Monday, 4 November 2013

Final Work Showcase 2 (Liz Loubser Exhibition Earrings)

I was invited to take part in this exhibit. I'd like to thank Liz Loubser and her team for this awesome opportunity and exposure. 

These were my entry named "Bubbles", after my mom's nickname, for obvious reasons. beads wear strung on copper wire to create the top and bottom components, then cast in solid silver. They were joined by loose hanging ball chain and a pin with butterfly catches added at the back of the top. They hang at approximately 6cm. 

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Final Work Showcase 1 (White Gold and Diamond Engagement Ring)

In these posts I will merely feature individual pieces that I think exemplify my talent best. 

9ct White Gold Engagement Ring set with Diamonds. 

Work Classification (Poetry)

Yes, I do write poetry but I do not consider it to be a phenomenon.

From the child in me to the child in you

I drove past your house
I did everyday
I asked my driver to stop
I wanted to play

He knocked on your door
Your parents weren't home
You never answered
And left me alone

I drove past your house
I did every day
I stopped my own car
Wondered what you would say

I sent you a message
You sent me one back
Your girlfriend was there
I returned to my track

I drove past your house
Perchance this time round
I looked down the driveway
Remembering old sounds

I thought and I cried
I miss my old friends
I hoped they were well
As it all had to end

I do however consider myself to be a good creative writer/storyteller. That Is where my "doll" blog comes in as a massive fairy tale that I love to write and share. 

Check it out for yourself.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Media (Precious Stones and Metals)

As a jeweller it should be obvious that the media I use more often than any other would be precious metals and gemstones. There is a far greater variety of materials for a jeweller to work with than one might expect. Different coloured gold alloys, coloured gems and several not so traditional materials like wood and even plastic are all possible as successful jewellery elements. 

Gold and Diamonds

The most obvious and also most classic and spectacular medium remains the traditional gold and diamonds. The most often "variant" that one encounters here would be the options of white gold alloys and platinum.

There is nothing more classic than the combination of a white metal and a diamond.

Typically the most commonly accepted form of gold is in its standard, naturally occurring yellow colour. 

White and yellow gold successfully combine in a single jewellery piece as well. 

In this traditional sphere, the adding of traditionally accepted precious stones like Sapphire, Emerald, Ruby and Pearl are also often used materials. in these photos above we can see a sapphire at left and rubies at right.

Silver and Precious Stones

Silver is far more common and cheaper than gold but not cheap outright. It also qualifies as a noble metal and its "white" colour makes it far more versatile than the limited yellow colour of traditional gold. Contrary to some popular myths, diamonds may and can be set in silver with no adverse results. The rose ring pictured here is set with a diamond.

Silver may be polished gloss or be textured and combines easily with any coloured stone whether genuine or synthetic. 

Here, very rough worked silver sections is combined with uncut Tourmaline crystals. 

Silver and Synthetic Stones

Due to silver's low cost it is far more accessable in large quantities and thus allows for "bigger"and more austentatious jewels. If you combine it with synthetic stones, the effect can me quite spectacular and at a very reasonable price like in this tiara above.

The necklace is set with coloured Cubic Zirconias. When using silver, most of the client's budget can go to craftsmanship rather than a gram or two of gold.

Gold and Silver Combined

Gold may be combined with silver and then allows for a budget to be stretched with amazing results. This ring uses gold, silver and synthetic stones. 

Silver may also be oxidized allowing for a "blackened" effect that is impossible with white gold. The stones in this ring are Tanzanite and diamonds. 

Other Materials

Many other materials may be combined with the more traditional jewellery materials. I have use many innovative materials ranging from wood to liquid filled vials. Here follows some of the more "professional" options.

The dark blue stripe in this ring is resin enamel.

The red patches in these cuff links are perpex. 

The beads in the chain are glass, the wings of the scarab are resin enamel and the rest is silver, a blue Cubic Zirconia and a genuine Lapis Lazuli Scarab. 

The necklace is made of rubber. 

