Welcome back. OK, now we'll see this piece through.
As the wooden structure is glued with woodworker's glue to bond the layers, it gets put aside while I work on the back plate and get it ready.
The etched plate is attached to the brass armature.
Drawing and realized object.
Seen from the front...
..and from the back. Notice the cut-away in the center. This was done to lighten the structure up, as that area will be covered by the wooden assembly. The outer pierced areas will act as windows for engraved imagery.
I've made a decision that will greatly impact the overall look of the piece - all 19th-century color lithographs will be used. These have intense and saturated color.
Mica panels will be placed over the images to protect them.
Rinsed after patination.
The images in place and ready to rivet into position under the mica.
Now clamped to the wooden assembly to rivet all together.
Tube rivets being prepared.
The sandwich is together and awaiting clean-up/registration.
Another tube rivet readies a revolving element for the top of the neckpiece: a medieval bronze spur.
The spur in position. Now the back brass structure will be bent around to prong-set the elements.
The lower prongs being bent.
A good moment as the structure comes clear for the first time. Note the brace for the spur to spin on top.
Now as the top steel plate is about to be riveted down, the lower chamber (backed by a litho eye) is filled with raw sapphires (the intended owner's birthstone).
The steel tacks complete their oval around the porthole.
And another unusual tension-setting: the hole in the bottom of the steel plate locks a round labradorite bead between it and the floral work in back (see next image).
The cord being made next.
A tiny rivet about to be made.
Beautiful 1930's copper-plated steel chain riveted into the key.
And hung up to check balance.
The last two elements are attached - the title plate and piece of coral.
To view the finished piece, follow this link.
Thanks again for coming along for the journey. I'll be back in the studio in the coming weeks for more.