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.
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.
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.
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.