Today, we had to give a short powerpoint presentation on the work we had done so far for Partnerships, Networks and Connections and our plans for its completion.
So first, i’ll show you the powerpoint and then i’ll ramble on about how i felt about the feedback and what i’m going to do with my plans!
Hi, I’m Chloe… and I’m a jeweller! Our project is focusing on researching into a specific jeweller, learning about the wider world of jewellery out there and then devloping a piece of jewellery based on that.
This is a little sketch of the design I have been working with. I’m happy with the essentials of the design, but I still want to tweek the aesthetics a little bit, ie. in the end it probably wont be a heart shape and will have more decorative features on the exterior, and it might not even be a pendant! The basic structure is similar to a locket, but with two hinged doors instead of one. Inside is a piece of paper written with a hidden message, when the doors are opened for the first time a little bag, that is attached to the hooks inside bursts and dispels, what is at the moment, an unknown liquid onto the paper revealing the message written there. My original plan was to use the chemical components for disappearing ink, however they are more corrosive than I had been led to believe so are therefore, naturally, unsuitable for jewellery! So at present I am still experimenting with invisible ink materials, but there is a type of ink that a mixture of baking soda and water makes disappear which might be the winning formula! So, this piece of jewellery is not only conceptual as it features an ephemeral moment, it is also a piece of keepsake jewellery a reminder of that moment in time and it becomes an empty vessel for the wearer to fill with their own moments.
My design is inspired by the jeweller I was given to research into. I think Jonathan Boyd was chosen for me because of my obvious affinity with words within the last project.
Jonathan is a Glasgow School of Art jewellery graduate and has recently completed an MA in jewellery and metal design at the RCA. Like me he is interested in words and language and his work reflects that. He looks at connecting the written word with the body and does so by encompassing the tools and creations of wordsmiths into his work.
Here are a few examples of his jewellery work. The letters that you see are all cast into either random blobs to represent ink splatters like the ones on the left or into more uniform shapes like the one on the right that captures snippets of conversation.
And a few more examples.
These hidden message wedding bands have been the main source of inspiration for my own design.
As you can see the rings appear like normal wedding bands when closed, but when opened they reveal a message that is hidden from the rest of the world. I really love these rings, both their simple aesthetics and the concept, which is one I have chosen to emanate within my own work.
I went on to research into hidden message jewellery, and kinda realised there was a lot of it out there already, but I was driven enough to conceive my own design. It took a while for that spark to hit, I doodled away trying to come up with ideas, and it wasn’t until after a tutorial conversation and an influence creeping over from my other module Taking Time: Exploring Ephemeral Practices, I came up with my idea.
At the moment I am keen to get into the workshop and start making my piece, but that still leaves time for me to think about the appearance of the outside of the locket and although I want to keep it quite simple like Jonathan Boyd’s work, I also fancy adding another little layer of hidden meaning into it, and for this I have been looking at Victorian jewellery as they liked to hide messages in their pieces using symbolism.
So, I have a lot of work to do! Thanks for listening and any comments would be epically appreciated.
So………. that was my presenation. For the full experience imagine it is being read out very very quickly by a shy nervous girl hiding behind a computer screen!
After the presentation we got some actual feedback.
Immediately after coming out of the feedback i was rather disheartened… the teenage girl inside me who just wants every one to like her and think everything she does is awesome wanted to run back home, leap onto her bed and cry away into her fluffy heart-shaped pillow!
However, the more adult (hahaha i just called myself an adult ha!) me took some to reflect on the feedback and came to realise how she actually felt about it!
Basically the main point was that my idea already exsisted… well kind of. The locket it’s self seemed “obvious” and the heart shape was “twee” however i did forget to mention that the heart was merely illustration and i was thinking either going for a more anatomical heart shape or something else… so as soon as i said that the atmosphere became more positive. The actual mechanisms, with the dispersal of a liquid to reveal a hidden message, seemed to be well recieved and i think it was the actual aesthetics of my plan that were not up to a “unique” standard.
That got me thinking. The university seems to have quite high standards when it comes to unique thought and original ideas, this project is all about making us aware of what already exsists out there and therefore how we should strive to invent our own unique and original things. I’m not criticising that, i think it’s great that the uni is pushing us to discover new avenues and extend our bounderies to create new and wonderful things. However, at this point in our world it is becoming increasingly hard to come up with original thought, especially within the creative industrys. Nothing is new. Everything is just a variation on an old idea. Fashion is a great example of this, we go back in time instead of forward because it is rare for a new and original thing to be thought up.
This project has helped me see that although my idea, and idea that i was really quite excited about before going into my presentation and am now unsure about because of it, may already kind of exist out there already in other forms, it is still unique to me…. and you might say wait a minute this project is trying to teach you to be aware that it exists already out there and you need to work around it, well i’ll just come right back at you and say yup! i know that. i am working around it. my idea is unique. there are unique factors in it. okay i didn’t event the locket. i didn’t event secret message jewellery. but i did come up with a locket that reveals a secret message using invisible ink. nobody else did that. i googled it. it’s just me. my idea is exciting. i am excited by it.
Hrmmm….. am i just justifying this to myself because i don’t want to be pigeon-holed into making the uni look awesome because i have come up with something totally unique and amazing because i am so amazing that nobody else has ever thought of something is unique and amazing…. and well i’m not ready to give up this idea that is unique to me and a unique enough variation on those pre-exsisting ideas that i can still make it and not feel guility? Wait…. why should i feel guilty? I googled it, my idea is pretty unique! I’m not plagerising anyone…. well…. maybe whoever invented the locket….. but what jeweller hasn’t done that?!
Your thoughts, as ever, would be wonderfully fantastically amazingly awesome and very much appreciated!