Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Finished - The Dawn Chorus

The Dawn Chorus, worn, July 2013, Cari-Jane Hakes
These pieces that take about a week to build, are a test.  I push the limits of my skills.  Taking up my piercing saw, when I started the delicate sawing of the silver sheet that formed the bird silhouette I pushed the limits of slenderness and soldering.  Too much heat applied in the wrong place could have melted the delicate connections of twig and leaf.  I've done it before where many hours of work have been rendered useless by the immutable melting point of silver.  Solid sheet shrivels up into a liquid ball.  It is fascinating and devastating in equal measure.

Dawn Chorus, hand forged chain and closure, July 2013, Cari-Jane Hakes
On a piece such as this, a bespoke, handmade chain was demanded.  I set to work forging 2mm silver rod into an undulating series of links and turns.  It needed to have a certain fluidity about it, musical. lilting as if floating out of the little singing birds beak.

Dawn Chorus, detail, July 2013, Cari-Jane Hakes
And woven into all of this is the first verse of Emily Dickinson's poem, Hope,

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune - without the words
And never stops at all

These big pieces are declarations.  The amount of time and the investment of materials is huge.  I make them to prove that I can. I make them surrounded by all the pressing demands that are part of being a woman who works, who also has a family that depends on her and needs her.  And in all of this, I am hopeful.  In all of this I am grateful.

Detail to back, recycled silver and pearl, July 2013, Cari-Jane Hakes
To see work in progress on the piece, click here.


  1. Beautiful result, Cari-Jane... the chain is such a wonderful continuation of the pendant IMHO.

  2. How incredibly beautiful Cari-jane. You are hugely talented!

  3. This is lovely! I hope it finds a buyer soon, you can tell at the detail of it that it's a very special item, I'm sure someone will love it :)


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