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Thu, 11 Sep 08 11:10
Turning Point Trust is a mental health recovery centre offering a range of positive activities and vocational services for people living with mental illness. Some Turning Point members will use the facilities at a therapeutic level, sorting and threading beads into simple necklaces and bracelets. Others will relish the challenge of taking it a step further, potentially producing jewellery as gifts or for sale.
Wed 27, Thu 28 and Fri 29 Aug 2008 I was pleased to be asked to help set up a working jewellery facility within the existing creative area.
It was a fabulous experience for me at TPT village. It really is a nice arrangement for positive activities and vocational services for people living with mental illness.
I was quite rushed off of my feet with getting all I'd planned done.
I hope I've been able to add a bit more jewellery-making to their activities.
things we did
Setting up the workshop.
My thinking here was to put the technical emphasis on simplicity and hand-operated processes. My belief is that the more motor equipment you have the more students would need to be well-supervised around them. Hand technology allows rather more for students to be left relatively unattended as they work away. And low-technology (inexpensive, recycled, local) is a bonus in that the costs are generally very low.
I started with a simple tool and equipment list, and added some local suppliers.
This is a technique devised by Charles Llewton-Brain for getting sheet metal to quickly resemble 3D shapes. The shapes are very like natural forms and the fold provides strength to thin metal. The tools are very simple: fingers, hands, hammers, mallets, a steel anvil. No soldering is necessary, but some heating is needed for annealing. Note the annealing characteristics for each metal: aluminium and pure silver anneals at about 350C (no colour change), sterling silver and gold alloys anneal at about 650C (dull blackish-red), while copper anneals at 750C (red hot).
Ring making - the finger ring.
Hammered, forged, textured, stamped designs or added element. This might seem a simple beginning exercise but it introduces you to one of many unique methods devised by me that use traditional tools in a new way and that uses specially created tools for speed and efficiency.
Lo-tech polishing, hand burnishing, and matt surfaces. Here we used simple nail buffing sticks and a steel burnisher.
Luckily TPT has a nice set of metal rollers. So we dug around for some interesting fabrics, laces, etc and rolled the textures into the copper.
If you know how to harden and temper steel you'll be able to make tools perfectly matched for the job in hand. A large part of the value of a handmade tool is its uniqueness; if your tools don't look like anyone else's your jewellery is likely to be unique as well. We attempted to Make a tool steel punch with a polished, hardened and straw-tempered working tip. When I used tool steel this worked. However when I introduced recycled auto engine valves, I found that I couldn't re-harden the steel.
Follow a discussion on this topic, with many useful replies.
Soldering - Plumbers flux, and simple solder placement.
Joint preparation. Sawing the joint to eliminate the gap and clean it up in one process. Checking before soldering. Brazing (or 'hard soldering') is brought up to date with modern flux technology and heat control tricks.
Lo-tech Casting 1 - Cuttlefish.
This is another simple and effective way to cast. Molds can be prepared in minutes, and objects cast in pewter, then the same mold used for a bronze or silver casting.
Lo-tech Casting 2 - Sand
This is a simple and effective way to make duplicates of a made or found object in a durable metal. Molds can be prepared in minutes and objects cast in pewter. The sand casting method is also very useful for pewter, silver or gold one-off castings.
Gold, silver and copper alloy theory.
Sterling silver, silver/copper alloys, karat golds, and bronze can be made in the small studio, allowing designs from components of a variety of metal colours and inherent qualities. Learn more about karat golds and what makes the colours. Discover some Japanese alloys.
As a teacher I believe in practical simplicity, lateral thinking, creative tool use, and learning with fun. I will aim to deliver lessons at your level so that I can add to your current understanding and skills and you more successfully move up levels. I teach group workshops (generally on a subject), private on a custom timetable, and take jewellery undergraduates on workshop experience. For custom tuition we can plan a timetable based on what will suit your needs. Each day we can schedule teaching sessions to cover the new material and start exercises applying it. I can draw upon many different workshop modules I have developed for my travelling workshops and may apply as many as you can handle, as fast as you can work. MATERIALS. A variety of media - silver, gold, copper, brass, stainless steel, titanium, wood, gemstones, acetate spectacle plastic - is on hand and you will be charged only as you use it.
Bush Jewellery studio is in a beautiful part of Titirangi 20 minutes from Auckland city, and surrounded by kowhai, kanuka bush, mamaku tree ferns, cabbage trees, and mixed border NZ bush Waitakere City Reserve land. It's a unique studio setting, hence the title 'Bush Jewellery'. It's quiet and invigorating. Titirangi library is just up the road and the shopping centre with several cafes is a little further within a 4 minute walk. The studio itself is a stand-alone Julie Stout building just at the back of our residence, a delightful colourful space with big windows looking out over the bush. We are equipped for a variety of standard and alternative contemporary jewellery activities.
|Brian Adam||www.adam.co.nz||Auckland, New Zealand|