Miriam Jones

Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University

Course: National Diploma, Design Crafts

Title: Necklace

Description: Using the Shannongrove shape within samples, combining materials, and experimenting with mark making in brass

Inspiration:  Mold Gold capeShannongrove gorget

Project blog: cinba3ddesign.wordpress.com

The inspiration behind the final neckpiece was neckwear such as the Shannongrove gorget (neck collar) and the Mold gold cape.These were worn during the Bronze Age by individuals to showcase status and importance. I realized that today in modern society, this notion still exists, with only the rich and wealthy able to afford and wear valuable and expensive jewellery, again to showcase status within society.

I came up with the idea of a detachable necklace, where you could build up your status by hooking various layers of metal onto the plastic if you wish, to add colour and pattern to the neckpiece. By creating various layers inspired from patterns and swirls of the Bronze Age this added variety to the final piece, and the use of material such as plastic made it contemporary.

I experimented a lot on the fly press, where I would put mundane objects such as nails, ball bearings and hooks to indent onto the metal when hit by the force of the fly press. I discovered that the most successful pattern was made by farming hooks, taped onto the back of the metal with masking tape, along with ball bearings, using thin sheets of brass, which made the indent more prominent. I also pierced some elements out with a piercing saw, and oxidised copper to give variety and contrast in colour.

It took me a few attempts to perfect the mechanism for the detachable necklace; what worked best was laser cutting hooks that looked like decoration on the black plastic, placing it in the oven to soften the material in order to push two hooks out to perform as hooks to slot the metal onto the plastic, but also trying to get them to look as a part of the necklace.