Kimono and Butterfly Pendant/Sculpture - Geoffrey Frankham

Inspiration details:

Coat

Coat

Japan (made)

late 19th century (made)

Unknown (production)

Indo-dyed cotton, quilted in lighter blue cotton thread (sashiko)

V&A collection reference number(s):
FE.30-1982, W.341-1910

Artist Statement

Geoffrey Frankham

On January 6 this year, Susan Beale (a tutor at Bromley Adult Education College) took our jewellery class to the V&A with a view to creating entries for the Inspired by... competition. As the Japanese gallery had only recently opened, I decided that would be a good place to seek inspiration as all the exhibits would be unknown to me and I would have no preconceived ideas. I was particularly taken by the kimonos and the incense box in the form of a butterfly, the two of which could be combined in the form of a pendant/sculpture figure. I sketched both in my notebook, as well as the shape of the likely development of the idea (see photos). On January 11, I made a full-size foil maquette to check whether the design concept would work in practice; having satisfied myself that this was the case, I proceeded to work on the final project.
I decided to make the piece from gilding metal as I wished to change its patination by means of heat from a blowtorch, which would also facilitate bending to shape after drilling, sawing and scribing. Finally, the butterflies and fans were painted with cold enamels.
I have learned these skills, and many others such as casting, repoussé and fusing, by attending the jewellery course for the last 24 years. Attending the class has helped me to continue to exercise my creative abilities in my retirement following a career as an architect. I receive a great deal of encouragement from the tutor and my classmates and, in the case of the kimono piece, one of them suggested it could work as both an item of jewellery and a sculpture.
Geoffrey Frankham

Kimono and Butterfly Pendant/Sculpture - Geoffrey Frankham

No Image

Inspiration details:

Coat

Coat

Japan (made)

late 19th century (made)

Unknown (production)

Indo-dyed cotton, quilted in lighter blue cotton thread (sashiko)

V&A collection reference number(s):
FE.30-1982, W.341-1910

2015 Exhibition Guide

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