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Ivy League Posture Collar by chinchilakid Ivy League Posture Collar by chinchilakid
This was an incredible project. incredible, because we had 1 week to develop a full design and concept, then only one week to actually fabricate the piece.
Assignment: Neckpiece with repeated linking elements.

I decided to engage in forging, because I wanted to all semester but hadn't had the opportunity.
The base is scrolled (gauge 6?) copper wire (forged), with ivy leaf collars (cut, soldered, forged) joining the scrolled pieces.
The link in the back is hidden by a leaf soldered to a collar. There's a piece of the heavy gauge wire scored, bent, and soldered to make a little joint that slips into the collar.

This piece is a commentary on the upper echelon of society.
I feel like people who are born into upper class society are, by birth, bound to society's constraints. They're expected to grow within these confines, and are essentially molded to a pre-determined form, as set at birth.

I chose ivy in particular because it symbolically backs this idea up in multiple ways. 1) Ivy is symbolic of ivy league society itself. 2) Ivy strangles/chokes trees, just as ivy league society strangles the person born into it. 3) Ivy has this sort of graceful elegance visually, yet this fašade is just that: a fašade. In reality the ivy is hurting-- just how everyone sees upper class society as elegant and graceful, yet once you're in it, you're trapped and being strangled.

I chose a posture collar as the form because in upper class society, posture is definitely emphasized. And posture collars force you into that posture, the way society forces you to conform to its expectations.

Medium: copper and silver solder, ammonia and sawdust for patina
Techniques: forging, stamp/chasing, patina, soldering, wrapping
Size: 4" tall in front, 5" tall in back, and fits a 13" neck.
Photographer: my teacher, Mary Pearse
Model: Me
Add a Comment:
Ravenwings08 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013
Aaaah, you did the "grocery store patina" (as my prof called it)-- the ammonia and sawdust. I LOVE the way that looks, but I still haven't gotten around to useing it. XP
Thanks for reminding me how awesome this patina is! I need to use it, stat!
chinchilakid Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Haha, thanks! It was pretty awesome!
Sympli-Me Featured By Owner May 16, 2012  Professional General Artist
Would love to have one! Do you sell these?
chinchilakid Featured By Owner May 16, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Note me if you want to make an offer, and I'll consider it! This is the only one, so it's a unique piece of art! We'll also have to check neck dimensions, if you want to wear it, and I might have to make some slight adjustments.
Featherlox Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
This is very pretty, great job
Misterygamer Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2010
Wow, I came across this piece thanks to my girlfriend sending me the link. But I must say I have been looking at it for a while now and I've read your and others their commentary but I must say that I really like it.

It's just wow, Im almost tempted to ask you to sell it to me :P but that would be just rude. I hope you get it back soon and can get it fitted better cause its really a beautifull accesory
chinchilakid Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Here's my most recent collar-piece: [link]

Hope you enjoy it! :)
chinchilakid Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Haha, wow! This is such a wonderful compliment! I have since gotten it back (as well as been admitted to the metals program at my school), and have a mold of my body ready to pour an iron version of my upper body. Once that is done, I am definitely going to form it so that it will be exact.
Thank you very much!

Also, the piece I'm working on right now is similar in design to this one (yet also very different), and if you'd like, I'd recommend keeping an eye out for when I update with it (after another 2 weeks, hopefully before 4 weeks pass)
regalpt1 Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2009
Some folks, like me, might actually wear something like this. I like your comments about the inspiration. For certain kinds of events and settings, I will accept a certain amount of restriction in exchange for the right visual effect. For example, I have a high posture collar in white leather that has a jewel decoration in front, and I'll sometimes wear it as an extreme choker. It's fine for me, but I can be comfortable in it even though I am being forced into the required posture. You just have to know going in that you're not going to be slouching that evening.

How high/tall is your piece?
chinchilakid Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you!
I had a friend in high school who also wore posture collars on occasion. I'm personally more familiar with corsets, and I can see how a posture collar could have the same sort of restrictive but not uncomfortable quality a corset can have.

I'll admit, once I can get it back and fitted more accurately to my own body, I might could see this as being a more wearable piece, but it is currently a little harsh on the collar bones (and it presses on the windpipe a bit).

And I'm not positive on the height right now and don't have the piece with me but I'd estimate about 5 inches tall in front, 6 inches in back?
I'll let you know when I get it back (in about a week) if my guess is wrong. :)
regalpt1 Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2010
Yes, like corsets... the restriction can be sensual. A posture collar (or neck corset) and waist corset go great together.

I look forward to hearing if your guess was right. 5 inches in front is definitely strict. I can see from the photo how it does push against the collar bones. It takes a certain mental preparation to be able to handle something like that, and you wear it well.

It's a great jewelry-style design that achieves the intended effect.
chisah Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2009
simply wow really :)
must be not so comfy for those who do not always wear their head up high tho hehe
chinchilakid Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you very much!
Haha, yeah. It's not really comfortable no matter how or who wears it. :XD:
behindblueyes97 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2009
I love the meaning you put into all your works. Is this meant to be worn or just an artists piece? I really like it but it looks painful :X
chinchilakid Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you very much! Concepts are the driving force behind most of my works, these days.

This is strictly art jewelry. I want to fit it so it's more form fitting still (it's hard when you're molding it to your own body). But no matter what, it's meant to be constrictive and uncomfortable.
behindblueyes97 Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2009
very nice :)
randomsome1 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2009   Photographer
Awesome, but scary. :)
chinchilakid Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Thank you! :)
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Submitted on
December 15, 2009
Image Size
1.7 MB


59 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/25 second
Focal Length
100 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Dec 10, 2009, 2:14:51 AM