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Orogen

Originally inspired by the folded red quartzite rock faces of the MacDonnell Ranges in Central Australia.

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350-300 million years ago a mountain building event created the MacDonnell Ranges. Since that time, folding, faulting and erosion have shaped the range and created numerous gaps and gorges that we see today. The complexity of the exposed faults is astonishing and totally captured my attention. It creates the illusion of individual bricks. I could sit and follow the lines with my eyes for hours.

These brooches also began my explorations in Japanese irogane. This technique alloys copper with different metals.  The objects are boiled in a niage patina bath to produce a wonderful palette of browns and greys.

The materials used are:
Sterling silver (92.5% silver, 7.5% copper) – white
Shibuichi (25% silver, 75% copper) – grey
Shakudo (6% gold, 94% copper) – black
Copper – caramel

Interestingly, the colours in the finished brooches are far more reflective of my current surroundings. In particular the marvellous horizontal sheets of rock seen when looking over the cliff from the Queen of the Colonies on Moffat headland.

In this endeavour I am indebted to Jim Kelso. Jim is an amazing metal craftsman who works in the Japanese tradition. His generosity in sharing his knowledge (in English) of the techniques is profound. Thank you Jim.