Category Archives: Star-crossed lovers

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

Stolen Kisses was inspired by the story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and forbidden love. I’d fallen in love with fretwork and was going all out. But geometric fretwork was not an obvious part of the piece when I started.

I did experiment with a geometric version of the statue silhouette. It was interesting and I may still do something with it in the future, but it wasn’t happening for this piece. I looked at roses and the Fibonacci sequence. Again, it was really interesting but it still wasn’t doing it for me.

Geometric version of Romeo & Juliet statue

Geometric version of Romeo & Juliet statue

Experiments with the Fibonacci Sequence and rose petals

Experiments with the Fibonacci Sequence and rose petals

As I studied Romeo and Juliet, I thought about the setting. Whilst I hadn’t visited the fictional setting of the play, I had been to Italy in 2013 and been completely bowled over by the most incredible architecture – not least of all by the beautiful rose windows and interior cornices and arches.

photo 13

Milan – Ceiling inside Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

photo 15-2

Inside St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City 

Italian architecture is rich and varied and rose windows are intrinsic to many of the churches and buildings we saw. A rose window starts out with a hexagon and when you take it apart, it resembles the petals of a rose. So with this as my starting point, after a lot of experimentation, I created a geometric rose window pattern that I could fretwork.

The Duomo, Milan

The Duomo, Milan

Experimenting with hexagonal shapes and rose window patterns

Experimenting with hexagonal shapes and rose window patterns

The edge of the pendant is not symmetrical, echoing some of the asymmetric shapes I saw in Italy, particularly in the Vatican City.

Inside St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

Inside St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

In my final design, I placed my silhouette of the lovers behind the window, so that it gives the impression of stolen moments, hidden love and secret assignations.

Pendant/brooch

‘When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew.”

Advertisements
Pendant/brooch

It was a Kiss that got me started

‘Stolen Kisses’ began with an examination of the idea of star-crossed lovers, focusing on Romeo and Juliet.

However, it was the breathtakingly beautiful on-screen kiss between Rhett and Scarlett in Gone with the Wind that really inspired me.  And to be honest, it wasn’t difficult to find other examples of lovers kissing; Robert Doisneau’s Le Baiser de L’Hotel de Ville has been on my wall for 25 years and there are some fabulous examples of kisses in art and media.  I loved the paintings by Gustav Klimt and Francesco Hayez and Rodin’s sculpture is mesmerising.

There are also some lovely paintings of Romeo and Juliet, including my favourite by Frank Dicksee, but whilst all of these images are beautiful and romantic I wondered how I could achieve a comparable ‘feel’ in a hard, cold metal.

Fortunately, my research brought me to a stunning statue in New York City’s Central Park. The statue of Romeo and Juliet by Milton Hebald is situated outside the Delacorte Theatre. There is so much romance, passion and love in that kiss, it’s truly inspirational and it was the ideal focal point for my piece.

Statue in Central Park became a fretwork silhouette on my final piece

Statue in Central Park became a fretwork silhouette on my final piece