Supbrooch - work in progress

There are a several recurrent themes in my work and one of them I have titled 'The Myth of the Aurora Borealis'.  I've worked on this series over the last few years and take it in hand occasionally, turn it over and examine it anew.  These pieces (like this ring) are like laboratory experiments. The ideas need to be shaken up, held over the Bunsen burner and examined in the sunlight.

For the Supbrooch exhibition (which I wrote about previously here) I decided to collide the remit of creating a brooch for a man to wear with this myth which goes something like this:

"There is an Eskimo legend which is woven around the mercurial properties of labradorite.  They say that the Northern Lights were once held captive in the rocks along the coast of Labrador.  The story goes that an Eskimo warrior found the rocks.  Using all his strength he struck the rocks with his spear.  Some of the light was set free to flicker and roam in the stratosphere but some of the light remained trapped creating the stone we call labradorite."

Supbrooch, work in progress, November 2013, Cari-Jane Hakes
I really wanted to work with a bit chunk of Whitby Jet, a material that can be found close by (where seams of fossilized wood of the Monkey Puzzle tree are exposed along the coast) however, with the deadline for the exhibition in 3 days time I had to improvise with polymer clay.

Spear detail, Supbrooch 'The Myth of the Aurora Borealis', November 2013, Cari-Jane Hakes
 On reflection, I think I would like to restring the 'watch chain' with more angular pieces of labradorite but again, I had to craft this piece from what I had to hand.

Supbrooch submission, 'The Myth of the Aurora Borealis' by Cari-Jane Hakes
This piece was a delight to create, from sanding and carving the sleek, faceted landscape to the intricacy of the architectural silver insertion to create the fracture within the rock.

Time to take some better photographs.....and find a willing male model to strike a pose!

Supbrooch, worn, November 2013, Cari-Jane Hakes