Thursday, 5 March 2015

Tree of Life Pendant Workshops

Last month saw the start of a new venture for me - I started booking the classroom at Gloucestershire Arts and Crafts Centre to hold workshops.

In February two lovely ladies spent the afternoon with me making their own tree of life pendants. One lady chose to use mother of pearl beads and the other gorgeously earthy mookaite.

Due to popular demand I have arranged another workshop for later this month, so if you couldn't make it last time (or found out too late!) then now's your chance. I will be arranging more in the near future too.

If you'd like to come along and have a go then just drop me a line!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A cold and frosty morning in January......two years ago!

Well, it certainly was a chilly start this morning wasn't it! And what a cold night - I had to de-ice my car before going out to an evening meeting and then again when I came to go home a couple of hours later. Despite the inconvenience of having' on-time mornings' turn into 'late for school mornings' I have to say that I do like a nice frosty morning. Perhaps because it's January (and I always get a bit nostalgic at this time of the year) I suddenly remembered taking a photo across a local field on just such a cold morning a while ago and blogged about it. So I set off to find the post and was sooooo surprised to find that it was two years ago! Almost to the day! It was the photo from my very first blog post ever over on my old blog:

You can't see it in the photo but I remember there being the most brilliant male pheasant in the field showing up against the frost. If you followed my old blog, you might remember that I said there was a housing estate being built next to this field at the time. Well the houses are up and people are moving in - I wonder what this field looks like now? I've made a mental note to take my camera out with me and see next time I'm passing that way.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

The Round the World Blog Hop

Recently Mossy from Silver Moss Jewellery contacted me and asked if I'd like to take part in an around the world blog hop. I'd not heard of it before but the idea behind the Blog Hop is for creative bloggers to write a post based around a few questions. Their answers offer an insight into their creative thoughts and processes. The blog 'baton' is then passed on to another creative and so on...
You can read Mossy's post here. I have to admit to a rather tardy publication of this post - Christmas and New Year rather got in the way......but as I'm now back to (almost) full speed here it is!

So here are the questions - and my answers:

1) What am I working on?

All the custom orders on my bench at the moment are for silver fingerprint pieces. My customers have sent me the fingerprints they want to include and I transfer them to their jewellery. The work needs to be done in stages, so I tend to get all pieces to one stage before moving on to the next. 
I'm also busy building up stock in my Folksy shop again after Christmas - I'm working on a lot of tree of life pieces at the moment.

2) How does my work differ from others in its genre?

No two pieces I make are ever the same! I don't really work in bulk designs - if I'm using gemstones they are often unique shapes which means that I can only ever recreate a similar design. With my wirework trees, the nature of the work means that every piece is different - the stone affects the ways the wires lie and as I twist everything by hand the tension varies which produces differences in the branches. And of course, no two fingerprints are ever the same. Nor are leaves for that matter!

This way of working can make things hard work! I list every item separately in my Folksy Shop so that the picture a customer sees is the piece they are buying (except for fingerprint jewellery or course, which is made to order).

3) Why do I write/create what I do?

I started out making only silver fingerprint jewellery - but of course silver clay is very addictive! I began to experiment with new designs and continue to do so all the time. Most of what I make is inspired by the natural world around me - what better inspiration is there?

Oak Twig Rings

4) How does my writing/creating process work?

I start most new pieces with a sketch of how I want the finished piece to look. Sometimes I create a quite detailed plan but sometimes I just experiment as I go. I can't afford to experiment as much as I'd like though as silver clay is quite expensive! I'm always collecting things when I'm out and about that have interesting shapes and textures that I might use later - I embarrass my children by carrying a collection bag with me everywhere! 

And now I'll pass the baton on to John from The World Outside The Window to answer the same questions. He's a writer rather than an artisan so it should be a bit of a change! In the interest of full disclosure, he also happens to be my husband! So you can imagine us sitting opposite each other working if that helps :)
You can find his blog here: The World Outside the Window