Thursday, May 23, 2013

Orchids, Hydrangeas and Vintage Pearls

I am always really honoured when someone chooses me to make a piece of jewellery to commemorate a special occasion.  The responsibility of that honour rests with a palpable pressure on me as I make these pieces.  The pressure is good.  It gives the work an edge.  It means that 'good enough' is NOT good enough and pushes me to look for perfection in every tiny detail.

I also consider the faith that the person, who commissions the piece, has in me.  I am often someone they have never met.  They see my work and they ask me to make something special for themselves or for them to give to someone special.  Of course, it would be much easier for them to just pop out to the shops and buy something ready made.

I owe my business to that fact that they do not.

And for this, I am truly thankful.  It means I get to make beautiful things like this:

Hydrangea petal print and vintage pearl detail, May 2013, Cari-Jane Hakes
Creating these roll printed textures can sometimes be a bit hit and miss.  With silver sheet so expensive these days, mistakes are expensive.  I will always do a test roll on a smaller piece of metal first to test the pressure; but this isn't always foolproof.  A bigger piece of metal often produces more of a drag on the rollers and then you are stuck, half way through a print, with no momentum to go forwards!

That didn't happen with this piece.  The petals veins and intricate cul-de-sacs left their beautiful impression; as it popped out on the other side of the roller I knew it was a perfect print.

Orchid detail to rear of the 'locket', detail, May 2013, Cari-Jane Hakes
This commission called for a little extra detail to be added around the side wall of the 'locket'.  I couldn't stamp into the fine silver bezel that is bent over the perspex lens that holds the photograph in place.  The bezel is a more pure silver and therefore very pliable.  Stamping letters and numbers into it would squash it out of shape.  And so, I created a ring of 0.7mm sterling silver that slotted into place around the 'locket's' bail at the top.

Hand stamped detail to edge, May 2013, Cari-Jane Hakes
Elsewhere today, some Scottish bracken got put through the rolling mill.  It came out the other side a little worse for wear but the impression it left was delicate and magical.  More on that tomorrow mes amis!


  1. This is simply breath-taking! Your attention to detail is what made me approach you about our little project, can't wait to hear about it :)

    1. Thank you Laura...just popped some photos on the email for you to look at!


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