After many months working in other areas, I've been able to get back into the studio to make my first major wearable piece of the year. It feels thrilling to be amongst my tools and materials again - with some new techniques honed in the last year to expand upon.
It starts with a tiny fork.
I've had this little fella for almost a year, and as I'm straightening up my studio to prepare to film my new online workshop, this fork stops me in my tracks and I'm sitting and working with it before I really realize it, the rest of the cleaning forgotten.
My jewelers saw gets a warm-up by piercing a 5 into it.
Next I choose a beautiful Victorian wooden shirt-stud box, which will become the scaffolding on which the piece will unfold.
As soon as the fork meets it, the fur starts flying.
One of a pair of cello bridges I've had in my stash emerges from a drawer, complete with the bone button I'd pushed into one of the openings years ago. I draw the new outline of the bridge to fit into the stud box.
Sawing the new form. Despite the yummy fit of the button, out it pops.
The bridge in place - now to give it some new detail.
The shaping comes together.
The lovely pierced shape in the center gets some quiet carving to soften the geometry.
Now the fork is split down the handle to allow for it to spread into the piece.
For the first time, I have a sense of where I'm heading, though it's open to many possibilities still.
Although I often wait until later in the game to select a title for the piece, I'm compelled to see what works at this early stage. This box contains a quarter-century of collected titles in one place.
I decide to hand engrave the lettering, then to etch it.
Almost ready to etch.
An odd design, but I think it reflects the cello bridge's curvature, so I'll go with my gut.
Now I prep the plate to be cut into shape around the etched title.
This gives me a good idea of where I'm heading.
The plate is shaped and the prongs are bent up, so they can lay over the fork handle.
Now the cello bridge has been stained and drilled to accommodate the prongs of the title plate.
In Part 2, I'll be turning my attention to the shirt-stud box itself.
See you next week!