Wedding Bands for H & P

I was commissioned to make a set of wedding band for H & P. The brief is simple & elegant, something that can be worn everyday. H & P decided they didn't want to just go into a typical jewellery shop to buy their wedding bands off the shelf. They wanted something that holds special meaning to just the two of them, not a design or brand name that could be seen on another couple's fingers.

Since their wedding ceremony is held today 29-Feb-2012, which is a leap year, I came up with the concept of using the phrase 'Leap of Faith' to signify the commitment to each other in a marriage and the celebration of this union on a leap year. The phrase 'Leap of Faith' is captured in timeless and elegant calligraphy font with chunky modern wide bands. Forged by hand in solid 999 fine silver. Satin finish with polished raised calligraphy.

These simple looking bands are more challenging to execute than it looks due to the size and type of font. Each letter is stringed, positioned & tweaked into place by hand, one at a time, no stamp was used here. I'm very happy with how it turned out and so is H & P.

Custom made His & Hers silhouette ring box

This is where it all started. A bit of scribbling on a piece of paper...

How it looks like in greenware stage pre-firing

My 5 minutes of fame...

Thanks to the lovely people at Simply Her, a Singapore based women's magazine, OpusMuse got it's 5 minutes of fame.

In the recent years, I've noticed a trend rising in Singapore, that is, many mothers are able to work from home or start their small home based business thanks to the advancement in technology and an embrace in the convenience of online retail. In my case, it was a dream come true. I was able to send my jewelry all over the world, even to countries which I've never been.

The article features women in Singapore who work from home, and how some of them juggle work with the upbringing of children. To me, this was a way that the society acknowledge women who desire to have a balance of holding their place in society and play an active part in the growing years of their offsprings. Very empowering!

So here's my little work studio in all it's glory. A space which I cherish with all things which are precious to me.

Simply Her November 2011 Issue...


Nicole | OpusMuse

Cupcake Popsicle Decorations

I saw some lovely cupcake photos recently from a popular blog and had been dreaming of them ever since. Our little girl is turning five next month, it's a good excuse to throw a party for her to celebrate and of course order some handmade cupcakes. Secretly, I wanted to make these easy and oh so pretty cupcake popsicle decorations. Our color theme for the party is pastel shades of aqua, pink and yellow. Don't you think they turn out pretty? I can't wait to surprise her with these! Try it out, I'm sure you'll love it. You know, I think big girls will love them too!

Apartment Therapy

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After the long hiatus, some may be wondering what I've been up to. My online shop is rather neglected. I've been busy renovating and decorating our new apartment. Now the apartment is close to what I've envisage. I shall not bore you with the details of how we manage to pull this off, how we wrestle with the contractors. Here's the highlight: featuring traditional patterned metal ceiling, paired with bespoke wall paneling, raw copper clad kitchen cabinets and dark ash black solid oak flooring, the look is rough luxe but still feels like a home.

I will take my time to add personal touches throughout the home. Sometimes it's good to live in a new place for a while before decorating it, take time to get to know it better. The missing piece of puzzle arrived yesterday, our distressed leather sofa. After all that we've been through, problem with the delivery due to narrow lift and stairwell, we had to re-order a smaller piece to fit, waited for months for it to be custom made in Italy, it's finally here. But wait, it still didn't fit. The delivery guys had to take it apart and reassemble it on site. A royal pain, but looking at it in my living room now, makes those troubles melt away...

Architectural & Fine Details

There is a peculiar habit of mine, that is taking photos of architectural details & things with intricate details always grabs my attention. On a recent trip to London, it was a feast for my eyes. Thank goodness for the invention of digital cameras! I was trigger happy...

Natural History Museum ~ these stop me dead in my tracks, these dramatic arches & towering columns, I believe were hand carved by skilled craftsmen back in 19th century. Such intricate designs which are derived from plants & animals. I'm in awe.

The Tower of London ~ majestic & amazing ambiance

Exhibition of Armors & Weapons for Kings in Tower of London - such fine detailed work on armors & weapons you forget what their real purpose is for

Rings & Things (Metal Clay Class ~ Part 2)

Here are two simple pieces which I learned to make during my first two lessons. I designed a simple loop ring, with slightly curved taped band n satin finish with a prong-set synthetic green gem and a the leaf was a class project. The ring didn't really turn out as perfect as I want it to be. But I guess it'll do for a beginner.

Each piece takes more than half a day to make by hand without the help of machinery. I enjoyed making the leaf most. It takes patience and a steady hand as the leaf is composed by a repetition of carefully placing layers of soft clay on a real leaf and drying process. It may sound easy, but you need to find the right technique to form these layers in order to get a strong & solid piece. I love how this technique was able to capture the shape, curves & reveal the fine details on the leaf after firing and finishing. I decided to leave most parts of the leaf in brush matte finish and only shine up some parts around the edges and in the curved parts of the leaf to capture light like a real leaf would. I have not decided what to do with the leaf. This technique, possibilities of using other base materials started popping up in my head. I might try to make a lace necklace next.

Having done basic traditional jewelry metal smithing years ago, and now working with metal clay, I would say it's more tedious to create the same pieces shown here using the traditional method. The finishing process however is about the same. You still need to get your hands dirty, brushing, burnishing, filing, sanding & polishing to achieve a professional look. So ladies, forget about manicures if you are serious about taking up a metal clay course!

In the next lesson I will be learning how to create some interesting hollow filigree beads. I can't wait...

Ripples in the Water (Metal Clay Class ~ Part 1)

Recently I've taken up a short course in Jewelry Fabrication in metal clay. I've been contemplating this for quite some time before jumping in, and when I do, it has been a liberating experience so far. You know something good is happening when it gives you a buzz.

I will be sharing items I created during my class every now & then. This is my favorite piece so far made using metal clay in dough form in 99.9 pure silver. It was made by rolling, cutting, pressing & shaping the clay like you would with playdough. My design morphed into an asymmetrical 3D pendant, with circles in different size & shape, which looks like ripples in the water with stacked pebbles in the center. To bring out the organic shape in different levels, I've used shiny and satin finish in parts to give it texture & visual contrast. I've decided to turn it into a necklace accented with a petite wire wrapped marquise cut labradorite gemstone for a bit of luxe & color. I love the subtle blue flashes on the cool labradorite which incidentally also represents the water element in this design. I also have a thing with unique chains too, and this is using silver wheat link chain which I bought on a trip to Japan.