The Making of an Orchid
Welcome to the brand new official MissJ blog,
where we go behinds the scenes giving you
insider access to the workshop and the making process.
I, Olga take care of the marketing, social media,
photography and I’m also the face of the brand.
I’m the red head you see doing unboxings.
(watch unboxing of orchid here!)
Anthony is the designer and maker,
he handles research and development, manufacturing,
logistics and shipping.
He basically makes everything and ensures it gets sent to
the right places worldwide.
The following is an interview with Anthony on how
the Orchid brooch is made from conceptual idea to finished product.
Acrylic jewellery is almost always flat and I want to change that.
The Orchid is a perfect shape to demonstrate my abilities and skills.
An orchid was dissected of it’s parts and the shapes captured
and turned into cad files.
The detail was captured by scanning a petal and then turning that jpeg
into a cad file via magical software.
Once components were finalised I cut samples to make sure the shapes are correct and fit well with each other.
The stigmata required a number of tweaks to it’s design including how it will be adhered to the petals to ensure strength of placement.
Next is to add details to the piece, the petals get my signature treatment and the stigmata gets double sided detail given it exposes it’s underside.
The last task at this stage is to decide on colors and combinations.
To heat my acrylic I use a standard small oven set to 180. I use a table spoon to shape the back petal layer into it’s final shape by pressing the acrylic into the hollow with my fingers, gloves on of course.
As the acrylic cools it has less ability to bend but that sweet spot is when you bend and it does not exhibit memory. Too hot means you need to hold it in place and that can sometimes burn!
The front petals are a little more tricky when bending,
we look for a nice concave shape but also enough curl at the tops in order to achieve that necessary gap between layers which enhances the 3d look.
Once cooled down they are glued together using alignments
points naturally created by the details on the surface.
The most important part of bending a stigmata is the angle of
it’s saddle which glues to the petals, it must be roughly 80’
so the ears of the stigmata do not touch the front petals.
I made a small mould with a door catch on it to hold my saddle in place
whilst I can bend the rest of it over my mould.
All of this is done by eye, feel and touch so if you ever wonder where the art is,
here it is.
Now I glue the stigmata to the petals,
I always use plastiweld as it is the best suited glue for acrylic
and allows us to push the boundaries of what is possible.
The last thing to do is glue the Pearl into place with forceps
and a tiny nozzle adapter on the glue.
The brooch is then left overnight to cure completely.
In the morning I check it and can then glue the brooch pin
before it is boxed and shipped.
We hope you enjoyed our blog entry.
Feel free to leave a a comment below!
This is beyond anything I have seen in the brooch world, how exciting. My Mother is an orchid growing fanatic, the only issue I have is which colouration I should choose to gift her with!
I loved reading this! You guys are ridiculously talented! Congratulations on creating such beautiful pieces!!
From an acrylic jewellery fan and maker perspective, this is such a fascinating insight. Thank you so much for sharing. I really, really want to get into bending/shaping my acrylic into neat 3D shapes eventually, but I’m quite nervous about the whole process. When you say you use a small standard oven, is this an oven specifically used for this purpose? It wouldn’t be advised to use the same oven you cook with, right? Lol, sorry for what I’m sure is a really silly question.