Underwater is a Spectacle of Life: Video by Mary Harris

If you have a love for beautiful colours and shapes – have a watch of this brilliant video, showcasing underwater life feeding and opening up their fronds. Just breathtaking and inspirational for everyone.

The Million Pound Necklace: Inside Boodles – review by Zoe Davidson.

 

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Just watched ‘The Million Pound Necklace: Inside Boodles’, a documentary showcasing the company’s process in craftsmanship and eye for detail for their most expensive, yet, high-fashion emerald necklace… And WOW the diamonds, emeralds and sapphires are unbelievable.

c940713bc0c31e455ef328501ddd6f54Seems that customer service is of top priority for their company, such as serving champagne and one on one attention whilst in their Boodles boutiques. From customer’s experience, they feel like they’re not being pressured to buy and like they are part of a “club”, a friendly charming service. The jewellery is indeed pricey, thus it is important to focus their marketing towards extra-special customers, such as celebrities like Classical Singer, Katherine Jenkins (seen left) and millionaires, to keep them in business. Marketing strategies include advertising only in a few luxury jewellery magazines, “word of mouth”, and hosting special events such as the latest, Boodle Boxing Ball, in Monaco seen in the documentary.

Katherine Jenkins looking stunning                                                                                                                           wearing Boodles Vintage Lace pieces.

Whilst all looking real good in this industry, there is a lot of risk and investment involved. The amount of effort in finding the right customers and attention to every last detail is paramount. After 2 months of making, the final emerald necklace was revealed, called “Green Fire”. The whole suite costs £2,500,000, whilst the statement necklace costs 1 million pounds, which they are still, yet, to seek a buyer.

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“Green Fire” emerald necklace worth 1 million pounds — Will you be the next buyer?

Have a watch of this video ‘The Making of a Masterpiece’ which allows the viewers inside Boodles creative process of making the intricate Vintage Lace necklace.

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My Internship at Iris Van Herpen

Well after graduating in June 2013 with great results, I immediately got emailing to apply for experience within the ‘real world’.

Capriole Collection3D printed garment, part of Carpiole Collection

For sometime I had been inspired by Haute Couture/Fashion Designer, Iris Van Herpen, with her innovative catwalk garments and futuristic designs. So I plucked up the courage to email her. To my surprise I got a positive reply and was asked to start as soon as possible in her atelier in Amsterdam. Amazing!

My first day at the studio was an extremely nerve-wrecking one, with other makers and sewers, busy, getting on with serious work. The studio was situated right next to the harbour, with a view of house boats and a great big river. I was met by Iris’s assistant who carried out a small interview and explained what I was to do within the studio. The first job, I remember, was to thread gold chain in and out holes on the sleeves of a black dress. A repetitive but quite theraputic job. Everything, I soon realised, was hand done. The amount of patience and self-motivation needed in this kind of job was essential.

Sarcopha dressSarcopha Dress with snake chain detailing on sleeves. Found on Iris’s RTW site: www.irisvanherpen.com/webshop

Months quickly passed and I soon learned how to laser-cut, as I believed this could benefit my jewellery. First we cut tiny pieces of plexi-glass, a special hard plastic, which were to be hand-sewn onto dresses. Black patent leather was cut shortly after, which we used for strap dresses, beautifully cut into intricate strips to form the pattern for a short dress. It was truly amazing. These dresses became part of the “Embossed Sounds” Collection, where garments created sounds when pressed. My computer skills on Illustrator quickly improved after drawing detailed Spec sheets and laser files. These had to be perfect. Everything had to be perfect. If not, you were told to do it again.

Strap Dress over Liquid DressLaser-cut Strap Dress over Liquid Dress

Strap Dress and Plexi Dress Strap Dress and Plexi DressStrap and Plexi-Glass Dresses in “Embossed Sounds” Womanswear collection.

We even learned how to make the outer layer of stiletto heels. Winding snake chain round heels, shaping carbon and using black pony hair was all needed to create these shows. Cut, shaving and glueing, sanding, brushing, winding. These were some one-off heels alright. Hours of precise cutting to get the most accurate horse hair fit. However, the final result was stunning. Elegant and stylish and perfect for any fashion diva looking to ‘wow’ at a special event. But these heels must’ve been over 6 inches high! Hats off to whoever can walk in them.

 Iris Van Herpen Ponyskin BootBlack Ponyskin Boots found on ODD. Style website

After becoming a master of the laser-cutter, Iris handed me the job of replicating her famous ‘Water Dress’. A large wearable sculpture made from special plastic, formed into curling waves and splashes around the wearer. Iris is a polite but driven young woman. I felt honoured to be given such a job and listened to all her guidence carefully. Using gloves and tools, I began to heat up the plastic and stretch and bend it to form these amazing shapes. It was a kind of meditation. After hours of working it began to take its form and look fluid like water. I tended to make the edges of the plastic bubble so that it would look like the sea foam found on waves.

