Jewellery is often considered precious due to the value of the materials used. Gold silver and platinum along with precision cut gemstones have become intrinsically intertwined as aspirational statements.
But without the activity and skill of the maker who manipulates these materials, transforming them into objects of value to be treasured and admired, the value in the raw material remains untapped.
While studying for my MA at the RCA I won the Platinum Prize for a necklace made using this precious material in combination with 18CT yellow gold. Due to the cost of the material the competition brief limited us to only a small amount of platinum, but I wasn’t going to allow this restriction to limit my creativity, in fact it fuelled it!
The pendant opposite is approx. 8cm wide and I achieved this large size by rolling the metal as thin as possible and then piercing it full of holes to further reduce the overall weight. But because the metal was so thin it wasn’t going to be strong enough once press formed into the dome like shape. By opening up the holes using a ring mandrel I discovered that as the edge of the hole moved perpendicular to the surface, then the strength increased dramatically!
Experimenting with materials will always return something surprising and it’s this activity that should be considered precious, regardless of the value of the material used.