I Am Hydrogen
Necklace and Brooch
Inspired by the Neoplatonic philosophy of 'Macrocosm and Microcosm', the concept explores the notion that just as hydrogen is the basic building block of all the elements in the universe, the golden ratio, in a similar sense, is a Universal constant of design that can be found in the structural design of the Universe itself, and everything in it.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The necklace features a hand made hollow torus, hammered from flat sheet in two halves and soldered closed creating a symmetrical hollow form. The torus was then mathematically divided, soldering spheres at specific intervals. A special reflective thread was woven around the torus following a sequence to create a design that mimics phyllotaxis patterns observed in nature. The pattern is highly reflective and is visually stunning when hit by light at various angles.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The key feature of the necklace and brooch is the reflective thread used to weave the pattern. The material is highly reflective due to microscopic glass bead technology embedded in the thread itself.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started in June 2013 in Caledon and finished in December 2013 in Caledon. The necklace has been featured in British Vogue, ELLE UK, and Harper's Bazaar UK.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Starting with the alloying process, a 19k yellow gold was selected for the hollow torus, and an 18k palladium white gold alloy for the spheres. Gold sheet was hammered by hand to produce two identical halves. After soldering the hollow form closed, the torus was then divided mathematically around its outer circumference, soldering the spheres at precise intervals. Following a mathematical sequence, and using a single reflective thread, a pattern that mimics phyllotaxis was woven around the torus and tightly bound around the surface. The necklace itself was made by hand using Japanese silk and reflective thread, in the method of Japanese Kumihimo braiding and secured to the torus pendant using a mechanical post and knot system. The post was embellished with a rare natural violet diamond.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The pendant size is 58.50 mm x 58.50 mm x 28.0 mm, the hand made kumihimo braided silk necklace is 800 mm total length. The necklace is designed to hang low but can be adjusted easily. The brooch measures 58.0 mm x 58.0 mm x 1.80 mm.
Torus, Ezra, Satok-Wolman, Atelier Hg, I, Am, Hydrogen,
The research began with the study of specific patterns and sequences that can be used to produce patterns on the surface of a torus to mimic phyllotaxis. After exploring all fabrication options for the torus, including 3D printing, casting, stamping and spinning, the option that presented the most economical method and allow the most control with respect to the project tolerances was smithing by hand. Several prototypes were produced in copper before a 19k yellow gold alloy was selected and the torus halves were produced.
By far the most difficult aspect of this project was producing the hollow torus. The torus, a symmetrical geometric form, could be easily produced by 3D printing a wax model and casting the form from the printed wax. The main problem with using that method related to the tolerances of the printing and casting processes, which required the thickness of the metal to be a minimum of 0.70 mm. The result of this would be a torus much too heavy to wear as a brooch or on a necklace, and a substantial price difference in the metal required for the project. Using the smithing technique allowed for a metal thickness of 0.50 mm, greatly reducing the overall weight of the torus. This posed the main challenge of smithing two symmetrical torus halves, by hand in 0.50 mm sheet that would be identical to each other.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Ezra Satok-Wolman and Jennifer Howard
Image #1: Photographer Ezra Satok-Wolman, I Am Hydrogen, 2013.
Image #2: Photographer Ezra Satok-Wolman, I Am Hydrogen, 2013.
Image #3: Photographer Ezra Satok-Wolman, I Am Hydrogen, 2013.
Image #4: Photographer Ezra Satok-Wolman, I Am Hydrogen, 2013.
Image #5: Photographer Ezra Satok-Wolman, I Am Hydrogen, 2013.