Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Hand Painted copper enamels, the revival of an 18th Century craft

As a preamble to another Halcyon Days article I'm currently working on after updating our website with some of the latest Halcyon days products as well as some of our more unusual pieces I thought I'd share some images of the production process.

1: Glass particles are milled into a solution for spraying on to the copper shape.


2: At least four coats of enamel are applied, each fired at 800°C, to build up a smooth enamel finish.



3: A transfer of the design - which may simply be an outline but often contains background colours - is applied by hand and fired. Detailed hand painting then begins and the box is fired again on completion.


4: The lid and base are set into a gilded brass mount.

Friday, 4 January 2013

More Regitze Magic


The news from George Jensen is that Regitze Overgaard is currently at work on her collections for Autumn 2013 and Spring 2014. As you've probably realised, Regitze is one of my favourite designers, and I've already waxed lyrical on her love of simplicity and her reflection of natural forms here and on Facebook. In a recent interview for the company she talked through her design process.

She believes that the power of the pieces should emanate from the metal itself, allowing it to express volume and weight; but this is balanced by the construction techniques that give it a lightness and elegance. This is exemplified in her pieces such as the Grapes Ring, Smithy Cuffs and Flower Ring. I think it's interesting that these pieces also support her recent statement about current trends: "One tendency at the moment is being brave –more people are being brave enough to wear statement pieces". She goes on to comment that she sees more people mixing old and new jewellery which has always been an approach that Georg Jensen typifies very successfully.

"First we discuss the brief for a new collection, materials, combinations etc. I start to sketch whatever I feel – often I will end up with more than a hundred sketches. Then I start to sort through the ideas and test how they work with the entire collection. Based on this, I decide on one idea.

'The sketches are then recreated, with more detail, and if there is time for it, I convert the drawing into metal – to get a three-dimensional feel for the piece. Finally, the prototype takes shape."

When asked to define her own design aesthetic she said the sticks to the defining principles of each collection, some are "classically feminine others are more Rock n' Roll" and works towards creating a synergy between the wearer and their chosen piece, all the while breathing in the history of Georg Jensen and interpreting it in her own personal way.

I actually love everything about my work and my advice will always be: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

One of her favourite designers is the architect Lene Tranberg whose Lundgaard & Tranberg practise has been responsible for the Tietgenkollegiet student residences in Copenhagen and the Royal Danish Playhouse which are considered to be among the most successful Danish buildings of the last decade.