Sometimes people come to me for a special commission. Often it is a request for work that is not related to my collections. I have to consider whether I can take on that particular job. Sometimes I refer to a fellow goldsmith, because I feel that the job is in better hands at their place.
But when I got the request from Toon to make a miniature book pendant, I didn't hesitate. I wanted to make the pendant. As a booklover and owner of a Little Library it was a commission I loved to make.
During the interview we came to a rough shape. An opened booklet with text on the pages, processed into a pendant. The text was written by Toon himself for his beloved Maria. How do I proceed from there? First I let the intent of the contract and the rough sketches act awhile for me. Eventually I get moving. The creative process involved the following steps:
- How was I going to put the text in the silver? A handwriting was absolutely the best. There were many tests needed to find the right size!
- What format would the book get, and in what proportions?
- I had to make a special polymer mould on which the silverclay would dry.
- Forming the silverclay, soldering the eyes on the back.
- Then the finishing; gold on the sides and oxidising the words with sulfur, to make them black.
This gives an impression of my creative process. It was a great project to work on.
When the pendant was collected, Toon brought a book with him.
While he gave it to me he said "A book for a book" ...