T is for Titanium in this Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
I sometimes use titanium in my jewellery. I was introduced to this metal in a summer workshop in jewellery design in 1994. I was a total beginner then, with very limited skills to use any of the tools or techniques involved in jewellery making.
The assignment was to make a necklace. On the first day we were sent out in the surrounding (all nature) to collect inspiration. I brought some grass back to the studio. I had no idea how to use that in a necklace design, but I’ve always loved grass.
We were introduced to titanium, niobium and tantalum, “three sisters”, as our teacher called them. Titanium can be anodised and take on the most wonderful colours. We got the chance to do it, to see for ourselves how this works.
The gallery below shows the titanium pieces that we anodised during the course, and the grass necklace I made (here unpolished, sorry for that!). Then some photos of titanium as I use it now: oxidation by heat, simply using the burner. That gives colour tones that float into each other and the range of colours is more limited. I like building surfaces of the raw cut side of titanium sheet.
So, why don’t I anodise titanium, to get those bright and vibrant colours? Well, for two reasons: You first need to clean the pieces thoroughly and that involves using acids. I also do not have the knowledge (or equipment) to do this on my own. Too much “acids and voltage” involved, I’d need a proper training first. And besides, I very much like the floating colours I get with the burner.
Our teacher in that summer course was Christer Jonsson, a well known Swedish jewellery designer. In Sweden, he was one of the pioneers in using these metals within jewellery.
He was an extremely inspiring teacher, and I am still very grateful for those few summer days in 1994. Christer, if you ever read this: THANK YOU – TACK!
You find some of his work on this Swedish artists’ website, and don’t miss to check his current studio, Jungfruhuset, and explore the gallery with art jewellery (like the Dance macabre brooch or the Cupidos Garden collar) and the collection (do you go for the Cat and rat pendant or rather the Masks ear-pendants?).