As well as the lovely Noon Mitchelhill
- one of my tutors at the Working Men's College where i'm studying this year, there were many jewellers with beautiful work on display. I always love Daphne Krinos
, Lesley Strickland
and Gilly Langton's
work, but the artists I'd not seen before that particularly stood out for me included;
- Atelier DVB / Donna Brennan had a range of gorgeous encrusted jewellery - with precious metal bases claw settings and frames encrusted with gemstones in clusters like corals infesting a shipwreck, giving a very organic feel.
- Daniel Gallie had a collection including belt buckles and necklaces, but what caught my eye was his stunning silver and pearl rings. Carved in wax, then cast, these swirling organic shapes are stunning, highlighted by the brightly coloured pearls.
- Diane Turner's silver and wood jewellery is very striking, combining strong geometric wooden shapes with organic natural sections and electroplated silver highlights and frames.
- Dot Sim and Jill Newbrook both had very different but equally geometric jewellery, exploring the simplicity and effectiveness of geometric forms - Dot Sim with wire and lines, Jill etching patterns inspired by her graphics background onto geometric forms created from silver sheet.
- Sarah Parker Eaton is a jeweller I was excited to see again - having seen woodworker Louise Hibbert (who Sarah occasionally collaborates with) recently at Made London, it was great to see Sarah here - I love her very organic jewellery, all inspired by the fantastic shapes and structures of plankton.
The show is on all of this weekend (17 & 18th November 2012) from 11am to 6pm at Chelsea Old Town Hall in London and is well worth a visit.
This weekend I went to Northampton, to visit 78 Derngate
, the only home designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Apart from being a fascinating historic building with some lovely Art Deco design by Mackintosh, they also have a number of gallery areas, one of which was hosting an exhibition of work by members of The Beadworkers Guild
- including me!
There were over 50 different pieces of beadwork forming this display - all made by members of the guild and inspired by the design work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and they ranged from sculptural pieces, delicate scale models of CRM chairs, bookmarks, bracelets, framed artwork, a lovely varied range of necklaces, and much more - showing a real cross section of styles of beadwork - all just done with needle, thread and tiny glass seed beads.
My two pieces were both inspired by a single snippet of a fabric design by CRM - I loved the shapes in this pattern and created a flat panel pendant using different coloured beads to echo the pattern, then i created a more three dimensional necklace, concentrating just on the forms suggested by the original pattern, with a limited colour palette.
Unfortunately the display was so full there wasn't space for information about who made each piece or what there inspiration is, so I can't credit these images below, but they are all made by members of The Beadworkers Guild - a UK membership organisation for anyone interested in creating or collecting beadwork.
This display of beadwork is on show until 16 December at 78 Derngate if you'd like to go and have a look for yourself, the beautiful house is well worth a trip at any time, and they have a lovely restaurant as well!
Firstly, Goldsmiths Fair, I went last week to see the first
set of exhibitors and today to see the second week’s selection. Some truly
beautiful work as always! I loved the almost crystalline looking finish to Ute
’s silver bangles, Brian Eburah
’s anodised niobium pieces had beautiful
colouring that enhanced his interesting shapes and Maud Traon
encrusted and plated resin pieces were fabulously chunky and unusual. My
favourite, and the lady whose work I always look forward to seeing was Daphne
, she had some pieces using my favourite gemstone – Tourmaline in Quartz,
as well as some gorgeous rings with large cabochons in oxidised silver
surrounded by flat petal like plates of metal. Too many other fabulous
jewellers to mention here or I’ll just end up re-producing the full list of
exhibitors (see this here
) but one last one that I loved was Anna Lorenz
set of layered cut out brooches that she has created. The show as always was a real inspiration in the
quality of design as well as the uniformly perfect standard of workmanship.
After Goldsmiths Fair, I headed up to Angel to see the
Islington Contemporary Art & Design Fair
– again a multi week event – this
was the first week, with the show focussing on fine art and painting (each
weekend this month, the show focuses on a different selection of disciplines).
