"Fetus Skull" - framed metal art from A Curious Elixir
Embossed panel: 8cm x 5.6cm (3.1" x 2.2")
Frame: 11 x 9cm (4.4" x 3.5")
A Curious Elixir - Using a metal tooling technique known as repoussé, I emboss each piece by hand in my Melbourne studio. After pressing the design into the pewter sheet, the surface is etched, bumped, scratched, marked, doused with a dark patinating solution and then polished back to give it a tarnished, aged look, leaving the metal surface stained with tones of blacks, browns, blues, golds and silvers – this process is wonderfully unpredictable, so every piece is completely unique. The piece is then finished with gems, glass paint, enamels, iridescent pigments and sometimes patterned origami papers or vintage engraving imagery. Each wall piece is sealed with several layers of crystalline wax to protect the surface, mounted on mdf panel and framed up ready to hang. Each pendant is sealed into the backing with a layer of crystal clear resin.
Pewter is my favourite metal to work with due to its softness and malleability, it is a bright silver colour with tints of gold warmth to its surface and you can work into it to create delicately raised three-dimensional shapes, use patina solutions, stains or wax to age the design, or cut it away to reveal patterned or textured backgrounds. The glass paints I use are thick and translucent and reflect the light like an intense glaze, reminiscent of stained glass windows or cloisonné enamel. I use a variety of different gems and crystals, some mounted in tiffany/prong-style settings, and bed them in with lashings of black antiquing wax. Some works feature vintage illustrations or patterned origami papers as collage elements.