Tag Archives: design

The Million Pound Necklace: Inside Boodles – review by Zoe Davidson.

 

boodles_bond_street_180911_aw

Just watched ‘The Million Pound Necklace: Inside Boodles’, a documentary showcasing the company’s process in craftsmanship and eye for detail for their most expensive, yet, high-fashion emerald necklace… And WOW the diamonds, emeralds and sapphires are unbelievable.

c940713bc0c31e455ef328501ddd6f54Seems that customer service is of top priority for their company, such as serving champagne and one on one attention whilst in their Boodles boutiques. From customer’s experience, they feel like they’re not being pressured to buy and like they are part of a “club”, a friendly charming service. The jewellery is indeed pricey, thus it is important to focus their marketing towards extra-special customers, such as celebrities like Classical Singer, Katherine Jenkins (seen left) and millionaires, to keep them in business. Marketing strategies include advertising only in a few luxury jewellery magazines, “word of mouth”, and hosting special events such as the latest, Boodle Boxing Ball, in Monaco seen in the documentary.

Katherine Jenkins looking stunning                                                                                                                           wearing Boodles Vintage Lace pieces.

Whilst all looking real good in this industry, there is a lot of risk and investment involved. The amount of effort in finding the right customers and attention to every last detail is paramount. After 2 months of making, the final emerald necklace was revealed, called “Green Fire”. The whole suite costs £2,500,000, whilst the statement necklace costs 1 million pounds, which they are still, yet, to seek a buyer.

Boodles-Green-Fire-Necklace-Adorn-Jewellery-Blog

“Green Fire” emerald necklace worth 1 million pounds — Will you be the next buyer?

Have a watch of this video ‘The Making of a Masterpiece’ which allows the viewers inside Boodles creative process of making the intricate Vintage Lace necklace.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Internship at Iris Van Herpen

Well after graduating in June 2013 with great results, I immediately got emailing to apply for experience within the ‘real world’.

Capriole Collection3D printed garment, part of Carpiole Collection

For sometime I had been inspired by Haute Couture/Fashion Designer, Iris Van Herpen, with her innovative catwalk garments and futuristic designs. So I plucked up the courage to email her. To my surprise I got a positive reply and was asked to start as soon as possible in her atelier in Amsterdam. Amazing!

My first day at the studio was an extremely nerve-wrecking one, with other makers and sewers, busy, getting on with serious work. The studio was situated right next to the harbour, with a view of house boats and a great big river. I was met by Iris’s assistant who carried out a small interview and explained what I was to do within the studio. The first job, I remember, was to thread gold chain in and out holes on the sleeves of a black dress. A repetitive but quite theraputic job. Everything, I soon realised, was hand done. The amount of patience and self-motivation needed in this kind of job was essential.

Sarcopha dressSarcopha Dress with snake chain detailing on sleeves. Found on Iris’s RTW site: www.irisvanherpen.com/webshop

Months quickly passed and I soon learned how to laser-cut, as I believed this could benefit my jewellery. First we cut tiny pieces of plexi-glass, a special hard plastic, which were to be hand-sewn onto dresses. Black patent leather was cut shortly after, which we used for strap dresses, beautifully cut into intricate strips to form the pattern for a short dress. It was truly amazing. These dresses became part of the “Embossed Sounds” Collection, where garments created sounds when pressed. My computer skills on Illustrator quickly improved after drawing detailed Spec sheets and laser files. These had to be perfect. Everything had to be perfect. If not, you were told to do it again.

Strap Dress over Liquid DressLaser-cut Strap Dress over Liquid Dress

Strap Dress and Plexi Dress Strap Dress and Plexi DressStrap and Plexi-Glass Dresses in “Embossed Sounds” Womanswear collection.

We even learned how to make the outer layer of stiletto heels. Winding snake chain round heels, shaping carbon and using black pony hair was all needed to create these shows. Cut, shaving and glueing, sanding, brushing, winding. These were some one-off heels alright. Hours of precise cutting to get the most accurate horse hair fit. However, the final result was stunning. Elegant and stylish and perfect for any fashion diva looking to ‘wow’ at a special event. But these heels must’ve been over 6 inches high! Hats off to whoever can walk in them.

