One week in to my Brooch a Day Challenge and I've managed to keep up. The bigger challenge is how to fabricate pin backs without a torch. I have access to a torch at work, but I don't have a set up in my home studio just yet. I've been having fun experimenting with looped and bent pin stem wire on the brass guys. Another challenge, is planning ahead if i want a patina that's going to take a couple days to achieve the look I want. The top left brooch with the rivets, I would have preferred a blue green patina on the top hammered piece, but had to finish it that same day since I didn't have a back up. Favorite brooch of the week is the big brass guy in the center. I even work it to work.
In other progress, I've started a series of reliquaries based on my favorite flora and fauna of Eastern NC. I'm starting with the echinoderms: the sea urchin and the sand dollar. I've sorta jumped right in, and I really need to take a step back to design. I did get some pieces prepped to etch. These pieces will be the bottoms of the containers, and the the piece with the thicker lines will be a champleve top to the sand dollar box.
Each container will hold a relic of of its organism, and hopefully strike a balance between the ornamentation of traditional relics and heavy piercing so the relic will be visible. For the sea urchin I'll be using the spines, even though I still have the complete body the spines came from.
I'm excited and intimidated by this body of work. As I said before, it's bee awhile since I attemped anything so labor intensive, and the fact that I now work 40 hours a week, is kinda freaking me out. I love these things, I feel connected to these things and I want to do them justice. We'll see how this goes.