__H is the Ancient Greek Numerical Symbol for 100
__I chose the letter 'H' as inspiration for my piece purely and simply because it is the initial letter of my name. I came up with several ideas, some using the actual shapes of the letter and others using words beginning with the letter 'H'. I then researched the letter 'H' and discovered that in Ancient Greece, the letter 'H' represented the number 100 so that then became my starting point. My plan of action for 2011 has been to experiment and explore different materials and techniques in my work and I have committed myself to this journey wholeheartedly. My ultimate aim is to combine some of these materials and techniques with sterling silver to produce unique and individual pieces of jewellery. This aim is what will fire my body/bodies of work for the end of 2011. After some thought and consideration, I decided to make 100 individual beads using the different materials and techniques that I have experimented and explored during the first 6 months of 2011 and perhaps some new ones. My bead journey was to begin! I began to create my beads in June. I carved wooden beads for the first time, a learning process in itself. I made Air Dry Clay and Paper Clay beads and, disappointingly, they looked so ugly however with a little filing and sanding, surprisingly these ugly lumps of clay were transformed into beads of beauty. I experimented with Craft Porcelain and found it rather temperamental to work with - a lesson learned! I made beads from cotton wool and pva glue, shaping them around a wooden skewer - very messy but the end result was texturally very interesting. I created disc beads from thin strips of paper and glue. I made beads with layer after layer of paper and glue and flattened them using a vise. I then used a craft knife to shape them. They are absolutely beautiful and I will definitely be using this technique again, combined with my silversmithed pieces. I am full of ideas to proceed along this path. I had initally considered creating a brightly multi-coloured necklace. I experimented and decided that, for me, it was not to be. My choice then was to combine black and white with different metallic colours. To apply colour to the beads, I again used a variety of materials and techniques - acrylic paints, on some beads just to add colour and on others to add texture, Precious Metal paints, a selection of Rub n' Buff metallic finishes and gold, silver and copper leaf, using size. I painted very intricate and detailed patterns onto some of the beads using a very steady hand. Each and every one hundred of the beads has been worked on painstakingly. This necklace has been a complete labour of love for me. At times it has seemed a never ending endeavour but I have re-discovered skills that I thought were long gone and developed new skills that are here to stay. It has been a completely different experience from my usual silversmithed work but in creating my necklace and utilising so many different materials and techniques, I fully intend to combine them to create some new and exciting pieces of silversmithed pieces of jewellery beginning from now.
Materials : Paper Clay, Paper Mache, Air Dry Clay, Wood, Craft Porcelain, Paper, Newpaper, Cotton Wool, Gesso, Acrylic Paint, Precious Metal Paint, Gold Leaf, Silver Leaf, Copper Leaf, Tiger Tail Thread, Sterling Silver Wire
Method : Carving, Filing and Sanding, Hand Manipulation and Shaping of Materials, Texturing, Layering of Paper and using a Vise, Cutting, Painting, Drawing, Applying Gold, Silver and Copper Leaf, Papier Mache, Soldering Sterling Silver Wire, Using Pliers to Shape Sterling Silver Wire, Hammering to Texture Sterling Silver Wire, Stringing Beads
Size : Length of Necklace is 1.6 metres (5" 4' )
Artist : Helen Aliye Derici