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Behind the Design: Female Form

Design is a funny thing.

Sometimes, creativity strikes and a fully developed idea lands in my head. Like, I'll close my eyes and I can actually see the finished product, and my brain maps out how to create it. Other times, I sit on an idea for years trying to work through it. It becomes the thing that keeps me up at night. And I can get so creatively distracted that I can't get another design going until the first is made and physically in my hands. And when it finally There's nothing quite like it. 

Designing my new Brass collection was this later experience. It's taken me years to figure out. I bought ALL the types of carving wax in 2018, and whenever I had a spare moment I'd experiment with it. Sawing and sanding the harder stuff; sculpting the softer stuff. Aesthetically, what did I want to make with it? For the first time I could literally make anything. Logistically - how the heck does casting even work? 

A couple months ago I met a jeweler in my office building who kindly walked me through the process. So now equipped with the knowledge, I sat down to sculpt my designs.

In total I made around twenty prototypes, but the one I kept going back to was the Female Form. I made 4 or 5 versions of her, each a little different. My inspiration was classical marble sculptures of centuries past, where the female figures are generally more realistic of a woman's body, rather than the idealized figures we see in fashion and media today. 

A woman's relationship with her body is...complex. Personally, there are things about my body I love, and other parts I hide at all costs (ummm, hello cellulite where did you come from?). In a society where we are constantly being told what is and isn't beautiful - it's really hard to love our own skin. 

So as I sculpted her, I chose to give her a little thicker thighs, a bit of a tummy, and kinda saggy boobs. Because that's real life and that IS beautiful. Our body's hold our souls. They grow and change with us as we grow and change. Our scars are reminders of our actual ability to endure. Beauty is so much more than what the world tells us it is. 

So all these thoughts were filtering through my head as I sculpted her. And then a mishap happened in the casting process. When we took the master cast out of the mold we noticed all these little craters and blemishes that covered her. We think maybe it was caused by impurities in the metal, or an irregularity in the way the molten metal flowed into the mold. 

My caster was apologetic for the mishap - but I loved her. She was perfect in her imperfections. So rather than buff her up and smooth out the blemishes, I've decided to keep her like this. May she inspire you to see your "imperfections" with new eyes :)


- Christine 


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