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The first piece that is ready, is quite correctly 'Yn Barod', meaning 'ready'. Serendipity.

There will be a couple of variants of these. It makes me properly happy, it ('yn barod') feels great!

First look here. Let me know your thoughts!

Lydia@niziblian.com



Gwybod (goo-bod) means 'to know'. I like the word very much indeed, it feels nice to say. Having said that, it gives me a kind of creepy feeling. Maybe it's the drawn out 'oooo', but it's a Halloweeny kind of word to me. Happy/scary/heavy word! It instantly made me think of a pouch, or a pursed mouth. A puckered, drawn ring with a bag behind it. Initially, to try and get ideas of shape out there, I made a wire mock up around a ring, seeing what it did when twisted and pouched out. It gave me the 'gwy' without the 'bod'!


Testing for 'Gwybod'

Test piece, getting the feel for 'gwybod'. It was no good, I wanted a hollow form. I kept seeing what I can only describe as an egg shape with a mouth. I also wanted to give it a creepy character. Hmmm.


I considered casting as an option, but wasn't sure how to physically make the object. After consulting with the ever-patient and fabulous Black Arts Lost Wax Casting I discovered that, in theory a hollow piece could be cast if it's thickness was sufficient and there were openings. I knew I wanted 4 openings (more on those in another post). I got a quail's egg (I already, somewhat inexplicably, had quail eggs I had blown clean), and destroying only one pyrex bowl and the patience of my husband, began coating it in molten casting wax. In the end, I had something that looked fit for a sci-fi film that weighed roughly 8 metric tonnes. I may be exaggerating, but only very slightly. I carved away excess wax, boring holes where I needed them, and making a rough 'lip' around the 'gwybod' hole. I wanted the finished piece to be heavy, so didn't take it down too much.


Wax in progress

Eggleton egg. Pre-finishing for the caster.


Wax in progress

I wanted a kind of 'spun' finish to it, so I could play with patinas when finished. Now you can fast forward all the nail-biting and see what came back from the casters today! They will need finishing, and patination. I got one silver which weighs in at a stupendous 100g, and a few brass to allow me to experiment. What you don't know is there will be an excellent 'surprise' in the final piece. Actually a couple. At the start of this project, I wanted one of the pieces to have more than one word associated with it, so I could change the look, and the literal translation of the piece. This is the one. The finished piece will have two removeable pieces, which can be added or removed. Each piece representing a different word. More on that as they materialise! Here are the brass and silver casts, pre-finishing. That's next week's job!






I love them! I can't wait to get finished and experiment with patinas. If the plan succeeds, I'm hoping the finished piece will be able to be worn as Gwybod (know), Gwybod Popeth (know everything) and Gwybod Dim (know nothing). I hope I've got the Welsh right, my Welsh learning has slowed done to amost nothing at the moment and dwi'n araf iawn at the best of times.

Until next time! Lydia

The Llaeth/Milk piece is ready to go to be hallmarked now. It is a legal requirement for silver pieces this heavy to be sent to an assay office to be tested and marked to prove it is of the metal stated. I'm registered with London Assay Office, who will test this, mark it and apply my maker's mark.


'Llaeth' pendant on temporary stringing


Before it is fully ready, I will be stitching the sari silk into place on the hook and clasp. I will be using embroidery thread to stitch the silk in sections. Once on display, the piece will be stuffed with washed Welsh sheeps wool (see previous post for information), and fragranced with a custard-scented perfume oil, 'Creamy Vanilla Crumble' made by 4160 Tuesdays. Actually custard simplifies it lots, but it has the good, sweet, hug-in-aroma feel I was after! Smelling vanilla has been linked to endorphin production.


'Llaeth' close up


I am so pleased with how it has turned out, it's form is very different to my usual work, and it refelcts the smooth, silky feel I imagined. The perforations on the back went through several changes, from the original wave-like cutouts, to an upward arm shape cut out, finally I settled on a simple pattern of repeating circles. When I close my eyes to sleep, I often see a grid of dots. Everything about this piece I wanted to echo calm and comfort, and that falling-asleep feeling works for me! The holes will allow the wearer's body warmth to warm the pendant, and in turn the wool, enhancing the release of the comforting scent. The material used to hang the pendant on is reclaimed sari silk, which again, lends to the smooth, dreamy feel I had in mind.


Llaeth - reverse

The pendant is quite large, at 6.5cm across, so I'm sewing it to hand on the upper chest to allow the best contact with skin. I'm fascinated to see the progression of how thep ieces for the exhibition are taking place. The level of experimentation, both with form and material is definitely increasing as the project goes on. The later pieces (I haven't shared them all yet!) definitely stretching both my creativity and a re-definining of what I use to actually make the work. This has been such a joy, to be given an opportunity to 'stretch my wings' a little, and explore making in a way I haven't been able to for years, and I'm absolutely grateful for it.


I'd love to know what you think of 'Llaeth', and how the word feels to you.

Lydia@niziblian.com


'Llaeth' on temporary stringing

Lydia@niziblian.com

+44 (0) 7906 606729

Cardiff, United Kingdom

©Lydia Niziblian