 Iris Van Herpen Ponyskin BootBlack Ponyskin Boots found on ODD. Style website

After becoming a master of the laser-cutter, Iris handed me the job of replicating her famous ‘Water Dress’. A large wearable sculpture made from special plastic, formed into curling waves and splashes around the wearer. Iris is a polite but driven young woman. I felt honoured to be given such a job and listened to all her guidence carefully. Using gloves and tools, I began to heat up the plastic and stretch and bend it to form these amazing shapes. It was a kind of meditation. After hours of working it began to take its form and look fluid like water. I tended to make the edges of the plastic bubble so that it would look like the sea foam found on waves.

Water DressHeat formed Water Dress found on Iris Van Herpen’s Website, part of Crystallization collection.

At the end of the day, Iris approached me and was complimentary of my pieces, saying she was nervous to give somebody this job but that I had achieved the look she wanted perfectly. She was very happy so I was happy.

I reckon the best thing about working at Iris was experiencing what it is like to work in the high-fashion industry. You do not realise how many hours and dedication is needed for this kind of job. Also, most importantly, the people you meet. We became a family and helped one another through the highs and the lows. I met individuals from all over the world: Romania, Hong Kong, Australia, Morrocco, Poland, Germany, and so on. These contacts are invaluable and will stay with me forever.

If you would like to know more about Iris Van Herpen, visit her website: http://www.irisvanherpen.com/

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Collaborative Alien Project: Who Are We?

Got my little butt into gear and finally plucked up the courage to ask Grant Herron (a fellow Jewellery student) about possibly collaborating as I heard he was into Film props. He was well up for it surprisingly so we went ahead and got started a couple of weeks later.

We decided to take our own interpretation on a Sci-Fi Film ‘Alien’ by Ridley Scott. Both of us thought we should create some kind of arm piece. Grant, being more experienced in electronics, designed the upper arm which consisted of small LEDs, a small rotating satellite dish and hinged parts. This is what I also wanted to learn from him. For me, well I went all out making a silicone corset forearm piece (as I’d never really played with the material before but was very keen to), a prosthetic glove with ribbed tubes and long hinged creepy fingers, all made from latex of course.

As we were both passionate about film, we discussed perhaps making a short film which would be able to present our piece on the body, moving and electronics in operation. For that we would need a storyboard:

My buddy filling in the storyboard

Here are photos from the making of our pieces:

Grant’s upper arm piece in the making. The circular piece with small tubes protruding from (right of picture) is the joint so I can allow movement like bending my elbow.

 

 

 

The satellite Grant made. Also some LED lights you were able to turn off and on.

This sequence of photographs is me attaching my prosthetic latex glove using Pros Aide glue. You can only really glue prosthetics in stages to make sure you have glued it on properly.

Still loose flapping bits of latex.

After repeatedly applying the glue all the latex should be attached to the skin with no loose parts.

Here is the whole of my lower arm piece put on. The fingers are divided into 3 and there are 2 hinged joints on each finger so they can move. The finger tips are square copper wire soldered together and I have created clear latex windows on each so light can pass through.

Below this you can see tubes extending down from the knuckles which are made from latex and copper wire and lastly the piece on the forearm is made from silicone.

The Silicone Piece

I had to create a mould in plaster to cast the silicone in. It is very weird and squishy to touch which I thought went well with the nature of this project.

The Facial Prosthetics

Just experimenting where it looks best. I thought it would look good to exaggerate the cheekbone.

Samples of prosthetics. They kind of look like slugs to me.

Attached only using the prosthetic glue. You can still see that the edges have not been blended with the skin but that comes next.

The beginning of the blending process… but you can see that later!

Here is me and Grant and a few other helpers on the set just setting and cleaning it up.

Day time

Night time

My 20th time trying to put in contacts

Final Make-up

Midnight on the set. So so cold! Kept my dressing gown on as long as possible!

Just altering a wee bit

Final arm in the dark

Movie making in process

One of the Stop Motion pictures

Final scene

Such a good experience. Think we’ll be collaborating again for our final year as I think it is good practice for the future. You can learn a lot from each other and take things a step further. For me, I want to go into Prosthetics as I see it diminishing due to Computer Aided Graphics (CGI). Yes it can be extremely useful for big things but with it, you lose that sense of actually holding and feeling the object as it is all done on computer. Some makers use it because they are just being lazy and it saves time, but some actually use it for good purpose. For instance, in The Matrix when Neo dodges the bullets, that is a good example of well-used CGI.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Mission

For Assignment 2 we are required to write a mission statement. A mission statement is a short, concise summary describing what your business is, what you do, what your business intentions are and why you are in business. They can tell customers and potential clients.

