Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Catch It If You Can

The title of Andy Cooperman's class was "Imaginative Captures". It dealt with setting things - stones, found objects, buttons, eyeballs etc. in a myriad of ways. I think we're all familiar with Tiffany type prong settings or bezels made with thin strips of flat wire, but Andy showed us new ways of thinking about settings.

Looks a bit like my riveted rings, don't you think?

All settings must "capture" the item being set. Whether you're designing with metal clay, polymer clay, making waxes or fabricating with hard metals. The goal is to "trap" the object at the widest point so that as you (or your clients) travel down the paths of your day, you can rest assured that your jewelry is not only designed beautifully but that it is well conceived and put together securely, ensuring that a treasured heirloom diamond or a brass button from old Uncle Jim's WWI army uniform will be as safe on your finger as it was in it's velvet box.

I can see this as a latch on a tiny treasure box

There are different types of settings everywhere in our world. Look around you and see if there is a mechanical device that you can re design to use in your jewelry. Right now I'm looking out of my window at the curls of barbed wire that surround the garbage bin (why my property managers felt the need to protect our trash I don't know). Could I use that type of spiked coil to surround a vintage enamel that I want to set into an antique drawer pull? Once soldered (or brazed) to the base, could the spikes act as prongs or small tabs and be pushed over the girdle of the element?

Turn it sideways and see an elegant bail? I do.

Carry that thought further out. Hinges on doors are the same design as a hinge on a locket. Perhaps the handle to the garage door can be utilized as a bail. Look around you as you walk down the sidewalk or take a ride in a lovely old elevator. What do you see that can be co- opted, miniaturized and made to function as a finding? I just thought of the way the knob on my oven is connected to the mechanism that makes the heat turn on. A solid cylinder with one straight side corresponds with and slides into a hollow tube with a similarly shaped flat edge. That might make a very interesting component in the lid of a box. Perhaps the lid is actually a ring and the oven knob connector hides the secret. I'll have to do more thinking on that one.

Maybe an element on the Master's Registry Sleeve Pendant?

All of the captures that illustrate this post were seen on my morning walk. They were always there, I just never took the time to notice them. This morning I was more mindful of my surroundings and there were jewelry designs all around me!

I see this surrounding a little bundle of freshwater pearl sticks or the screws from my foot operation! What do you see?


Diane Weimer said...

What great examples!!!(and your photography isn't too bad either) Loved seeing them and reading what you had to say. Hadn't thought about it that way.

Vickie Hallmark said...

What a nice example of how an excellent teacher can forever change how we view our world. Thanks for sharing with he rest of us!

Phoenix said...

dangit Lora . . . Im gonna be thinkin' 'bout the oven knob all day :) I almost want to say stop filling my head with ideas. Thank you so much! I love how you think and I love how you share it! Now where's that camera and sketchbook o' mine

Cathy said...

Excellent post Lora! I love it when some idea helps us see things with new eyes. Thanks for sharing... bet that class was awesome.

Susan Dilger said...

Thanks for sharing!! All great ideas. Glad you enjoyed the class!

kait said...

Fantastic post! Love seeing the neighborhood through your eyes!