Saturday, July 19, 2014

Food For Thought

 This brooch was made for Cristina the woman that owns a small studio in Mexico City called Taller Tierra y Plata. It is a wonderful place, I have given a class there at least once a year for the last 7 years.  It was going to be Cristina’s birthday and since her sister already knew my work, she contacted me to make a gift for her. 
Making this present for Cristina was something I was happy to do because Taller Tierra y Plata has played an important role in my professional development over the last 7 years.  At first I wasn't sure what I was going to make but Cristina’s sister gave me full artistic freedom.  So on my next trip to Mexico city I stopped in to visit Cristina at her studio and drop off some of my honey. 
While I was there I took a look around because apart from making jewelry Cristina is also a designer and potter (a good one I might add).  She always has cool contemporary designs she is working on, and one was a ceramic "molcajete" form.  Molcajetes are traditionally made out of volcanic rock, and used for making and serving salsa here in Mexico.


I liked this object a lot, and it sparked in me an idea for the piece for her.  
Here in my studio I already had a mold for the hydraulic press to make a "metate" form, which in some ways is sort of similar to a molcajete.  But I didn't really like the mold for the metate shape for this piece, so I made a new one that looked alot more like a molcajete. 
The molcajete die form is pressed out of old roofing copper.  The brown die-pressed form above it that kind of looks like escaping vapor was a sample I did some time back that has been floating around my parts bucket.  It doesn't represent something specific for me but seemed to match very nicely the theme or scene.  It could be vapor perhaps or as my father said: chocolate, or even wisps of thoughts, inspiration and ideas!  I know that Cristina also really likes to cook, so I thought the molcajete to be very fitting.
Bits and pieces before everything came together.
Just recently I got back one of my pieces from a gallery which had a round silver stamped area with a black glass button in the middle.  I liked it so much that I decided to reproduce it in this piece. 
Do you see that little black button? 
 It comes from a collection that my great grandma Castle had that got passed down to me from my maternal grandmother.  The ruler was an old ivory piece that was given to me by a friend in Mexico City, it seemed to fit the composition nicely given that Cristina is an artist and designer. Since it was already broken it was easy to modify it to fit the parameters of this brooch. 
Finished piece!
May food or what ever source fills you, lead you to your next great burst of creativity and inspiration! 

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