Values

We were asked to write down what we would value from most to least in our potential business. Our values should reflect the way in how I wish to work, how I want my work to be received and how I would interact with customers, suppliers and funders.

Here are my values for my potential company:

So why are values important?

They’ll help you:

– keep your business on track when clients offer you opportunities and choices.

– remain inspired when having to go through the more tedious side of business or when things are not going all to plan.

– examine how your work/life balance needs to be altered.

– to evaluate your business concept in terms of how it honours your values.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Design & The Market: Presentation Over! Now Think

What a relief! The nerves and worries are all gone! Just had our presentation today with the team talking about Stephen Webster. So what are my conclusive thoughts?

Well I got to say the group who presented before us, Illustration, were brilliant! They were able to interview the artists direct and displayed fab hand-drawings of characters in their piece. But I personally do not think we could have drawn our own characters as they are real celebrities and high-end designers. So what were the pros and cons of our presentation?

Perhaps we could have said more about Stephen Webster’s brand as that played a big part in the business and less about. However, we went into detail at how he got recognition and the importance of contacts. How taking risks has really paid off for Webster. This is all to do with business.

Overall, I think the purpose of presentations is to establish more confidence in talking in front of people and the use of intellectual language which is vital in being a professional business person.

Tagged , , , ,

Design & The Market: Research Your Business

For our first Design & The Market we have been asked to identify an enterprise, such as a company or freelance designer, to research and evaluate, followed by a presentation about that business. This should help us understand and acknowledge of what running a business is like.

Today, we allocated ourselves into teams. My team includes Linsay Thompson, Lucie Hunter, Cat Doyle, Rachel Bruce, Jennifer McGurk and myself. We sat down and had a brainstorm of which successful designers and companies we would benefit  from most and decided on Steven Webster, who creates cutting edge, almost glam goth, jewellery.

We decided as a group which individuals were best at talking, researching and presentations, thus, making sure we were organised to proceed knowing which person was doing what in the continuation of the project. Through the technique of brainstorming our team thought about different questions and things to look for in more detail when researching Webster’s company, including market research; what is happening in the Jewellery industry?; What are the trends? And so fourth.

It was a successful first meeting, everyone seems to be excited and enthusiastic about the project. So looking forward to hopefully getting in contact with the ‘Webster’ himself.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Visiting Sheila Fleet’s Workshop

Nearing the end of my Christmas holidays in Orkney I decided to take up the courage and organise a visit Sheila Fleet’s workplace. It turned out the whole visit was AMAZING. They were all so down to earth, honest, helpful and lovely! Unfortunately Sheila Fleet, herself, was away South doing some work-related things. However, her son, Martin, was kind enough to show me the ropes of the workshop as he works there himself.

Makers at work

The workshop was a nice traditional bungalow building out in the middle of nowhere. Inside it was so modern! You would step into the shop first of all, where all the jewellery were all nicely displayed in glass cabinets, then walk through into the office. It was a really friendly atmosphere, like Martin said “we are all family”, and I could see that. Martin brought me through into the workshop where maker’s huddled at their benches happily making. First off, I was shown how pieces were made from start to finish with the help of pictures and pre-made jewellery and moulds. Then I got passed onto a highly organised ‘Dave’, the guy in charge of the lost-wax casting process.

Series of photos showing how jewellery is made

After this I stood by one of the makers, Bryce, and asked him endless questions about jewellery, techniques, my work, etc, as he sat there polishing almighty gold and silver on giant machines. This was utmost helpful to me.

Maker soldering silver band together

I then watched the 2 young enameling girls scooping tiny grains of glass onto silver. I learned so much from these girls as I have never tried enameling before.

Applying enamel to silver

Finally, after hours of learning and watching, a woman who works on the displaying of the jewellery, Christine, was helpful enough to show me, in detail, how she goes about displaying the work to its best potential.

Jewellery in the making

This experience was a huge learning curve for me and taught me tricks of the trade. I recommend all designers to go out and meet other makers as it can open your eyes to so many things.

Tagged , , , , , ,

ROUSEY-WRAP Imake Project

In our Critical Making Module we were given a brief asking us to design a concept which improves your daily life via exploring traditional design & craft practice and new technologies. For me, waking up in the morning is a real task especially during the winter months, thus, decided to design some kind of alarm clock which assists your waking routine. I had a great time researching all kinds of alarm clocks, like one which wafts a smell of cooking bacon or freshly brewed coffee so you got to get up and replenish your appetite, and another which actually donates your hard-earned money to some charity so getting up is a MUST. Inspired by these quirky designs I started to think of my own.

