Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Little stitches

There are times of the year where teaching takes over making and there just aren't enough hours in the day. Time to actually sit at my work bench is limited so I find ways to make work that is more portable. These layered, hand-stitched pieces incorporate rust dying with iron wire and I love the process of repeating stitches on a tiny scale.

They explore colour and texture, my favourite ginger, rust and copper colours come through in my textiles as well as metal pieces. I'm always looking for ways to combine both.

They have trapped iron wire below the layers of rust-dyed fabrics to add structure and texture.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Day 13 100 Happy Days

Circles again today. Inspired by a lotus pod, they incorporate crochet around tiny soldered copper circles.

They may join the wire grids I started the other day. 

Still just playing with ideas and really enjoying it! 

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Day 12 #100happydays

So, as the school summer holidays have now officially started, my time is not my own, I have 2 full time 'helpers'. I'm only able to make for short bursts here and there, but hope to try keep up with my 'making for fun' 100 Days of Happiness project. I keep reminding myself of the wise words from the lady who inspired me to do this. She told me to make space and time in every day to focus on being creative and push beyond my comfort zone. 
So, today I made this. 

Each circle had to be drilled then pierced out using a very fine saw blade, before being filed and sanded until it was smooth. The top picture is a tiny 5 year old hand, so the scale is misleading.

It's a ring that was inspired by the bracelet I made the other day, both have been floating around in my head for ages.

The process of making these by hand is so time consuming it feels indulgent, but it made me happy to spend time giving solid form to an idea I usually wouldnt have time to pursue.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Day 11 #100happydays

Pods. Although not quite finished, I've made these hollow pods today. The 3d one is the biggest fully rounded one I've made, I usually only make them for teeny earrings. I'm liking the idea of making them in a few different sizes.

When finished they will become pendants and brooches.

#day11 #100happydays

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Day 10 #100happydays

Slight change in focus today for my happy thing, because I'm not focusing on my own work, but that of an inspirational friend, Liz Cooksey. 

We have worked together for over 10 years, and she dazzles me regularly with samples, techniques and ideas that we bring to our teaching.
Our work overlaps in many ways, sometimes through our use of materials and techniques, more commonly our shared sources of inspiration. 

But the thing that I love most about her work is the craftsmanship. The scale and attention to detail in her pieces is incredible, and I wanted to share this as my happy thing today.

We are hoping one day to collaborate and make some pieces together, until then, I will enjoy gazing upon her beautiful work with awe.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Day 9 100 happy days

On my workbench today...... I had fun experimenting with my new macro lens attachment for my phone, taking photos of the inspirational objects I have on my workbench.

Can you tell what they all are?


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Monday, 21 July 2014

Day 7 100 Days of Happiness

I started a new sketchbook today, always a happy thing. Only 4 pages done, mainly photos and drawings. All will be used as inspiration for jewellery and mixed media pieces.

#day7 #100daysofhappiness

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Day 6 100 Days of Happiness

Today's happy thing was making some earrings and stacking rings incorporating lichen shapes, like the ones I made in copper yesterday.

I used gold and silver today, I rarely use gold but today I wanted a more subtle colour contrast than copper. 

The bands are hammered, and slightly different sizes, I didn't want them to sit flat on the finger. And I deliberately made the earrings different sizes, I think they're more organic.

#day6 #100daysofhappiness

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Day 5 #100 days of happiness

Today my happy moment has been exploring texture. 

The scale is really tiny, I cut the copper pieces as small as I could get whilst still actually being able to hold them. Inspired by lichen, I have a few ideas of how I can make them into jewellery pieces.

But, for now, I'm happy to put them to one side and continue my spontaneous making project. The focus of my 100 Days of Happiness is making for fun, just enjoying the processes. So, each day I am making time to make anything I want, alongside orders and teaching resources. So far, I'm having a great time!

#day5 #100daysof happiness #makingforfun

Friday, 18 July 2014

Day 4 100 Days of Happiness

Today's happiness was found in circles. There's something about the negative space, the repetition, the simplicity.

All of the holes were carefully drilled then cut out with a very fine saw blade before being smoothed with wet & dry paper. Slow, steady, demanding complete focus, a meditative pace.

And I do love copper. 

Reminiscent of pebbles, the shapes make me think of beach finds. It's a bangle, can't wait to make more.
#day 4 #100daysofhappiness

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Day 3 100 days of happiness

My happy thing today was making these... works in progress. 

Just a quick post today, I will share more about the inspiration for these later. But, in the spirit of my #100daysofhappiness and my focus on making just for fun, they contain elements I've had floating around in my head for ages, along with new ideas and inspirations. 

Still lots of things to do to them before they become something finished, but the sunshine was calling me outside. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

#day 2, 100 Days of Happiness


A happy couple of hours today spent drawing...

A concertina sketchbook with a mixed media surface, using maps, emulsion, brown/graph/lined paper, following lines and tonal areas. 

The shapes make me think of rock formations, bark and tide lines....

I always come back to these forms.

100 days of happiness

So many of my friends have done the #100daysofhappiness challenge, where you find something that makes you happy or grateful each day for 100 days, and share it via social media. I have admired their commitment and been envious that they had enough time to do it. But, a chance encounter yesterday has inspired me to find the time to do it. So, retrospectively, #day1 was yesterday, Tuesday 15th July 2014, and this is the reason why....

I had coffee with a stranger yesterday, a lady who started talking to me in the queue and we just clicked. In her late 70s, a painter, florist and costume maker, who had just been for her weekly Photoshop training session with an Apple Genius. Her father had been an artist/painter, like mine, but she said she only took up painting after he died because she felt she wasn't good enough in comparison. Between talk of fabrics, art supplies, and her wonderfully hectic social life, she made a point to remind me of the need to make time to create. She reminded me of the need to work in an environment that nurtures creativity, to explore all processes, and to push beyond my comfort zone. Passionate, inspiring, with a wonderfully feisty spark I can only dream of having, I left feeling utterly energised. So, I am going to make time every day to play, to make the things I've had floating around in my head for ages, no pressure, just fun things. Some may work, some won't. Started with a pebble ring, my little boy loved it!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Rusty circles

I've always enjoyed the effects of weathering and seeing the impact of the elements over time. I find coastlines endlessly inspiring, the ceaseless erosion by waves, wind and salty air on wood, stone and metal.

I am mesmerised by patination and rust and have been exploring natural rust colours with rust dying.

I love the ginger tones that rusty iron creates and have been using similar shapes that I use in my jewellery to explore colour and pattern.

These experimental samples include iron wire, handmade paper, cotton, linen, muslin, hand stitch and burning to create holes and more natural colouration from the deep brown of the burnt edge.

In using copper in my jewellery I try to exploit the natural colouration from heat and exposure to the air, incorporating the warm peach tones, through to deep reds that copper takes on over time.

I can't resist playing with repeated shapes.