This is the first use of the new higher relief work I have been mastering. The cherry blossom motif is a traditional design form in my work. I have always found the form to be very pleasing. There is some very good chasing in this piece, the height of the raised design is impressive and overall confirmation is good. Very little repousse work was done on this piece. It started out much more concave than the end shape. The original volume was chased inward toward the design elements rather than having the elements pushed up from the back through repousse. This allows me to gain significantly more separating ‘edge’ between the design and the background without having the metal get to thin. It does take more time and means more attention must be paid to the overall contour and curve of the piece. The treatment of surface reflection on the various aspects of the design pleases me and the introduction of more concave surfaces in the design form, possibly due to increased height, is very exciting.
I find that knowing I can raise the dominate design higher above the background has set a new “standard” for my own work. This addition of height is important with work in high karat gold as, too often, the design gets lost in the metal’s reflection. With this piece, the motif stands out even when viewed from a distance. And if under bright light, it carries a very ‘carved’ looked.
The basic metal smithing in this piece is very good with good clean beveling over of the fine sterling silver insert sleeve. This piece represents a significant step forward in my work.