Okay, get ready, deep breaths, here goes…
I’m not even sure how I feel about it… Relieved and proud of myself for doing it, but… I know I can make better pieces. Whatever better is. The funny thing is that in my haste not to lose momentum, the cuff wasn’t even finished when I took the photos for the listing… but my good friend J was in town and agreed to model for me, and really, photographing someone else is a lot easier than trying to take selfies in focus.
What isn’t easy is taking product shots, apparently. I think I took some very nice photos of J and her hands, but of the cuff? Meh. I think when I’m done coating it in polyeurathane I will take new pics and swap them for the ones there. I’m pleasantly surprised how much the final coats of poly are changing the look of the piece, melding the colours and sort of flattening it, making it seem like it could almost be enameled metal.
It isn’t, of course — it’s paper. Well, the base is paper. It is built up, layer upon layer of salvaged papers, new drawings in pencil crayon and ink, watercolour washes, more layers of ink, more tiny paper embellishments, more paint, more ink, more washes… It was a very slow, sort of sculptural process, an evolution towards the finished piece. Something I’ve experimented with before in artwork and jewellery, and that I’d like to do more of. I like that I’m never too sure exactly where it’s going or how it will look when I’m done. And it’s a pleasant change of pace from the sewing work I have been focusing on lately, which requires me to definately plan my approach, measure meticulously, take no shortcuts, etc. The cuff is really more wearable art than it is functional. But actually, when is jewellery ever functional?
As for the name I gave the piece, Rhapsody:
…In ancient Greece, a rhapsody was a selection of epic poetry sung by a rhapsodist — literally a ‘stitcher’ who combined memorized passages with her own improvisations…
A pretty appropriate analogy for the way I made it – taking elements of other peoples’ work (the paper images) and combining them with my own improvisations (the hand painted motifs and washes) to create the finished piece. And I feel like there is something sort of epic about the size of it, too — this ain’t no dainty little charm bracelet!
Anyway… what do you folks think? It is very difficult for me to evaluate the listing or photographs or description on an objective level at this point, after agonizing over it for so many days. If you have any feedback whatsoever, I’d be delighted if you’d share it with me.
And J, you have got really lovely hands. Thanks again for being so photogenic and patient.