Centrepiece and Me [in the Press]

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The first visitors to the new studio came last week in the form of a reporter and photographer from Birmingham’s Mail and Post.

I’d bearly finished unpacking  but I did  manage to find some tea so that we could sit down for a bit of a chat about me and my work. It’s a little unnerving, talking to someone with an open notepad, but they were wonderfully informal and I actually quite enjoyed it. As an added bonus I somehow managed to get them to list me as 23 – taking a whole year off in an afternoon!

Have a read of the full article here:

Article from Birmingham Mail 25/11/10

It’s in the Mail today …

Friday, more flotsam experiments …

Friday, a week into having an independant studio to work in.

Being alone is turning out to be pretty damn inspiring. I’ve had a chance to get ideas down on paper and develop them gently through the day. It’s been one of those weeks that’s made me happy to be a craftsperson and reminds you why you scrimp, save and work dingy part time jobs to pay for the time to play with metal.

I got my bag of driftwood out of storage when I moved and went through my beachy photos. Looking back at my last trip to Wales and the drfitwood spoons I made then I realised again how great a combination wood and silver can be – so I’ve set out to make some more ‘found object’ pieces. Here’s an almost complete picture of one of the necklaces I made today, following a quick sketch:

Flotsam Salvage Necklace (in pieces)

Then I found, in amongst the stash of driftwood, a really nicely coloured section of wood so I went a little crazy and made some brooches too:

New Salvage pieces in progress

and another necklace. Then I dropped them all at the Assay Office on my way home. More pictures when I pick them u next week!

*Good Day*

Wednesday, finishing work and opening Centrepiece 2010

Wednesday was an extraordinarily productive day.

Not only did I get to work on some new ideas that have been kicking around my head for a while:

Pebble Brooch Experiment

but I finally got my first set of snowflakes finished and up for sale too. These have been a bit of a nightmare, porous castings meant that the resin that fills them seeped out as is was setting, causing quite a mess and a lot of extra cleaning up. I’m not sure what went wrong in the casting process (I need to go and consult with my caster) but tiny holes throughout the silver are never good. Fortunately the initial leakage seems to have plugged the holes in them and the second layer of resin went on just fine:

Snowflake Pendants

They look lovely now that they’re all clean again. I’m currently sporting a purple one and once I finish cleaning the rest I’ll get them up in the Folksy shop. The ones I have sanded and polished are in the 2010 Centrepiece Selling Exhibition which officially opened on Wednesday night too. It’s being hosted by Symphony Hall and features over 30 designer makers form in and around the Quarter. It’ll be open until the 23rd of December so if you;re heading into the city for the German Market it’s well worth stopping by us too!

Centrepiece Private View gets underway


Renting a Studio

Last week I rented a studio. It was totally impulsive and not really like me. It was also too good an opportunity to pass up.

I’ve been feeling confined in my teeny, tiny home studio of late and was longing to branch out. Plus, I miss my beloved Jewellery Quarter. Then,while casually leafing through Benchpeg (a must of jewellers) I spotted this:

I had to see it. In the way that you have to try on amazing shoes in  high street stores – even though you probably aren’t going to buy them and they’re ridiculously frivolous. So I emailed, then I dropped in and, well, it was a big white room but hey – it was more than my current 4′ square.

So I mulled, fretted, did some adding up, drew pictures of where all my stuff would go, fretted and, eventually, just rented the damn thing:

And it feels pretty great. I went to work in it this morning and was productive. I had space to lay out supplies, draw new design ideas and I wasn’t in anyone’s way. I could walk to get all my supplies instead of catching two trains. I’m converted and release again how important it is to have working space of one’s own.

Worcestershire Arts Trail 2011

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We’re launching the first county wide Open Studio Arts Trail in 2011 and we need YOU.

Whether you’re a painter, jeweller or blacksmith we’re looking for artists and crafts people from across the county willing to open their studios to the public on:

27th – 30th May 2011

10am – 5pm Friday to Bank Holiday Monday

We’re also looking for Worcestershire Galleries to join the trail selling local and national Art and Craft.

It’s a fantastic opportunity, as an artist or maker,  to widen your customer base and really help to raise the profile of the Arts and Crafts in Worcestershire.

Download an application form here:

Worcestershire Arts Trail Application Form 2011

or email worcestershireartstrail@live.com to request one


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date as the Trail gets closer