For the last month or so I've been working really hard on my Master's Program projects. As much time as I think I have, there never seems to be enough of it. I spend most days between the computer studying art history, researching inspirations and keeping up with my students in their studio time. That's a lot to do in one day much less a whole week. However, I'm happy to be busy and working on lots of different things all at the same time. It actually keeps me sane and productive all at the same time.
Last week I just about finished my first ring carving in a series of rings I have to produce for my jewelry design and fabrication class. It's been fun to find things to incorporate into my work and for the first time, I'm using what's generally termed "found objects." In this case, these objects were "found" by my Grandma Myrtle in Oregon. She's a bow hunter and has collected many things over the years from her hunts.
She's also an avid lover of Native American art and has created some really beautiful things over the years. Fortunately for me, she was willing to share a bunch of things from her arsenal for me to use in my designs and I really want to make her proud. I'm very excited to see how it all plays out and if it matches the images I have in my head. Hopefully, my hands can do the work my mind wants to see in my work. I'm confident I can pull it off, the question is, what else can I do to incorporate Grandma's collections?
The picture above shows the fantastic objects my Grandma was kind enough to pass on to me for my artwork. There are deer antler, sliced, porcupine quills, vertebrae and pheasant feathers. All of these were collected from her hunts and I'm so excited to incorporate them into my pieces for my final project this semester. I can't wait to show you all what I do with them and I know Grandma will love them, too!
The wax ring carving below is the result of about 4 hours of carving, shaping and fine tuning the wax to get just the right amount of room for the stone, the right shape to enhance the design and the perfect size so I can show off my creation once it has been graded. I'm planning to set a red faceted stone in the top, upside down to enforce the theme of the hunt. The red stone will symbolize the blood from the hunt and accent the parts of the animals saved for decoration.
I'm hoping to have this ring ready for casting by tomorrow so I can begin the investment and burnout process Friday morning. Then it will be cast later in the afternoon in sterling silver.