There were as always some beautiful artworks on show including work by Dorit Braun
& Catherine Barnes
that I particularly
liked. It's open again with different exhibitors every weekend this month, so do pop by if you're in the area - always well worth a look!
On Sunday I was out and about again, demonstrating on the
stand at the Antique Textiles Fair
at Chelsea Old
Town Hall – I’d not been
to this event before and it was an interesting day. Hopefully Jacqui Carey
I managed to convert or at least interest a good few new braiders – it was
great to have an excuse to talk to people about braiding and encourage them to
have a go.
One of the things I particularly love about jewellery making is that however much you know and however much experience you have, there is always more to learn. Whether you train and specialise in one area such as stone setting, or you work in a broader range of skills – the more you do and the more you talk to others, the more you learn. While of course there are basic techniques that are standard across the industry, everyone has their own way of doing things, tips and tricks they have developed and new ideas to share.
This is why, although I have been teaching jewellery making since 2009 and making jewellery since 1993, I still make an effort to keep learning and trying new techniques and ideas myself. My love of learning is also a big part of why I also love teaching and helping others on their own journeys.
I find it fascinating trying different techniques to see how they work, what possibilities they have that could enhance my designs or if they are techniques I want to research further. The latest skill I tried was glass fusing on a one day course at the London Jewellery School. I had a great day - we learnt about the properties of glass and how it melts, then got to try creating a variety of samples of different ways of combining the glass to create different effects, such as bubble inclusions, incorporating metal shapes, using glass confetti, stringers (glass rods) and fancy dichroic glass.
The photo here shows all my different experiments, before and after firing – it’s fascinating how much the glass changes in the kiln, and it seems being able to control this change and use it to your advantage is what the skill of working with glass is all about! I can’t wait to try some more experiments at home in my own kiln!
I spent an inspiring afternoon last week at ‘New Designers’, the UK’s most important exhibition for graduate designers and I wanted to share here some of the artists that were highlights of the show for me.
Taking place over two weeks and now in it’s 27 year, New Designers is an event full of innovation & inspiration. I always try and make time to visit this show, particularly in the first week to see the Jewellers and Metalwork and see the exciting new work on show.
This year was as exciting as usual, there was far too many fantastic ideas to talk about them all here; – I was excited to also see a display from Loughborough University (where I studied) and I haven’t been able to find for the last few years. Some of the individual jewellers that particularly stood out for me include the following;
- Anna Walsh – super stylish and very fun – play games with your fashion – the ultimate solution for anyone who always fiddles with their jewellery!
- Fern Jelleyman – bright, fun & colourful braided necklaces inspired by climbing ropes and accessories
- Frances Andrews – totally brilliant – stick on temporary jewellery transfers from her ‘Faking It’ collection – I love them!
- Lydia Miriam Jones – fantastic statement African inspired necklaces using rope and other unusual materials to create stunning effects
- Olivia Hope Charalambous – love the repeated forms in her jewellery, especially the effervescent necklaces of silver cups with little flashes of colour
- Stephanie Walton – stunning & colourful moulded polymer bangles and rings – just love these bright colours and the shapes
- Tyra Jane – I particularly loved the simple but beautiful, sci-fi inspired shapes in her stylish bangles AND they glow in the dark too…
There was also a lot of fantastic work by textile and ceramic artists when I visited (more disciplines on show the following week too) but the show is so big I ran out of time to look at everything – there’s only so much great input my brain can take in one day!
Look out for these jewellers in the future and make a date to visit New Designers next July to see next year's graduates! I highly recommend it either for inspiration for your own work, to check out the latest trends and buy from the newest up and coming designers!
Ok, so i've got a bit behind with my blog posts and my gemstone a week challenge to myself, so here goes for a delayed week 5 of my challenge!
This time i decided to use a cute little 8mm round snowflake obsidian cabochon. I matched the mottled colouring of the stone with a mottled texture on the silver to make this pendant.