I came up with a magnetic alarm clock concept. The idea was you would wear pyjamas fitted with small magnets and when the alarm went off the magnets would activate and quite literally pull you out of bed.

I also thought of a duvet which turns extremely cold which makes getting out of bed a relief. HOWEVER, I was a little scared because supposedly magnets can do horrible things to people with pacemakers and my grandpa has one so was against that idea. I decided to go for a safer option and design something that would actually physically shake you awake. In addition, looking into sleeping disorders and treatments helped me with my designs, in particular, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

SAD is basically a mood disorder which affects individuals in any season, but most commonly in winter (winter blues). It can cause depression and make getting out of bed extremely difficult. To be honest I think I suffer a bit from this and wanted to keep this in mind when designing.

I thought a designing a special duvet which could gradually brighten and gently vibrate rather than scare you awake with a blaring noise. For inspiration I looked at photographs taken on Guy Fawkes fireworks night and went on creating numerous fabric samples and even investing in Electroluminescent Wire which is amazing stuff! I dyed, melted, grated, sewed and pleated materials to try and achieve an effect I liked for the duvet.

Inspiration

Material Samples

The images above are plastic bags ironed together with metallic foils in between and embellished with sewn circles on the top to echo the circular shapes created by the fireworks in the photos.

Pleated materials to create texture and light effects when the fabric reflects.

The material above has been dyed using a rusty items so the brown rust transfers permanently to the fabric. Pretty cool tie-dye effect but does not really fit in with my project.

During this project I took part in an Arduino workshop run by Ali, Digital Interaction guy, which took a whole day. We were taught how to program LEDs, Light Dependant Resistors (light/dark sensor) and Variable Resistors (dimming/brightening device) through Arduino circuit boards which allowed us to understand how to incorporate technology into design. I got really excited to blend textiles and technology!

I discussed with Ali the types of motors and sensors I required for my duvet. I used Light Dependant Resistors to light up the EL wire when the surrounding area had no or very little light (i.e. sunrise, night, sunset), which were programmed through Lilypad circuit boards (perfect for textiles as they are small and washable).

So my final outcome is a beautiful yet medicinal duvet aimed for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective disorder. The EL wires turns on automatically at sunset before you go to bed so you can fall asleep to an ambient glow and at sunrise (or when it nears the time wanting to waken) it automatically turns on again gradually to act as a sunrise (especially good in winter). When it is time, the blanket will gently vibrate and arouse the sleeper awake. Overall, I believe this Rousey-Wrap can suit any occasion, whether it be for people who suffer from SAD or just as an elegant decorative item for your room.

Above is my first prototype however I thought the EL wires were a bit harsh when on so decided to conceal them with an layer of fabric so the wires would softly glow through.

Sorry but I tried to take photos of the blanket when the EL wires were on but the light was far too dim to catch anything on camera. But it does look very relaxing and ambient, perfect for a gentle glow in your room.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Critical Making: The Body & Technology Team Project – Week 2

INVENTION OF THE MIGHTY POD

In week 2, we narrowed down our ideas and discussed which one was the strongest. We developed our strongest idea, trying to create it for a purpose as originally it seemed to not fill a gap in the market. Thus, we thought of ideas that would be made for a purpose. POD-ED: a place where you can take your child for a worry-free health check up, whilst letting them have a little fun and education. After coming up with this fab idea we worked on different aspects of the design – the interior, exterior etc. This is where all of our different disciplines came into play. Good times.

From left to right: Cara, Judy and Rosalind.

We met up in the Duncan of Jordanstone Library and had a good chat about what could be included and how they contributed to the design as a whole. We had A LOT of fun with this. Designs were drawn and ideas were noted, this is how we seemed to work best. Are possible ways of monitoring different aspects of health without it being obvious? Such as dexterity? Heart-Rate? Weight? Well this is what we investigated. The room would be filled with discrete monitoring devices which will be explained further in the next post.

Pea-pod designs links to Pod name and encourages children to eat vegetables.
Sketch of interior

I made some resin samples during the first week to show the group what nice colours you can get with them – almost gem-like.

On the same day, whilst us textile and jewellery people were busy idea hunting, the IED girls (Shona and Cara) went ahead and made a down-scaled model of the Pod in cardboard. Got to say it was really surprising how great it came out in the small amount of time they had!

Tagged , , ,
%d bloggers like this: