Saturday 28 January 2012

Owl Pendant

Project: owl pendant
Materials: scrap of 3mm bamboo plywood, stainless steel
Constraints: gift has to fit into a special little box
Finishing: chamfering edges of all cut parts, gluing, waxing, attaching chain
A few years ago my mother in law started a new family Christmas tradition.  She gave each one of her children a little tin with a tiny object that she cast in silver.  Evidently, making runs in the family.  Each gift was designed to be of a specific significance to the recipient.  Ours contained a miniature version of a piece of kids’ furniture that my husband designed for a university project a couple of years earlier. 

The idea of the little tin, is that for following Christmas all the tins would be returned with a little gift inside.  We made bamboo earrings and a brooch, which didn’t get photographed.

The following year al the “children” were again presented with special little gifts inside the tins.  We opened ours to find a silver necklace based on the motif I designed for our wedding earlier that year.

This last Christmas it was out turn to fill the tin.  I decided on some sort of an owl mid November and started sketching.  I wanted the final pendant (I was informed earlier that pendants are preferred for summer, while brooches get worn in winter, and owls are adorable) to be cut out of bamboo plywood and have a polished brass inlay.

I cut a few quick prototypes from card and plastic to test size viability and proportions.  After all that work, it turned out that the fabricator wouldn’t cut brass.  A gold paint fill was a fail, so I decided on stainless steel.
The steel turned out great, but all the edges needed to be rounded off to depart from the laser cut aesthetic and create a more 3D form.  My tiny needle files didn’t make the job easy, but made it possible.  Nothing is easy with stainless steel.  The waxing brightened the wood grain and added contrast between the materials.  Scraping out the excess wax out of all the nooks and crannies was not a task for the visually impaired.

Now I want the owl for myself…

1 comment:

Catherine said...

Love it, and the Christmas tradition too

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