Things have been rather busy over the last two weeks, #Chaterama, the faux 18th Century social communicator machine that I have been working on has been completed. This was photographed with the historic enamel birds fitted in place alongside their 21st century blue cousins. They fitted perfectly first time, which I considered an accomplishment as I had to make paper templates of the historic Finche’s base profiles at the museum and then take these back to the workshop to fabricate the bezel mounts for them to sit in. These had to be slack enough to allow the Georgian birds to drop in place without any pressure being exerted on them but yet be snug enough for them to look like they were fixed in place, I think the end result is rather convincing. In order to trick the viewer as to the age of the object the brass sections have been left a bit scuffed, with residue of polish in crevices, perhaps the signature of many years of fettling by a servant!
I am currently working on a series of objects that will make up the next collection, Snuffed out Charlotte, which is a response to a lovely box depicting George III on the lid top and Queen Charlotte on the inside. There is some heavy damage to this and particularly a dint and chip that corresponds with Charlotte’s head and George’s heart!
The audience engagement Enamel on Tour handling sessions have generated a number of interesting narratives and fake histories around this object, one participant said “to me Charlotte looks like she is wearing the most fabulous fascinator!’ whilst another surmised that ‘perhaps the box belonged to a secret anti-royalist, because Charlotte is shot through the head and George is shot through the heart…wish-fulfilment!’ later they continue “assassinations happed a lot, political and religious fanaticism”. Through the work I am exploring these narratives and whilst making references to contemporary politics.
The week ended with the last of the Enamels on Tour sessions, this time hosted at Bilston Craft Gallery with a group of students from Birmingham City University, School of Jewellery. They were shown the enamel collection held at this venue, given a potted history of Georgian society and then provided opportunity to explore the historic objects for themselves through a handling session and generate yet more imagined narratives.