Orbital Lamp Planning

This is a post to beg for input on some electronics/lighting, an area I’m really not confident in! It’s to make a feature lamp for a stairwell.

Location

Hanging from the interestingly-shaped ceiling above the landing of a two-flight set of stairs. General surroundings: white walls and balustrade, oak banister, red and biscuit carpets, oak skirting boards and doors. Other lighting is ‘warm white’ diffused LED panels in the ceilings.

The inspiration

Concentric wooden hoops hanging at odd angles, suspended with cords/wire and with diffused LED strips inside. Delicate and elegant.

Brief

We’ve got some lovely wooden hoops, but we need to find the right lighting!
  • 3 x LED strips of different lengths
  • Warm white lighting
  • Diffused!
  • Flexible
  • Power via thin cables
We can add a box to hide transformers against the ceiling, but the hoops themselves should be as slim and elegant as possible.

Details

The strips could be broad, and cover the inside surface of a single ring (left), or be narrow, throw light sideways, and sandwiched between the two parts of the embroidery hoop (right).
Got an idea or recommendation for what we should use or search fore, please, please let me know, thanks! <3

Commission: Crystal Wedding Rings

This was a really wonderful commission, by two friends about to get married – one a mathematician, one a geologist. We brainstormed together to design a pair of unusual, crystalline rings, delicate and wild, informal but geometric. Cast in platinum, the final pieces are weighty and angular but smooth inside and slim enough to wear comfortably.
Hers nestles neatly around the engagement ring’s salt-and-pepper diamond with a geode-like crystalline hollow.

Commission – Fish cuff

An cunky, easy-to-wear cuff bangle. Pierced from thick sterling silver sheet, beveled and hammer-textured.

An infuriatingly tricky piece to cut out, but persevering paid off. Also I really wanted to combine the fish with a watery hammered texture, and I’m delighted with how it came out.

Inktober 2017

If you haven’t heard of Inktober, it’s a yearly challenge project to create an ink drawing for every day in October. I decided to give it a go this year, inspired by Lucy Bellwood’s 100 Demon Dialogues project. I liked the idea of using the structure and limits to improve my drawing skills, and added the additional challenge of foregoing pencil sketches and drawing without any guides. I cut up the papers and added the frames and captions in advance, then carried a small bag with the supplies around with me and tried to draw every day. For all but the cupcakes picture I used photographic references, mostly from Arkive.org‘s wonderful library.

The experience was pretty great. I enjoyed the discipline, the steadily growing accumulation of completed drawings, and how much I feel my skills improved from first to last. In fact, I enjoyed having a ‘daily’ project so much I started another one promptly in November! For now, here’s a collection of snaps of my Inktober 2017.

Rope wedding ring

A white gold wedding ring, sculpted in the likeness of a stout and steadfast mooring rope. The client is one of my favourite people to work with, and I was beyond delighted to see that she also wore one of my dragons on her special day.

With her generous permission I’m able to make sterling silver versions of this ring available in my Etsy shop, and other sizes and styles are available.

Buy on Etsy

Biggles the Destroyer

Portrait of a noble and distinguished pupper: Biggles the Destroyer. This photograph was an absolute delight to work from.
India ink with a dip-pen over a pencil sketch on bristol board, then coloured using Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolours, which I cannot recommend highly enough.

Nikki’s Dragon

A lovely commission, to create a medallion-style pendant for a dragon lover.

Cast from a wax sculpture made using my new Wolf wax carving tools. It was an absolute delight to have 18 diverse and well-made tools on hand for whatever type of cut or scrape I needed. I’m looking forward to many more sculptures using them.

The final dragon is a little hefty at around 16g of sterling silver, even with the smooth, hollowed underside. Available from my Etsy Shop.

I will also be making bronze versions – let me know via etsy or the contact form if you’d like to be notified when they’re available.

Leather pincushion and sheath

Experiments with wet-moulding leather, using pricking irons and stitching with proper waxed cord.

I’ve been using a jury-rigged back-of-the-hand pincushion for many years, and finally decided to make a proper one. The dome is wet-moulded – stretched over a thermoplastic form and stapled down to a piece of scrap wood. Once it was completely dry I was surprised by how strong then resulting dome was. The punched holes are backed with a piece of linen, and the dome is stuffed with synthetic stuffing fluff. Using pricking irons to make the holes made life a lot easier than last time I did any leatherwork, and doing proper saddle-stitching with waxed cord was also a revelation.

I was concerned that it would be annoying to find the holes when replacing a pin, but I haven’t had any trouble, and the pincushion is very comfortable and convenient to use.

The second piece here is a sheath for the knife I made at a Green Wood Guild workshop, which includes a wooden liner tray to stop the blade cutting straight through the sheath. Cling film to prevent rusting from the wet leather and a LOT of clamps made the exercise pretty straightforward.

Pirate Portrait – Emma and Ben

A really fun (if slightly infuriating) commission – to create an artwork featuring two wonderfully deranged pirates in full (and I mean full) costume. Seriously, I think they’ve got at least two guns and three blades each, not to mention all the straps, strings, parrots, hats, buttons, compasses, buckles and so on… Based on a photograph and taking style hints from a Deadpool poster, this is made with india ink and watercolours on bristol board. Also there’s a hint of metallic sparkle where appropriate.