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TRCH David Suchet

Art Works: Josie McGilvray

9 October 14 words: Josie McGilvray

We're talked through the processes of making steampunk-style jewellery with a delicate edge

All the time pieces I start with are completely different to one another, so I take my time deciding what I’ll turn each wrist and pocket watch into using inspiration from the original design. Before I start the embellishment process, each mechanism is prepared by grinding away any sharp edges and cleaning the visual area of the movement. Sometimes the majority of the watch will have to be dismantled to clean and repair it. I collect the elements for my designs over a period of weeks and months, visiting vintage stores and fairs all over the UK looking for the perfect charms.It’s great when I show someone a final piece and see them feel the weight in their hand, looking closely at the intricacy and detail, sensing its age and history. People enjoy that my jewellery isn’t stereotypically steampunk. I’d like to bring steampunk-inspired jewellery to the high street without the clique or use of cheap materials.

Cogs of Autumn is a handmade pendant I created using an antique pocket watch mechanism from the late eighteenth century. The mixed metals used in this piece are detailed with warm orange and pale green glass crystals representing the progression towards the autumn. All the original cogs and movements remain on display, although no longer working it is continuing its life as a unique, wearable, piece of art.

I create all the jewellery and accessories at Hackspace in Sneinton. It’s great sharing a studio - my work is very different to other people’s there, most are sawing wood and making electronics. They’re normally quite intrigued when they realise I’m not actually fixing the watches I’m working on. Art and design has always been a huge part of my life and is something that defines me. Fine art, sculpture and jewellery making are just a few of the medias I regularly use. I have been artistic ever since I can remember and it was something I took very seriously at school and college. I have a full time job while I get Clockwork Lobster up and running, but it is a priority that I have sufficient time to spend creating during the evening and weekends.

I’ve had several commissions, which involved turning broken pocket watch heirlooms into a modern, wearable piece of jewellery with a twist. I love doing those pieces and would love to do more. I’ve been experimenting with pearls recently, and I'm thinking about making a whole collection of steampunk-inspired jewellery using my favorite grey Tahitian pearls. 

Clockwork Lobster will be exhibiting at Lee Rosy’s, Broad Street, until the end of October.

Clockwork Lobster website

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