I used paper cutouts made using a craft stamp to add details to the texture as a trial of this method, which worked nicely i think. I think if i did it again however i would use thicker paper to get a more defined shape.
This silver pendant uses a ready made bezel cup for the gemstone and a ready made bail attached to the back. I cut a hole the size of the bezel cup in the flat clay, then cut a disc slightly larger than the hole and stuck this over the back to give support to the gemstone area, which worked well.
Lots more gemstones and blog updates to come!!
I made two necklaces and a bracelet; -
Necklace one useed amethyst nuggets with smaller mottled snowflake obsidian stones, which made a simple, but i think effective necklace.
Necklace two used a number of red jasper nuggets, alongside a mixture of coloured marble beads.
The bracelet mixes some lovely rainbow fluorite with gorgeous textured lava stone beads.
I love the bright colours, and patterns in these stones and like to use very simple necklace styles when using them, to ensure that the focus is on the gems.
So this post is a little out of step, but i have finally taken some photos of the cute ring i made in week 2.
I wanted to continue the style from the ring I made in week 1, but using a different technique to create the stone setting, so made a textured lace band, and used bezel wire to create the setting for this lovely cloudy blue agate stone.
I love the little teardrop shaped stone and was really pleased with the ring, until it had a small mishap and somehow managed to become chipped while I was setting the stone.
I still like the ring though, and rather than fixing or recycling it, I cleaned up the damaged area and am going to keep it to wear myself.
Ok, so I am still doing my gemstone a week challenge, i just haven't photographed them yet. I ordered myself a lighting tent and lights to help me take better photos of my jewellery and i was waiting for it to arrive.... It finally arrived yesterday so i will be getting it set up and taking lots of new photos this week!
Just so you know, I made a lovely little silver ring, with a blue agate teardrop shaped cabochon last week, and this week i have turned a gorgeous chunk of Labradorite into a pendant for a necklace. I'll post pictures shortly.
In the mean time - I do have a picture of my gigantic new set of shelves that i built last Sunday though.... it turned out rather bigger than expected, but that's just as well, as i've filled it, and it has helped greatly in sorting out some of my jewellery making equipment, beads, books and other bits and pieces!!
I also went on a Kumihimo (Japanese braiding) course taught by Jacqui Carey
last week in Devon at The Old Kennels
- to improve my skills on the Marudai (Japanese braiding stool) - i had a lot of fun, learnt a lot and have tons of new ideas now and a new love of Alpacas.... The Old Kennels is a gorgeous little rural crafting retreat, with fields of Alpacas that they keep for their wool. Photos of my sample braids from this course will follow shortly too, once i've got to grips with my little lighting tent!
(posting this again as images didn't seem to load first time)
Well, here are my efforts from this week.... to start off the challenge i decided to finish off a few half completed stone settings that i'd started during this month.....
Number one is a pendant including a toothpaste blue / white Lorimer stone - i love the stone and think it is beautiful despite the chip....
This pendant will eventually hang from a handmade braid that will match the stone in colour. The lovely blue stone made me think of ripples in a pond, which is what inspired this piece.
Number two is a sample piece i made when teaching that had to be remade / adjusted / repaired - based on the same ripple design theme as the first piece, this time using a larger oval dark mottled blue Sodalite cabochon.
This one has a bit of a problem as the clay inside the bezel (under the stone) moved as it shrank and now the stone won't sit completely flat against the base, which is a shame, but it was still possible to set it securely.
Number three is a ring that i had started last week - I've put a lovely little Labradorite cabochon into this - the photo doesn't really do it justice - it's a gorgeous shimmery mix of blue and green reflections.
I love this ring, and have been wearing it half the week :o) The band is textured using a mould i made from some lace and is quite simple, but i like it - i chose the texture especially to complement the delicate colouring and reflections in the stone!
I also finished off a pair of earrings that include marquise cut blue Cubic Zirconia stones, and a ring with a round clear Cubic Zirconia...
My plan for next week includes a cute teardrop shaped blue agate cabochon.... it's going to make a lovely ring, so look out for it next week :o)