hideous, isn’t it?

Sometimes when I make replicas of things it’s not because I think the original is attractive (sometimes it is, but not always), sometimes it’s simply because the thing itself intrigues me – I want to get to know it better, or figure out how it was made. So I make one to try and work it out.

This is one of those things. I find niether the original nor my own copy pretty, as such, but I wasintrigued by how the original could be constructed, and am pleased with my experimental reconstruction

This is the original. c15th brooch

original rose

it’s not, as one might assume, a Yorkist symbol – the white rose was a common setting to show of an exceptional jewel, in this case a tourmaline, and the workmanship is thought to be french.

This is my version

my rose

I’ve used silver, rather than gold, and an ostentatiously large ruby that’s been hanging around in my stash for the last decade or so. The gold frilly bit is thin silver with gold leaf glued on.

Also, it’s big. About 2 inches tall, similar size to the original

one of the things that intrigued me was the back – you can’t solder enamel once it’s fired (you can use easy solder, but it’s not a great solution) and enamel solder is scary and unpredictable (it fluxes at almost the temperature silver melts). I made the flower in one piece, the mounts for the pin being simply pierced from the back and now hidden by the ruby. The ruby is mounted a bit like a cufflink, with pegs that fold out at the back – the gold layer is simply sandwiched between the two.

Unless I ever get to examine to original in person I’ll never know if I’ve done this right, but I’m pleased with how the result has turned out.

now I get to have fun wearing it and watch people try not to look at how ugly it is!

Ooooh, and if gareth thought the Salome necklace was hideous he’s going to go a funny colour when he sees this! Fun!

~ by opusanglicanum on July 17, 2013.

6 Responses to “hideous, isn’t it?”

  1. I remember a conversation I had with a Viking re-enactor who did silversmithing, and there was one piece he was puzzling over, because the obvious way to achieve it was provably not the one used. I often wonder how many versions he made of it, and whether he ever solved the puzzle.
    It seems to me that puzzle aspect is what makes a lot of this sort of work fun!

  2. I really like the bit about making to solve a puzzle. i think that might be something that connects our work.

  3. I’d say it was more startling than hideous…but interesting. Interesting covers a lot of situations!!

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