The first stage of the process was to visit Oxford and take some inspirational photographs, being sensitive to particular forms, colours and compositions that caught my eye.
High Street, Oxford, photograph by Emily Bullock
The second stage was to collate these photographs into a book from which I could begin sketching initial shapes, forms and patterns; these provided the base templates of my pieces. The colour palette was also derived from my images from Oxford; the clashing terracotta’s and pastels that enveloped the houses evoked an immediate source of stimulus. I have an innate compulsion to place colours together that ordinarily would clash or be seen to be garish.
Buliding detail, photograph Emily Bullock
Building detail, photograph Emily Bullock
The third stage was material research. I began looking into products and materials which are traditionally linked with Oxford. There was one item I stumbled across which immediately intrigued me, ‘the Oxford shoe’. As I love to wear brogues in my day to day life I was amused by the idea of deconstructing an oxford shoe and thus using it in my pieces. From finding out that ‘the Oxford shoe’ was originally associated with Oxford University, I began looking into the academic dress of this established educational institution. The ‘matriculation ceremony’, a formal process of entering the University, sees every undergraduate wearing a cap and gown, a bow tie (for men) and a black ribbon (for women). I also discovered that during the examination period, students wear three colours of carnations: white for the beginning of exams, pink for midway and red for the last day. All of these aspects of research have helped to motivate each of my designs.
I am currently producing a series of brooches which encapsulate all of the above. More traditional techniques such as hand piercing and soldering are being combined with more modern processes such as 2D design, laser marking, PUC welding and spray painting'.