Water DressHeat formed Water Dress found on Iris Van Herpen’s Website, part of Crystallization collection.

At the end of the day, Iris approached me and was complimentary of my pieces, saying she was nervous to give somebody this job but that I had achieved the look she wanted perfectly. She was very happy so I was happy.

I reckon the best thing about working at Iris was experiencing what it is like to work in the high-fashion industry. You do not realise how many hours and dedication is needed for this kind of job. Also, most importantly, the people you meet. We became a family and helped one another through the highs and the lows. I met individuals from all over the world: Romania, Hong Kong, Australia, Morrocco, Poland, Germany, and so on. These contacts are invaluable and will stay with me forever.

If you would like to know more about Iris Van Herpen, visit her website: http://www.irisvanherpen.com/

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Help Set My Creative Imagination Freeeeee!

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Hello there, I’m a young enthusiastic creative prosthetics jewellery designer and maker and am struggling greatly to buy the materials I  require to help me create an amazing Degree Show. So if you like my work, why not help by sponsoring me! I’ve got the skills, I’ve got the passion and the drive to make this happen, if only I had the materials to actually create my show-stoppers. For every pledge you will receive a reward and a huge thank you and all my social networking sites. Please follow the link to pledge: https://sponsorcraft.com/p/zoecreativeprostheticsjewellery/

Thank you! xxxIMG_1718 65110_237236146406399_13443744_n _MG_1674 IMG_5279

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Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) Christmas Market

I attended a Christmas Market on the 1st of December at the DCA, along with the rest of my final year jewellery class. Was a great learning curve! Organisation was definitely key for this. Thought about pricing, packaging, display and how to organise the money.

Here are some photos of us at work:

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My pieces set up

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Collaborative Alien Project: Who Are We?

Got my little butt into gear and finally plucked up the courage to ask Grant Herron (a fellow Jewellery student) about possibly collaborating as I heard he was into Film props. He was well up for it surprisingly so we went ahead and got started a couple of weeks later.

We decided to take our own interpretation on a Sci-Fi Film ‘Alien’ by Ridley Scott. Both of us thought we should create some kind of arm piece. Grant, being more experienced in electronics, designed the upper arm which consisted of small LEDs, a small rotating satellite dish and hinged parts. This is what I also wanted to learn from him. For me, well I went all out making a silicone corset forearm piece (as I’d never really played with the material before but was very keen to), a prosthetic glove with ribbed tubes and long hinged creepy fingers, all made from latex of course.

As we were both passionate about film, we discussed perhaps making a short film which would be able to present our piece on the body, moving and electronics in operation. For that we would need a storyboard:

My buddy filling in the storyboard

Here are photos from the making of our pieces:

Grant’s upper arm piece in the making. The circular piece with small tubes protruding from (right of picture) is the joint so I can allow movement like bending my elbow.

 

 

 

The satellite Grant made. Also some LED lights you were able to turn off and on.

This sequence of photographs is me attaching my prosthetic latex glove using Pros Aide glue. You can only really glue prosthetics in stages to make sure you have glued it on properly.

Still loose flapping bits of latex.

After repeatedly applying the glue all the latex should be attached to the skin with no loose parts.

Here is the whole of my lower arm piece put on. The fingers are divided into 3 and there are 2 hinged joints on each finger so they can move. The finger tips are square copper wire soldered together and I have created clear latex windows on each so light can pass through.

Below this you can see tubes extending down from the knuckles which are made from latex and copper wire and lastly the piece on the forearm is made from silicone.

The Silicone Piece

I had to create a mould in plaster to cast the silicone in. It is very weird and squishy to touch which I thought went well with the nature of this project.

The Facial Prosthetics

Just experimenting where it looks best. I thought it would look good to exaggerate the cheekbone.

Samples of prosthetics. They kind of look like slugs to me.

Attached only using the prosthetic glue. You can still see that the edges have not been blended with the skin but that comes next.

The beginning of the blending process… but you can see that later!

Here is me and Grant and a few other helpers on the set just setting and cleaning it up.

Day time

Night time

My 20th time trying to put in contacts

Final Make-up

Midnight on the set. So so cold! Kept my dressing gown on as long as possible!

Just altering a wee bit

Final arm in the dark

Movie making in process

One of the Stop Motion pictures

Final scene

Such a good experience. Think we’ll be collaborating again for our final year as I think it is good practice for the future. You can learn a lot from each other and take things a step further. For me, I want to go into Prosthetics as I see it diminishing due to Computer Aided Graphics (CGI). Yes it can be extremely useful for big things but with it, you lose that sense of actually holding and feeling the object as it is all done on computer. Some makers use it because they are just being lazy and it saves time, but some actually use it for good purpose. For instance, in The Matrix when Neo dodges the bullets, that is a good example of well-used CGI.

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Body Modifications & Prosthetics Survey

Please help me by filling out my short survey which I will use as part of my Business Plan. Thank you :-)

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WK2DB3M

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Skin Prosthetics – The Future Fashion?

