Monday, August 13, 2012

Verdant Skull Brooch in progress

I know, I know... I've been a very bad blogger. I apologize and hope to do better in the coming months. At the very least I'm hoping to provide more in progress photos and visual insights into my design process, so there will be some more images to enjoy. I recently joined the current decade by purchasing an iPhone (the photos it takes are much better than the ones my iPod Touch generated) so that means it will be easier to document new creations before taking the more official, polished photographs for the Etsy listings.

Case in point is a design of a Verdant Skull cameo for a new series of brooches influenced by esoteric and occult imagery.Since the brooches will be relatively small (at a certain point large brooches become too awkward to be functional brooches, in my opinion), it also gives me the opportunity to use up some scrap leather from other projects. I try to always be cognizant that leather was once part of a living being and I don't want to be wasteful. I did some preliminary sketches which were not to scale in a notebook before drafting the design, but the photo below shows the progress from a pencil sketch at the appropriate size, the pattern which I use to transfer the design to leather, and the actual design realized in leather. I recently acquired a new friend for the studio, a Razortip SK pyrography tool, and this is the first time I've combined pyrography with the leather carving I typically do. Now that I have an idea as to what it can do, the possibilities are making me a bit delirious (in a good way)!
What I'm really loving about this brooch series is the prospect of combining leather with various other media. I have some weird fondness for sewing things by hand that I'll get to indulge since I'm going to be layering the leather cameos with felt, lace, trims, etc. Some bead embroidery may also be in the forecast for these. Below you can see the progress made on assembling the actual brooch. I've layered the leather over some vintage lace which I tea-stained, striped trim, and a velvety millinery leaf. I sewed a lovely patina-ed brass key charm below the cameo and added an eyelet so I could dangle a turquoise nugget from the bottom.
I want these brooches to resemble some antique, intricate medals I have seen and I'm really pleased with how this particular one turned out. What the above photo doesn't show is that I've tried to lend a more aged look to the fabric by staining the edges with a sepia-toned ink. I attempted to take some better photos today, so hopefully it won't be long until this piece is listed on Etsy.

Although my time is still divided between a full-time job, an internship, and my various other hobbies and interests, things are slowly falling into place for me and that means I have more motivation and energy to make things.

Truth be told, I've also been holding out a bit on listing some new items until I figured out a new logo and identity for this endeavor. My work has changed so much since I first starting making jewelry several years ago, and I've outgrown my old branding. There were some items I did not want to present until I had something new to replace it. I think I've finally hammered out a design I'm pleased with although I still need to do some additional work before finalizing a new business card, etc. but I feel more comfortable posting those items.

I wanted to share the second version of my Peacock Feather cuff bracelet as an opportunity to discuss reserved listings. I had just carved and tooled the leather portion of this cuff when someone contacted me to ask about the previous version I had made. The timing worked out perfectly. I finished the cuff and listed it on reserve for her, and hopefully she's wearing it right now :)
While I'm not taking custom orders at this time, if there is an in progress piece shown here that hasn't yet been posted on Etsy which catches your eye, I'm willing to temporarily reserve it for you once it is listed for sale. Please contact me via email or Etsy conversation to discuss this option. Reserves of this kind are on a first come, first serve basis and if you do not purchase the item within the specified time period, I will remove the reserve so potentially anyone can purchase it.

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