Saturday, October 23, 2010

First Piece

Hey lovers.

This is my first piece for Jewelry 3. It is a large neckpiece (larger than my usual). As a quick overview, it is the interpretation of jazz and its elements through a simpler form. The soft curves and forms are the fluidity of music, and the container on the back serves to hold extra weight which will amplify the feeling of bass on the chest. The blue suede is the color that can be interpreted dually, as a slow tranquil mood or light, upbeat mood.

So the second part is to crowdsource and pick up suggestions on how to improve the design through the form to strengthen the concept. For our re-design, we must utilize the injection molder. To injection-mold, we are making a mold out of a hardened epoxy...

...which is the grey mold in the middle. Then we are using Jan's new toy to melt plastic and make a plastic mold of it. The parameters are about 2" x 3".... the length has a little more leeway than 3" but it's not really suggested. The best part of this is that I can make it much more moldable and flexible, in a way...

Knowing that it is possible to be more flexible and formfitting, how could I change the form to improve? And what is the best way to resolve the "chain" in a more effective way?

There are so many things I would do differently. I am not happy with this piece at all. Though I spent ample time on it, I could have used more. I still like the forms, but the problems I had riveting are clear as day, so I would like to resolve the connections in another way. The connections being the ones between each piece, and the ones on the bulbous centerpiece holding the suede to it. The etching for the solder inlay should have been deeper so I wouldn't have to worry about sanding it off, and the overall craftsmanship is poor compared to my usual work. I would also like to resolve the "chain" better. I would like to add more wires or somehow have a chain that gives it structure around the neck and conveys fluidity at the same time.

I was actually getting to be very satisfied and sort of happy with my piece the day before it was due... then I went in to finish and it just fell apart which forced me to fix it all with brute force since it was only hours before it was due. So now, I'll have more time to resolve all the problems.

I plan to redo the piece because like Rachel said, I'm better than this!


  1. I'm going to ignore citing particular workmanship criticisms because it sounds as if you know that your craftsmanship could use work.

    The design is interesting itself, but I feel as if there's a disconnect between the design and concept. First - the area that would rest near the clavicle seems to start very abruptly. It seems somewhat jarring and harsh; against the spirit of what you were trying to accomplish. I also feel that when worn, the two ends come together in an almost visually unpleasant manner; the 'tail' is to blame for this. My initial thought as to why is that it simply doesn't follow the curvature of the human body as well as it maybe should. The other issue I have with it is that it is a container, but in a sense it's deceptive - it doesn't appear to be one at first glance and really needs to be inspected.

    These are personal opinions, and non-jewelry major ones at that, so don't take them as particularly informed. I would like to see the remake of this piece; a well executed version would undoubtedly garner a more positive response.

  2. I like that this piece was made to fit any body and that you chose to include different textures. The shape of the piece that is like a locket is simple and rests at an interesting part of the body, I find that effective in the fact that the person wearing it could put whatever they want in it, be it something sentimental.
    Although you made a design/pattern throughout the piece in silver, I think you should have brought it together on the other side of the piece (that isn't seen while wearing it) to bring the design together and make it clearer. (like the door or something)
    I'm not sure how I feel about the blueness of the suede, although blue and orange go together, maybe it would be better if it were more subtle so it didn't contrast as much.
    It would be cool if you incorportated a piece of suede in another part of the piece maybe?
    I think I'd like to see the piece on the left (the smaller one) take more shape, maybe like forming a pointy squiggle like in your silver design.It would be interesting if the smaller piece on the left would reach up to the neck or something that isn't seen as often.
    It's almost there!

  3. Hmm... I can see why you would try for soft curves to represent the fluidity of music, but as for representing jazz, I don't think that you're quite grasping the essence of jazz itself. Jazz is a specific kind of music, and it is characterized by syncopation - irregularity rather than regularity (which to me, seems closer to fluidity). In Afro-American studies, jazz is noted particularly for its staccato and somewhat chaotic sound. It garnered criticism as low-brow music for violating classical norms in music.
    So your necklace, to me, seems to be far too flowing. I like the asymmetry and the effect of the silver streaks within the copper. Unfortunately, I don't think that soft curves are quite right for jazz, unless they are contrasted somehow with irregularities - hard spikes, soft curves, and squiggles.
    Also, it could be that this type of necklace isn't really my style, but the tail end of it, opposite the pendant, is just visually displeasing to me. The tail just hangs out, like some kind of lolling tongue... And the two thinner wires connecting to it.... it becomes off-balanced and front heavy. Compare it to the link on the other side - it's not as wide where it connects to the thinner wires, and so it looks better, less abrupt. I think somehow, you need to find a way to create fluidity with irregularity, while still maintaining balance. If you can do that, it'll look better and will epitomize jazz.

  4. Just so I don't get called out for plagiarism - Last year, I took a course - African American Entertainment. The stuff about jazz I paraphrased and interpreted from the following source:
    "George Ciccariello Maher. Brechtian Hip-Hop: Didactics and Self-Production in Post-Gangsta Political
    Mixtapes . Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 36, No. 1 (Sep., 2005), pp. 129-160. Published by: Sage
    Publications, Inc.. < >"

  5. I think the "locket" shape is very nice, and I think that the opening being hidden in the back is really clever. With the average locket everyone can identify you're wearing one and there's possibly a secret picture or something inside. The fact that it's hidden is much more personal and private to the wearer. It functions as a secret to the wearer and secrets are always exciting.
    That being said, I don't get a sense of the same fluidity and shape being carried around to the "tail". Maybe if you created one significantly smaller (but heavy to maintain balance when wearing) same shape for the tail it would keep the feel of the piece. Or think about creating several small shapes, like the one big one, and arranging them branch style. Or possibly those small shapes going back into the "chain" section, just to carry the same throughout.