Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jewellery play day

As madness would have it, despite having done trips to Melbourne, Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns (Melbourne again for Barry), and Perth in the past 5 weeks, with another departure appearing on Tuesday, we booked ourselves into a one-day aluminium and perspex jewellery workshop held at Cooroy Butter Factory, today.

It was run by Christine O'Reilly who is a talented metalsmith and jeweller and we had loads of fun experimenting, playing and discovering how aluminium works and reacts, and learning how to put pieces together.

I was thrilled to finish a set of earrings, complete with stainless steel threads and hand made copper rivets.  Christine taught us how to anneal, and fold the aluminium, then how to create different surface textures and then how to join the aluminium to the perspex in my case.

I created a lovely shiny folded piece of aluminium, learning how to heat the metal with a blowtorch, then pop it into water to cool, then place it in a vice to fold it, hammer it, anneal it again then pop it back in the vice to unfold it and then do it all over again!

I was pretty chuffed, going from a shiny piece of aluminium like that on the left below, to a folded piece with a lovely warm and burnished surface on the right. BTW, can you tell that my iPhone has an orange case?

The warm burnished effect comes from heating olive oil on the aluminium - I loved the warmth that it created. So then I used that piece of aluminium to cut out a few strips and attached the strips to some smoky perspex which I had cut and filed the edges on, by creating rivets from copper wire. Little copper rivets made my heart skip - delightful!

I also enjoyed beating these two little cups in a shallow hollow. Not sure what they will be or where they will go; I just wanted to see if I could shape some metal.

All in all, a great day - one where we totally immersed ourselves in creating, learning new things and the right brain just had a lovely old wallow. Tomorrow will be here soon enough for the left brain to get back in charge...


  1. Oh it looks like you've learned so much, lovely outcomes. Enjoyed reading this x

  2. How exciting! I just love those earrings you made!

  3. Hmmm...let's see...burnished aluminum + rust + paper + Fion's creativity and artistic skills = something amazing.

  4. what a wonderful kind of a "break" in between days of [left brain] non arty work; I can see lots of successful future works combining all these new techniques...

  5. Great results from what sounds like a fun day.

  6. I enjoyed tagging along to see what you've been up to. Great results!

  7. Fiona, why do I get the impression this is merely the start of something.....

  8. Hi Kathryn - I did learn so much! At first I thought I would never retain any of it; but the doing and the making helped set some of it into my brain. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by all there is out there to learn and play with!

    Thanks Louise - 'twas great excitement. I'm sitting here with my earrings on as I type!

    Ah Jennifer you're onto me! I was sitting there designing books and book covers as we went along! I hope I can and will use it again soon.

    Thanks Anna - it was a great 'break' - we both felt re-energised by it. And wow - got some excellent products as well!

    Thank you Jo - you just did some jewellery making as well hey? Such fun!

    Thanks Jane - there is so much fun to be had out there isn't there? I felt really lucky that we attended and learnt such good stuff.

    Hi Robyn - I love a vicarious visit myself! Glad you enjoyed it.

    Hmmm Lesley - well yes; I think it just might be don't you? I could see so many other ways to bring things together, and having learnt how to rivet - well so many new doors opened!

  9. there's something special about those small moons with all their detail. your metal looks so much like your other work, not surprising.

  10. What fun and you both obviously had such a fruitful day of creativity...I love your earrings!

  11. Love the little cups! And am going to take some olive oil into the studio...

  12. Dear B - thanks! They are pretty gorgeous I agree.

    Velma - yes there is mystery within them and I'm not sure what they shall become yet. No surprise at all about the look really - even my metal looks like my paper!

    Thanks for visiting and commenting Cynthia. We did have fun and I agree they're really lovely.

    Hi Stregata - thanks for stopping by! They are sweet and winsome little things, not sure what they might end up as. The olive oil is a great discovery!


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