I am writing a proposal investigating whether skin prosthetics will become the new fashion.

Norman Cherry’s Skin Engineering

In the near future, I wish to engineer skin tissue so I can actually create real skin prosthetics. Professor Norman Cherry has already been able to do this and medics are beginning to see its potential. It may replace Teflon and silicone  implants and is safer (due to the speculation of silicone implants being poisonous!).

We have seen Lady Gaga with her facial prosthetics and Katy Perry in her E.T music video. So If anybody is reading this post could you please comment and tell me your views?

Would you wear skin prosthetics? If so, where would you like to wear them?

- Would this be likely aimed towards Body Modification fans? Or catwalk?

- Any suggestions to how I could get this out on the market? Conventions?

- How could I make prosthetics attractive towards more people? As the form of rings and forms of jewellery?

Any comments would be beneficial and much appreciated to use as part of my proposal.

Facial Prosthetics I created
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Luminous Jellyfish

Another very experimental project, following from my Anemone Project, working with fluorescent pigments and ultra-violet light.

Again, my inspiration came from my diving background. In particular, remembering hopping off the boat to go snorkeling and as soon as I got comfortable in the water I saw, what looked like, 8 or so blueish parallel sticks standing vertically underwater. Was very odd. However, as I tried to figure out why they were standing so vertical I noticed there was some kind of clear plastic thing floating above it. I instantly realised that, from the plastic bags’ square shape, it was a Box Jellyfish. Only one of the most poisonous and deadly creatures in the world! As I hurriedly finned to the boat, I shouted “There’s a bloomin’ great big Box Jellyfish in here don’t get in!”

And knowing my dad, he thought it would be good to catch it in our cool box and bring it back to our local Yacht Club to show the kids why stinger/wet suits were so important. My dad actually got stung by one of these bad boys around the ankle.

Anyway, I love seeing how jellyfish move in the water and the different colours they come in. They tend to have luminous tendrils and things that can actually blink to both ward of predators and attract prey. I wanted to investigate ways in which to make colour glow so invested in a UV light bulb which worked wonders! By the way, if you are looking for a UV bulb do NOT get a UV Saving Lamp 75W ES that looks like this:

They might be cheap but they definitely don’t give off UV light just purple light. Just a rip off.

Get one of these Blacklight, ultra violet lamp, low energy BC/B22 Bayonet Fitting High UV light intensity 20W:

These are more expensive, at £9.50 a pop, but are worth the money.

Here are my final pieces. I want to develop this project and make hovering jewellery pieces that look like they are floating with the tide around the body. However, I was really tight with time so made them interior hanging objects.

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The Great Thing About Making Bad Decisions

Such an inspiring book. ‘Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite’ is written by Paul Arden and made me feel great about the way I work. The book lets you in on how making bad decisions can lead to surprising achievements and rewards.

It explains that your bad decisions can actually influence others, for example, in the day, high jumpers used to jump over the bar front first – almost like a forward roll. This was called the Western Roll.

However in the 1968 Mexico Olympics a guy called Dick Fosbury approached the bar but turned his back on it, flipping his legs up from behind him – beating all the other athletes by miles. This is called a Fosbury Flop and is now used by everyone.

Just shows that making a daring decision can have great impact.

“The problem with making sensible decisions is that so is everyone else”

Another really funny story is explained of an Oxford professor bathing naked in a river. He was getting out when a boat of undergraduates floated by. In sheer panic he went for his towel and wrapped it around his head. The bottom line is he would rather conceal his identity than being humiliated!

Arden points out that showing people your work is a good way in getting constructive criticism. However, do not ask them what they think about it, as they will probably say everything positive – not wanting to offend. The only way to get great constructive criticism is to ask them what is wrong with the work and give them permission to give truthful comments – accept the comments and do not fight back! This is key in developing work, amending the problems and most importantly gaining strength in what you do.

“Be your own worst critic. When things go wrong, it’s tempting to shift the blame. Don’t. Accept responsibility. People will appreciate it, and you will find out what you’re capable of.”

  

Arden illustrates that having too many ideas is not always good. You tend to become flustered and do not finish things to their utmost potential because you have something ‘better’. Maybe having fewer ideas are better so you become more focused and work harder on each of them – making the most of the ideas you have.

This book is really motivating as when I work I usually take risks, however, I’m also thinking it might be better just to go down the safer route. But a little of me thinks – “that does not get people talking about your work, it’s not exciting to be safe”. It is the same when you go into a gallery and see something full of sexual content and quite disturbing. You end up talking about it throughout the whole gallery saying how obscene it is. Even when you exit the building you tell your friends about it. TELLING THEM ABOUT IT. This is the way it has effected you. The image has remained stuck in your brain. Memorable. This is what taking risks is all about. Taking things over the edge. So yes risk-taking creatively is something I truly believe in.

Leaving on one of my favourite inspirational quotes, he concludes:

“The world is what you think of it. So think of it different and your life will change”

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