More jewellerymaking and a heatwave

Looking back on July I realize how industrious I have been with my silversmithing this period. Despite an unusually long-lasting heatwave that has been going on since the middle of May with high temperature and sustaining drought or maybe because of it, I don’t know…

Long lasting high pressure produces imposing thundery squalls This one went on northwards and didn’t give any rain where I live, unfortunately.

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I have forgotten to mention that I have actually tried blacksmithing! It is very different from the delicate silversmithing I am used to. It is hot, heavy, noisy and dirty. In May I had the opportunity to go with my son to his very good friends living in Lima in the north of Sweden.  As many in this region they have a farm that has been in the family for centuries. Keeping old traditions alive goes well along with a modern, tolerant and broad-minded lifestyle. One tradition to keep alive is blacksmithing and they have a forge which my son borrows from time to time. With some assistance from him I managed to make a hook from iron. I am proud!

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The farm with the sheep of an old Swedish breed in the foreground.

 

 

The result of my bold efforts and my son in the forge.

Now to the production this month. Nothing in textile just jewellery. The trip to Lisbon gave me new confidence in filigree, and the understanding that the seemingly impossible is not, it is just a matter of patience and determination.

 

 

Ear pendants in filigree.

 

Ring with turquoise and a pendant with Swedish blue slag, nice together with denim.

 

 

A pendant with granules and a beautiful stone called chrysocolla and a filigree pendant.

 

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A bracelet in viking chain style, the simple tools that are used is shown on the uppermost photo with the almost completed chain on the stick.

 

And finally a pendant with a sodalite and an amber ring in a more modern style. That’s all for now!

More silver, threads and yarn

It has been a while since my last post and I have been quite busy with my projects. This very long, harsh, cold and snowy winter has not inspired me to much outdoor activities I am afraid. Colourwise it is a grey time. Note that the photo above is a colour photo. Winter is not my favourite season but nestling indoors gives me plenty of time for crafts making. Which is a good thing!

One week now in March there was a blizzard that lasted  several days on end. In the heavy snowfall I found this little creature on my balcony.  The squirrel seemed to be searching for something to eat among my frozen plants, poor little fellow.

 

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From my little silversmithing workshop: a filigree pendant with knitted thread chain. Handmade lock and finding.

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The chain is made of fine silver thread 28 gauge (0,32 mm) and the other parts are sterling silver.

These are the simple tools you need  to make a knitted chain:

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I will later show more in detail how you make it. The pin with copper thread allows you to start the knitting. The draw plate with holes in various sizes is used to smooth the chain and make it straight and even when knitted. It is funny and not very difficult.

The lock and chain fitting was more complicated for me. First I fastened a ring one cm in to the chain. A tiny cylinder with a top on one side was soldered with a hole drilled in it. The ring was flattened and chain with ring pulled in to the cylinder, flattened ring through the hole. Last step was to widen the flattened ring to a loop. The clasp is a simple s-shape, but it works very well. Not simple to describe in words but a photo will do better I hope:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

IMG_20180320_111726_078I have paid a new visit to the art museum Waldemarsudde which seems to  be the current leading museum of modern textile in Stockholm. There I saw some wonderful tiny silk embroideries by Suzy Strindberg “Fine threads”. She gets her inspiration from nature and here is a motif from autumn. The size is about 10 x 15 cm.

I also have to say a few words about the exhibition  “Sigrid Hjertén- A Masterly Colourist”. She had her breakthrough in the 1930:s but in my view her best paintings were made at the end of her life when she sadly suffered from mental illness. The colours are breathtaking and reminds me of van Gogh. It you have ever seen his paintings in real life you will never forget it. It amuses me to learn that Sigrid Hjertén started her career as a textile artist. I think that textile trains  your sense of colours because textile colours have a special glow.

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Next project has taken unbelievable many hours to complete. It is a cushion with a needlepoint embroidery combined with rya technique. This is something I have planned for a long time to do. I wanted to stitch a motif with flowers in bright light with a dark background. Around it I wanted a more fluffy texture in rya technique in colours from nature. Step one : I bought a nice bunch of tulips and took a photo of it in the evening with electrical light to obtain the natural dark backdrop. Then I processed  it in  an app that made it look like a painting. It reduced the amount of shades and stylized it. Step two: make a rough pencil sketch with contours on the canvas and select the colours of yarn that I wanted.

 

 

I prefer to stitch directly from the  processed photo which I had on my tablet. It took many hours to complete but I was quite pleased with the result. Next step was the rya knotting. I bought a lovely grey yarn from Gotland and added colours from the embroidery. The rya knots were made on a fabric called aida tissue.

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Another period of patient and industrious work and finally, it was done! The only remaining steps were to mount the embroidery on to the aida fabric with miniscule stitches, and cut the rya in a relief pattern. Then sow a backing of my favourite grey felt fabric called “vadmal”. Upholstering it with a down pillow and it ended up as a cushion that has its unique look, quite what I wanted.

 

 

 

 

 

The last photo is of my cushion in the promising bright late winter sunshine. After all, spring is around the corner. Hope you got some inspiration from this to your own projects!

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