Like many others who do not live within walking distance of the beach, I am taking the opportunity to work with my existing collection of found objects. I like the idea of making jewellery but also making art in the form of jewellery. Some of my finds are rusty or delicate and some hold the secrets of untold years in the sea, sent to my bit of coast from who knows where. And some of these pieces are not suitable for wearing so here they are presented as if they could be.
I am always looking for new ways of presenting the found. Some of the items that I collect are large, some are heavy and some are very small. I rarely know what I will do with an item when I pick it up, I just know that it has “something”. I am fascinated with the process by which an item enters the sea and is later washed up, altered. Hence, the things that I collect are the man-made rather than the natural and organic. They are also not conventionally pretty – no sea glass or pebbles for me! But what to do with them …. that of course is the big question.
An idea that I have had for some while, is to make pieces of art in the form of jewellery. Given the nature of the found objects that I have, they will not necessarily be worn, although they could be, but rather I liked the idea of forming the objects into the shape of necklaces or brooches or bangles. There are many talented silversmiths working with found materials be they plastic, wood, metal, or stone and when I saw a course at West Dean College, I thought I would try and learn the basics of making with eco-silver and brass.
Since my last encounter with a blow-torch (think creme brûlée) resulted in a visit to A & E, I viewed the two torches on display with a little trepidation but, I am pleased to report, no injuries ensued! Attaching tiny pieces of solder to bent wire and using the flame in a controlled way to join the two took a little practice, but I managed to produce a series of chain links to be used in conjunction with the found.
I look forward to receiving comments on these pieces from visitors to Chichester Art Trail which runs 10.30 – 5.00 on May 2,3,8,9 and 10. Anyone local who cannot make these dates, is welcome to get in touch direct with any queries.