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Organic Inspirations….

Lately the inspiration for my jewellery has turned toward a more tribal and organic direction, probably because of the choice of clay I am using  – Buff Raku Trachyte (BRT). I first began using this clay during my honours year at University, making wheelthrown sculptural pieces such as this:

BRT is a very textured, finely gritted clay with a high trachyte content. The trachyte melts at stoneware temperature to form little sparkly highlights in the clay- photographic images do not show this feature off to its full justice.

As a textured clay throwing with it on the wheel was and is quite a challenging task. Usually I wear rubber gloves to centre and do the initial opening, then take the gloves off for forming and shaping.

To hand-build with, though, it has a satisfying textural feel. While glaze can be applied to BRT, I mostly prefer to leave it unglazed – for me the whole point is to showcase the actual clay body.

The image below shows some finished jewellery pieces I have made, most of which feature leather thong, as this too is also tribal and organic.

One necklace in this picture, though, is made of white clay and glazed in a stoneware glaze – a very organic glaze that I am also partial to at the moment. The glaze is brown, but features flecks of red to orange to black – giving it great tonal variation. I have incorporated wooden beads into this necklace also which I think gives it another layer of aesthetic interest and visual depth.

Of these new pieces, two have been listed on my Etsy store : a bracelet…

 and a necklace…

The discs forming this necklace have actually been made by lightly wedging the BRT with a white raku clay to give a marbled appearance.

I hope to add these earrings within the next day or two…

I have more beads that I have not yet made into jewellery as yet, and more unfired beads in the studio, so there will be more organic jewellery on the way!!

Remember if you would like a piece custom made, just send me a message 🙂

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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.