Shrines & Fossils are Heather Mikkelsen’s Theme

Our Tuesday night group is still working with their themed project, we’re getting a little side-tracked occasionally, but still keeping the core theme in mind. Today I want to show you the work done by Heather Mikkelsen.

The project started with a little shrine which would be the display that will hold the individual items. The theme Heather choose for her first project centres around Fossils, both Botanic and Fauna specimens. Heather is an accomplished artist in other media, such as fabric and fashion design and has a strong background in art, drawing & print making among them.

Crinoids inspired plant forms

Crinoids inspired plant forms

After some research and exploring the possibilities she selected Crinoids, a Botanic fossil and Trilobites, an ancient beastie as her main subjects. The forms in which these are translated into metal varies, plant forms have been cut from the metal that will make up the shrine, this is quickly said, but an enormous job to do!! Working with these large pieces of metal has been a challenge in itself, even requiring a special saw, our normal jewellery ones are just not deep enough!

Heather sawing a panel for her Shrine

Heather sawing a panel for her Shrine

The Trilobite has a corrugated look about it, so crimping metal was a technique to simulate this. Copper and enamel can be manipulated to look very old and Heather is having a lot of fun with that, using muted colours in the enamel and heat patinas with the metals she’s selected.

Trilobite Specimen & Copper before enamelling

Trilobite Specimen & Copper before enamelling

The smaller enamel pieces are turning out to be precious objects fit for a shrine, the materials and colours working together and unifying the total look of the project. Exploring new applications of old techniques is one of Heather’s special strengths, she loves to play and push the boundaries, inventing beautiful new combinations for her ‘fossils’ along the way.

Some of the Walls for the Shrine - a variety of Pierced and Etched metals

Some of the Walls for the Shrine – a variety of Pierced and Etched metals

It’ll be a while yet before we see everything come together, but it’ll be worth waiting for, the journey is an exciting one and a few of the forms and techniques could possibly translate into a new jewellery range should she decide to explore that direction.

Enamelled Mesh Crinoid Forms

Enamelled Mesh Crinoid Forms

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carol gregory - August 12, 2013 Reply

Great work Heather, I love those corrugated enamelled pieces but also the trilobite, looking forward to seeing the projects progression

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