Monday, 14 October 2013

Work Stages (Design Inspiration 2)

It must be partly due to my grandfather's influence as he was a great fan of the grace and beauty of swans and also because of the obvious fact that our surname is Swanepoel (loosely translated to Pool of Swans), that I too am very inspired by swans in general. You will find me always doodling, whenever I am sitting in conversation or when needing to relax with a sketch pad. Inevitably the first things flowing from my pen will be either a crown, or wings or swans. 

My most recent swan "doodle", done in Oct 2013, involves the idea of combining a swan with the mythical concept of the phoenix. This will make a great tattoo or perhaps could become a neckpiece.

Done around 2003, this copy of a rough ballpoint pen sketch was inspired as part of my comic book project. 

This A2 pencil sketch was done in  2012 as a full drawing meant to tell the story of how our actions, whether graceful or not, have a ripple effect that can be far reaching into our lives. 

Different swan inspirations of which the top is a pre-sketch for a digital painting, the middle is an idea for a personal monogram that includes the letters "D" and "S" and the bottom one could end up being a jewellery piece like a brooch. 

My personal monogram/logo design has the obvious swan as the main theme coupled with the letters "S" and "D". It also includes a Royal Crown and lightning bolts, both symbols very dear to my heart.

The swan as one of my greatest inspirations had no other option other than to be included in what I, as a jeweller consider to be the apex jewellery piece, the tiara.  

These ideas are meant to represent hairpin tops. the swan and eagle motifs are obvious.  

One of many swan tiara ideas. 

This is one of my favourite tiara concepts.... can be seen here in the original drawing where it first manifested. 


...and more.

This was one of the most comprehensive designs I ever embarked on and even included full cost of manufacture as can be seen in the photo. It was completed somewhere in 2003 but never manufactured as a piece of jewellery. 

This is my latest design for a swan tiara and is almost complete as an idea. I love the idea of a swan taking off into flight from a body of water. It is often forgotten that swans can fly. I like expressing the hidden aspects of swans, not just their obvious graces. 

I would really like the opportunity to make one of these tiaras one day, cost permitting. 

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Collection of Work (My Best Work Since 2005)

Here follows a gallery of what I consider to be my best work for the last 8years.

18ct White Gold and Diamond Ring 2013

A3 Pencil Drawing 2007

Silver "Sphere"Ring 2010

Digital Painting 2013

Acrylic Painting 2011

Silver Holy Spirit Ring 2011

9ct White Gold and Diamond Cameo Pendant Brooch 2013

Water Colour, Marker Pen and Ball Point Pen A3 Sketch 2007

Icicle Tiara in 1\6th scale 2010

Silver and Red Cubic, DNA Neckpiece and Earrings 2011

Silver and Garnet Thunder Ring 2007

Flaming Skull Digital Painting in Microsoft Paint 2013

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Media (Digital Art 1)

I have recently discovered digital art but only on the level of Microsoft Paint and a very rudimentary exposure to the free online program GIMP. I love digital art and wish I could afford a proper rendering program and a course in utilizing it. One of the aspects of digital art that I really appreciate is that you can upload any of your "real" art or even a doodle and work it further ad infinitum in digital. This allows for even the oldest or most arbitrary scribble to be photographed with your phone and then to be worked into the phenomenal piece it was meant to be. I also appreciate the process as you can save at every pivotal junction leaving a series of artwork as the art develops. Lets see what I mean in visual by looking at some of my digital attempts. 

In my Spanish dance digital project already blogged before I reached several significant juncture of this was one. the picture evolved from a pen and ink sketch into the final artwork that I sold to a paying client. 

This was the final product. 

After the sale I decided that I'd like a full length version. This is its current state and as far as I'm concerned its not finished. this is the wonder of digital. you can keep going and save at any stage, leading to many different artworks.  

I often doodle, especially in ballpoint pen, my favourite medium. Digital allows me to use my phone camera to take these doodles to a much further level. 

This pen drawing was destined to be turned into a digital artwork. 

The digital rendering of the lion done in pen seems more like a real painting now. 

This artwork is one of my favourites. It started as an acrylic painting. I hate acrylics and gave up even though I loved the concept. So my Blackberry camera and MS Paint and GIMP came to the rescue. I loved doing it. 

Digital really is the future, but don't think lack of skill for actual art principles will help you if you can only work the program. You must still be a real artist, digital is just a tool.