While dismantling one of my Re:Degree pieces I came across four components that were press-formed, etched and enamelled. I had turned them into rudimentary beads to include in a neckpiece and I think from the very beginning I had had some reservations about whether they belonged there. Their inclusion was borne more out of my having invested time (and money) into their creation and I felt the need to justify this by shoe-horning them into one of my degree show pieces.
Initially I just cut them off and dropped them in my scrap jar to be converted into cash, which would most likely be used to buy more materials. However, the more I’ve worked on this project the more I’ve been making myself think about the design process and what I want to do with the materials that I’m reclaiming from these Re:Degree pieces. I’ve been enjoying keeping up with jeweller Amy Tavern’s blog and she wrote about a workshop in which she was encouraging students to really engage with all aspects of design, including considering the back of the piece, and I wanted to include some of this more considered thinking into the work. Sometimes, when working on your own you miss the opportunities to actually reflect on what you are doing and stop and question yourself and your process.
These ideas made me wonder if it was possible to reclaim the silver from the components more directly and use it in the new work. Turns out it is possible to saw open a press formed shape and flatten it back out into sheet. It might make things more time consuming, but this mini-project was always meant to be abut more than just re-using the material or firing out new pieces of stock. I like to think that the metal will be carrying the memory of its past form and the past work.