Friday, 30 August 2013

Work Classification (Jewellery Design and Manufacture)

This is my actual job, my bread and butter and it is the thing that has occupied most of my time over the last 20 years. I enjoy it and the odd chance that I might make a tiara (my absolute passion) also exists. Not a lot needs to be said except, I make all these pieces from scratch by hand. Sometimes I design from scratch too but that is rare. Most often a client has a set or at least vague idea with a photo or two to consider or just outright copy. 

Here is a drop in the bucket of all the jewellery I have made. 

Designed and manufactured in 2011 wholly by Daniel Swanepoel in Silver with Red Cubic Zirconias.

Designed and manufactured in 2013 wholly by Daniel Swanepoel in 9ct Yellow Gold and Silver with Synthetic Spinel and Cubic Zirconias.

Manufactured in 2013 by Daniel Swanepoel from a picture but to accommodate client's Diamonds in 18ct White Gold. 

Designed and manufactured in 2013 wholly by Daniel Swanepoel in 9ct White Gold around a client's genuine Cameo and set with Diamonds. The piece can be worn alternatively as a brooch or pendant. 

Design adapted from a picture and manufactured in 2012 by Daniel Swanepoel in 18ct White Gold and set with Diamonds. 

Designed and manufactured in 2001 wholly by Daniel Swanepoel in Silver.

Designed and manufactured in 2013 wholly by Daniel Swanepoel in 9ct Yellow Gold and Silver to accommodate client's Cubic Zirconias.

Designed and manufactured in 2006 wholly by Daniel Swanepoel in Silver and set with coloured Cubic Zirconias.

Designed and manufactured in 2011 wholly by Daniel Swanepoel to client's specifications to accommodate client's Diamonds and Tanzanite in 18ct White Gold.

Designed and manufactured in 2011 wholly by Daniel Swanepoel in Silver and set with Synthetic Amethyst.

Manufactured in 2011 by Daniel Swanepoel from a picture and set with Diamonds in 18ct White Gold. 

Manufactured in 2012 by Daniel Swanepoel from a picture and set with Diamonds in 18ct Yellow and White Gold. 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Work Classification (Comic Book Art)

When it comes to producing a comic book or graphic novel one realizes very quickly that it requires a team and is almost impossible to produce fast enough and on a level of acceptable quality without two or three people working on the same project. However, the writer/story boarder/character designer is the guy with the vision. Its his project, his story, he is the producer. He directs others on the project like a brain directs the hands and eyes. 

Here follows a project I produced, some character concept designs (100% my work), some final character sketches (100% my work), some story boards (collaborative work under my supervision) and some final pages (collaborative work under my supervision). To acknowledge some people who have worked with me on this project I will mention where they have contributed.

Character concept designs done in pen.

Final design sketch done in marker pens and ball point. 

Character concept sketches done in pen. 

Final design sketch done in Copic marker and ball point pen. 

A story boarded page inclusive of the designed character, done in pen and marker by Pitshou Mampa and myself. This character has not been in a final rendered page yet. 

This concept sketch is for the head of a dragon done in pen. 

This story board done by Pitshou Mampa and myself uses the designed dragon's head. 

This "final" page meant for printing was not of good enough quality. 

This photoshop rendering by Paul Loubser was redesigned by me but still failed to satisfy. 

This photoshop by Paul Loubser came very close to what my designs required but it we never completed it.

This level of hand drawn quality only touched up in computer is still the best as far as I am concerned. Here Pitshou Mampa reached my specifications perfectly. This page was signed off for printing. 

This was the original cover design concept for the comic but it ended up not being so scary. 

This was the final cover chosen. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Work Classification (Murals)

Amongst the work I have done, I have been involved in some large scale mural painting and sign writing. These projects are normally massive and take several days to complete, lengthy planning of logistics and cost a lot not just in labour but in materials. 

In 2011 I was asked to repaint this wall with the sign writing to be redone to suit the church's new branding colours. 

The wall is far larger than you'd think. A team came in and did the base colour but the technical aspect of the lettering was my job. I was determined to do a better quality job than the one before. 

The previous job was of fair quality, considering the distance the wall was going to be viewed from but the church built a new entrance and people were now to pass within two meters of the wall as well as see it from the distant main road. 

It took 4 people 3 days to complete two layers. 

A much higher level of neatness and the new colours were far more effective. 

Another job I was involved in and this due to my interest in rock climbing, was a precarious four storey tall mural at the Scibono Educational Venue in Newtown Johannesburg in 2012. I was asked to descend on ropes to reach the parts the scaffolding couldn't, primarily to paint clouds. I had to sign all kinds of disclaimers and was scared to death every time I crossed the threshold. The project was to depict and open pit mining scene. 

See me high up in the left hand corner preparing my descent. 

Here the sky is beginning to take shape. Again, the base colour was painted by a team using the scaffolding and long rollers but the cloud details needed an artistic touch so I was asked to rope in. 

This was truly the scariest and most physically demanding job I ever did. 

I was also asked to do some of the detailed work as part of my week long contract. I was subcontracted by the artist responsible, specifically for rope work, detail technical rendering and to fill in areas of the open pit mine background. 

Some more trucks. 

The view from the top. 

Unfortunately due to Scibono copyright and the fact that I did only parts of the project, I cannot post photos of the completed wall in its entirety. 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Work Stages (Concept Development 2)

Designing a piece of jewellery also requires stages of development leading to a final work which in this case is the actual piece of jewellery and not a final painting or picture. One also begins with rough concept sketches that the client views and chooses from. these are normally derived from a discussion or even extrapolating varying ideas from many pictures on google and in magazines. Sometimes one tries to capture a mood or a symbolic message inclusive of colours or other sentimental factors. Often men's jewellery will be bulkier and mor angular with straight edges and women's will be more delicate with rounded edges and lots of detail. But these are generalizations to a degree, one needs to "read" the client and be specific to them. This is easy when they know what they want and how much they want to spend.

Rough concepts drawn in pen for a client in a few minutes building up towards the final idea as the client's desires were understood and correctly interpreted. Notice the distinct development. 

A technical schematic explaining exact widths and sizes in order for the client to clearly understand what he is going to get and to cost the piece. 

A 3D sketch is the clearest way to help a client to "see"the piece in their mind's eye as technical drawing can be confusing. This one is done in water colour and pen and took about 20 minutes to do. 

A 3D rendering of the un-set piece done in Rhino CAD for the sake of learning the program. My hand drawing goes much quicker so I never used it again. 

The final piece in silver, set with garnets can be made for around R4500. 

Sometimes the concept development goes far quicker when the client knows what she wants and perhaps comes prepared with example pictures that can just be altered to suit her specific idea. This all happened on one page combining all the aspects in a few drawings. 

The final ring of the above design.

Sometimes this is all that is required when a long standing relationship exist between jeweller and client and they come to trust your eye for design and understanding of their needs. 

The proof is in the pudding. 

This is an easy enough concept design to understand.....

...the result (slightly altered) speaks for itself. Obviously the drawing was coupled with a written quote for gold, diamonds and labour. 

We hope this blog post helps our friends, fans and clients to understand the process behind our service and product. Hopefully they will also gain a greater scope of the skill and possibilities my experience brings to the table at a cost far below standard shops.