Welcome back. On to part two of our journey.
Now that I've finished the lens assembly that would occupy one side of the piece, attention turns now to creating points of connection for a cord or chain. I bypass my first thought (the easy solution!) of wrapping wire around the 'handle' part of the compact and decide instead to drill and tube-rivet anchor points in the hollow body of the compact itself.
The tubes inserted, yet to be flared out.
The tube-rivets finished. I like the placement.
The piece is patinated at this point to bring it all together thus far.
A fast hunch leads to this rather drastic move. I do like the lipstick mechanism, no doubt, but it nags me and I can see far more lyrical things up there, so off it's cut.
Several hours of fossicking through Studio Stuffsmith yields this gem: a 19th-century clay pipe bowl fragment from the Thames. It's a perfect crown.
The tall side, opposite the opening, is hollowed for an image.
As the clay is porous and fragile, its soaked in acrylic media to seal and strengthen it.
Yep. This step has kicked the piece to life for me. Wired solidly in place.
Now my focus turns to the covered chamber that will be the beating heart of the piece. I can now take stock of the elements I've readied for this side of the neckpiece. On the left, the opaque glass portrait of Maureen Kistle and on the right, the same portrait fused onto clear antique glass.
This clear image reads as a negative...
...until it is backed in black, when it becomes readable.
The pattern on the hinged lid is lovely and I want it to remain - however I want to have the empty circle in the center have some focal weight, so the radial pattern pulls the eye inward. I choose to create a bezel in which to mount a ruby. First a hole is drilled.
Now the surface is protected...
...and raised in a dapping block.
A washer of thin brass seals in the back of the stone. The opaque glass portrait can be seen faintly through the bottom panel. That is the area where the resin lens assembly will go (chronicled in last posting).
Now precious cargo comes aboard - a lock of Maureen's baby hair.
Laid in over black velvet, it will then be pinioned in place by the clear glass portrait. Note the small hole in the center of the velvet to allow light through the ruby.
The portraits now affixed in place and a chain of steel and brass attached.
At this stage I tiptoe through the titles and settle on the name of the piece. Obvious reference to both noun and verb, literal and ruminative. REFLECTIONS it is.
Next week, the final installment as the finished work (and a sister piece!) coalesces. I hope you'll join me!