Monday, December 12, 2016

Found Object Spoon Necklaces

Chrome-Plated Bronze
9.5"H x 7.25"W x .5"D

This set of sculptural chrome-plated bronze necklaces is made from the re-purposed handles of vintage Dirilyte flatware. Dirilyte, (formerly known as Dirigold) was the trade name for a proprietary aluminum bronze alloy created in Sweden in 1914 by Carl Molin for flatware and serving pieces. It was designed to mimic the look of gold without resorting to plating or other coatings that would wear away with time. In 1935 the FTC filed a suit against the company alleging that the name "Dirigold" was misleading the public into believing there was actual gold content in the metal. The company changed both their name and the name of their product to Dirilyte, and operated independently in the United States till they were bought out in 1971.

When I first found out about Dirilyte and Dirigold flatware, I was excited to get my hand on it and see what I could do with the material, as bronze is one of my favorite materials to work with. I acquired several different pattern sets from resale shops and flea markets, and began experimenting with the flatware to see how it responded to annealing, forging, fabrication, and soldering. After playing around for some time, I came upon a simple but elegant use for the handles of one particular spoon and fork pattern. The bronze handles were deconstructed, forged, and ground into the desired links, and connected with soldered U-hinges that were fitted into counter-sunk holes drilled into the bronze for structural support. The larger necklace is a continuous loop that can can be put on over one's head, while the smaller necklace has a hook clasp hand-carved from the bronze material itself. I did an initial test piece for the clasp mechanism by manipulating a single spoon from the set, resulting in an interesting craft/art object that get utilized for further creative purposes in the future.

Detail of Sample Clasp Mechanism

Original Spoon, Clasp Test-Piece, and Forged/Manipulated Links

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