Monday, 13 August 2012

Coin a new term

Ever wondered who comes up with new concepts and acronyms? You don't have to be a specialist in any subject to know there are many. Some common ones are 3-letter acronyms: LHC, ICP, PPE. All just shortened forms of their descriptive meanings (Large Hadron Collider, Inductively Coupled Plasma, Personal protective equipment, respectively).

I have a new one: “pseudo pleochroic wire” or PPW for the 3-letter acronym. The word “pseudo” is quite versatile. It describes something that it is not, but very similar to. “Pleochroic” refers to the observance of different colours in some natural crystals when viewed from different angles. I make my own coiled wire to make the jewellery I design. My technique gives rise to the PPW coiling technique. When viewed from different angles, a different colour can be seen. The overall colour viewed is a trick of the eye: the resolution of the eye allows colour mixing in your brain, and you see a colour that is not actually there. On very close inspection, the two colours become clearer. An example is shown in the photos below.

PPW coiled and braided wire bracelet (on a medieval metal hand)

Close-up of a PPW coiled design.
The outcome of this PPW technique is that I have a “pseudo wire paintbox”. This allows the potential for making jewellery in nearly any observable colour! Depending on the colour choices, the PPW designs will highlight the dominant colour in your clothing that matches the jewellery. Quite convenient if you like 2 different colours, but just want one item of jewellery.

The emergence of brightly coloured enamelled copper wire with all the currently available colours is fairly new to human evolution. Traditional wire designs have been restricted to silver, gold, black, dark browns. Now is the time for colour. Now is the time for enamelled wire jewellery. Now is the time for Wendy McLean's pseudo pleochroic wire, or simply, Wendy McLean's PPW!

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