C6 Rigid Plastic

Faux bone bracelet by Julia Rai
Faux bone bracelet by Julia Rai
Faux bone bracelet by Julia Rai

Submitted to the Registry evaluators - February 2009

I used Faux Bone™ in the first submission for this project. I really liked the bangle and found it very enjoyable to make. Faux Bone is nice to work with and can be cut and carved really easily. It’s also very strong so it makes a wonderful material for jewellery. It’s sold as flat sheets in a variety of thicknesses and also as bracelet blanks with the centre hole already cut out. It’s quite shiny when you buy it and looks like what it is, plastic. But once you start working with it, cutting, carving and sanding, it has lots of applications and a variety of finishes are possible.

I started with a ring blank and cut out the overall outside shape. I decided to make the bracelet open on one side, like a bangle. I carved designs into it and attached some metal clay elements, together with a chain. I really like the shape of the piece. However, the assessors didn’t agree.

Design – 3 out of 4
Craftsmanship – 1.5 out of 2
Attachments – 1 out of 2.5
Integrity – 0.5 out of 1.5

6 out of 10 is not good enough. Some of the comments were positive however. “The design is unexpected and pleasantly off kilter. The variety of marks do not relate to each other but the effect is lively, like graffiti one sees in the streets.” Then it goes downhill! “Plastic points may be dangerous. Chain links definitely need to be soldered. Project description says that the metal clay needs to be “more than embellishment” but that is not the case here.” So I didn’t pass with this first attempt as it really didn’t meet the criteria. The final comment was also important, “I like the idea of the asymmetry better than the result, which is awkward to wear.” This is true to some extent – I still like it though!

Mondrian Brooch by Julia Rai

Re-submitted to the Registry evaluators - June 2009

So this one was resubmitted and the second attempt got full marks.

Design – 4 out of 4
Attachments – 2.5 out of 2.5
Craftsmanship – 2 out of 2
Integrity – 1.5 out of 1.5

The comments were very complimentary too. “I think this is one of your best. Your signature style of surface patterns work with the design and not against it. The optics of the plastic raise the background for variety and then the opaque insert gives a nice surprise.”

This piece was inspired by a Mondrian painting. It was made using dry construction techniques and I really wanted to get a magnifying effect from the coloured acrylic. I added a patina initially but this made the pattern behind the plastic more difficult to see strangely enough. So I heated it up again to remove the patina and went with a polished silver effect. The big safety pin runs through a tube attached to the back of the brooch. I love this piece.

Here is the project description from the Masters Registry website:-

​C6 Rigid Plastic

Use solid sheet material such as Faux Bone, Delrin, nylon, Pakwood, Corian, or a similar material to make an object that combines this material with metal clay. This can be a functional object (box, utensil, handle, tableware, sacred object, etc.) or a wearable object (buckle, brooch, ring, etc.). The metal clay component(s) should account for at least half of the visual impact of the piece. This might not be half of the total weight or the physical size; the intention is that the metal clay is used in such a way that it does more than ornament or embellish a plastic object.

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