Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Exploring Jewelry: Works of fiction

Remember back when I used to end each post with a quote? Yeah, me neither.

A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction. Oscar Wilde

So, I have recently become obsessed with cameos. For those of you who don't know, cameo is actually a method of carving. Specifically, it is carving a raised image into a multilayer material. I am told the opposite of cameo is intaglio. In the jewelry world, when you say cameo most of us think of a carving of a Victorian woman's head. But, it can actually be any carving - even large scale such as vases or art installations.

Now, I can't carve to save my life so when I wanted to create my own cameos I had to cheat. Step one was to borrow a cameo from a friend (strangely not a true cameo as it is all one solid material).


Loved (and love) this piece, but because it is solid black, it is very difficult to see the details. So, step two was to make a mold.


An early foray of mine into moldmaking, you can see I used way to much material - my container was too big. I have since learned better.


My next step was to use resin to fake a cameo - multilayered, but definitely NOT carved. Did you notice that I chose not to cast the frame? By leaving this out I can go with a simpler look, or I could choose to add a different frame in a new style.


I loved it so I made another - and several more since. The face on this cameo is so deep/thick that it just really stands out beautifully in the two tones. And the color possibilities are endless. I added a simple glue on bale to this one to make a minimalist pendant. Oh, and I used silver Sharpie to color the outside edge to make it look like it has a metal bezel.


Next up was a couple of commercial cameo molds. I have to admit, I was spoiled by how deep the mold I made was. Getting that first layer of resin to be just in the head area of the new molds was hard! The shoulders especially tended to spill over. The other commercial mold I got(not shown) had a pony tail - OH MY GOSH WAS THAT A PAIN!


Before you decide I have gone totally off my rocker in posting a picture of a silver earring in a post about cameos, stay with me for a sec...





Take a thrift store earring with no mate (which is actually sterling - score!), add an oval bead picked up in a bag of seconds, and suddenly (or actually about a week and a half later after the pouring, curing, gluing, more pouring, more curing...) you have a flower cameo! And again, since I am making these myself, I can do any color combination I want to match my jewelry design!

I am planning for my next foray into cameos to be one I actually carve myself in wax. Then I will make a mold and make lots and lots out of resin! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!
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