Monday, June 4, 2012

Reflections, In-Progress - Part Three.

Hi all - let's pick it up where we left off in last post. This will see us through to the finish of a very meaningful piece for me to make.

 A precious fragment of Early 19th-century map is attached to the back of the opaque glass, to be viewed through the fabricated binoculars lens I made.

 The "jewel" to occupy the center space through the lens is this fantastic multicolored beetle specimen, from a collector in the Northern Territories of Australia circa 1975.

 Testing it out under the lens, it becomes a beautiful focal point to this side of the piece. Here the bronze resin assembly has been patinated dark and as yet has not been polished to bring the metal out in the surface.

Pearls are mounted in the holes at the top and bottom and the assembly is attached to the body of the compact. 

All is left to set and dry, so I have a few days to put my thoughts elsewhere. 

I now turn back to the original clear resin panel I made right at the beginning of this project, with Maureen's baby hair embedded in it. I had fused two pieces of glass with her image, and turn to the second unused image in order to make what I think will be a companion to the neckpiece. 

Cutting away the glass I don't need with my ring saw. 

After beveling and shaping, it's ready to go. 

I settle on this very large diameter antique pie plate as the body of what I'm sure now will be a brooch.

Getting out my aggressions with the rawhide mallet.

A chamber now lies in waiting for my fused glass photo. 

A pin back is riveted in place.

In an odd lapse of routine, this is the last in-progress photo of this brooch being made... It can be seen completed via the link at the end of the post. Apologies!


 A stunning early steel engraving is chosen to occupy the niche I ground in the clay pipe.

 It was glued into a mid-19th century scrapbook - so here it is being soaked off the large page.

 Separated and ready to remove the part I need.

 Her face is mounted to the back, and a "lens" of resin gives her face a dreamy detachment.

 Turning to signing the artwork, I prepare to etch my name and date in a small recess at the bottom of the neckpiece.

 Carefully inscribing my name.

 ...and ready to be etched.

The pendant and chain complete, I rivet the leather cord into an antique key, which has been modified to become the clasp of the neckpiece. At long last, after many weeks of work, it's complete. 

Postscript: a few weeks after the piece was finished, in early May, it was presented to Maureen's daughter Felicity. I was lucky enough to be able to photograph her wearing both neckpiece and brooch - mother and daughter reflecting each others beauty.  It was a totally moving experience. The modeled photos can be seen after the detail images of the finished objects at the links below.






Thank you so much for looking!



  1. A triumph of course! Keith, your ability to make wonderful pieces from unusual and disparate objects never disappoints. Congratulations!

  2. This ash been a really moving experience for us too Kieth - watching this evolve step by careful step has been a real treat. The photos of Felicity wearing the piece are are just great - I am so glad you were able to witness that and share the culmination of your thoughtful work. It must have been quite a responsibility to be entrusted with the creation of such a personally meaningful piece. Noice!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing Keith. It's been a fascinating journey.

  4. As always, another museum quality masterpiece!
    It looks magnificent on Felicity.

    It really is such a privilege to be able to watch your work flow. Thanks so much for taking the time and effort to share it all with us.

  5. What a beautiful piece "Reflections" is and a nice story to go with it. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I have followed you for many years Keith every time you excel yourself in what you create.This one really touched me.I dont think I have any more words left to explain to you how sensational you are a true artisan.

  7. Thanks so much, everyone. It was a very meaningful time for me (and Felicity!), I'm glad that shows through...

  8. This world so needs bright lights like you and your stunning, moving work. Just breathtaking. Thanks so much for sharing your mysterious alchemy.

  9. Keith - there is a part of the soul of every person on this earth in your work. Thank you, thank you for feeding us.

  10. Wow. You are spectacular Keith. You've made something new from the old things. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. That's really fascinating Keith. A handcrafted beautiful pendant will surely makes her proud to wear those. I envy your work.

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  12. What a collection. It'e one of a kind. I only see these vintage stuff from you and only you. Its amazing.
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  13. Thank you so much for sharing your creative process! I come to your site when I need a muse. Can I ask what compound (the white stuff) you are using for your resin molds? I just started using resin and I bought some "cold mold" from Rio Grande....but mine is purple!
    Thank you again for sharing your process with the world.
    fellow jewelry builder
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