyes are overloaded with stimuli everyday. There are very few things in which calmness is inherant that are pleasing to the eye. To create jewellery in which such things are manifest is the main aim of my work" - Carl Dau. 

So... i fly out on Monday (13/06/11) to Berlin to meet and work in Carl Dau's workshop with sum of my fellow peers whom also one the Niessing competition 2011. :D 

Who is Carl Dau? - Carl Dau is a German jewellery designer, who has worked with Niessing to create fabulous collections. He also has his own workshop and creates a vast range of jewellery. Click here to go to his website.

His own work:

I love his simple, clean-cut pieces. I also agree with his statement that sometimes its good to focus on one shape, one idea instead of cramming lots into one. 

soooooooooooooo beautiful!!!!!!

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Spot the difference_______

I was having a look on and came across this ring design by Anabel Campbell.

Its very similar to my lace ring design (below). We must of taken inspiration from similar pieces of fabric. I think Anabel's has been executed better. Its nice to see that my ideas are "on trend" however I want to do something that no-one has done before. Back to the drawing board! 

Friday, 3 June 2011

My discoveries in Munich 2011______

I went to Inhorgenta for the first time in February 2011. I loved Munich!! It was amazing, my boyfriend and I spent £300 in 3 days.....basically all in cakes! :D They were amazing. Anyways, back to business....the galleries in Munich are to die for, it is a design feast for the eyes. I lost count of how many galleries i dragged my bf round. It was exhausting work, hence why we properly ate so many cakes.  

My favourite gallery was Galerie Spektrum. In there I found a Designer called Ruudt PetersHe uses a method of pushing hot wax into very cold water to create these weird and wonderful shapes to cast from.

I loved these pieces and casually asked how much the necklace I had my eye on mistake! I should no better lol so i settled for his book instead.

@ Inhorgenta the designer that stood out to me was Emma Ware . I loved the versatility of her designs and use of materials. I think they would be the types of designs you would see selling out in Topshop and Urban Outfitters Boutique sections.