Roz Buehrlen is obsessed with working with gem stones and melting metal, and gets lost in hand carving little sculptures. Her design style is based on nature but inspiration comes from all around.
Roz's childhood had an amazing inﬂuence on her; "I grew up living and travelling in many different countries; my favourite places were Kuwait and India. Life in Kuwait was idyllic." Her school playground overlooked the Arabian Gulf, where seeing dolphins was part of the beautiful scenery. Camping on the beach nearly every weekend, near a small but truly beautiful coral reef of course inspired and influenced Roz dramatically; seeing stingrays and lizards were just a tiny part of her life in the desert.
Back in the UK Roz did an art foundation course at Camberwell College of Arts and then went to work in a bronze foundry in Suffolk under the talented Laurence Edwards, who was working on larger-than-life size sculptures. His works include A Thousand Tides (Lying Man), that can be seen gradually appearing as the tide goes out at Snape.
"I was completely drawn to the sculpting and casting process and felt that training as a Jeweller would give me expertise in the type of skills required for a totally different side of this process that I found so fascinating." Later Roz went on to train as a Goldsmith at KIAD as she could encompass silversmithing as well as smaller work. Then she spent some time as a Jeweller in Colchester at PK Jewellers, learning the practical side of traditional jewellery-making skills. After taking time out to concentrate on her three children she went back to work as a Master Pattern Maker for the jewellery profession and I was part of the team that launched the Bill Skinner brand.
Always fascinated by the casting process Roz later went on to build her own foundry and studio; "It was a natural progression to launch my own brand."
Roz Buehrlen making some finishing touches on a ring.
Roz's entire process starts off with a pencil at hand along with a sketchbook. "Once I have decided on a story I start carving my little creations to make master patterns. I often carve directly into metal rather than wax which is normally used, I ﬁnd it gives a sharper detailed ﬁnish. It still amazes me that it starts out as a ﬂat sheet of metal and then turns into a 3 dimensional tiny sculpture."
A lot of the tools used are traditional gravers and ﬁles but sometimes only a specially handmade tool will do, although Roz iseasily persuaded to do some forge work and let some sparks ﬂy. "Once a master pattern is complete I then make a mould and centrifugally cast them in the foundry." From these pieces Roz makes the ﬁnished articles. "The most difﬁcult part of my job is deciding which designs not to use - I always get carried away. I have always loved what is a complex process, monumental to make, yet so simple to see."
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