Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sarah Bernhardt

I came across this beautiful jewellery book Fashion for Jewels. Looking through I came across a beautiful picture of french actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923). She was the poster girl for the Art Nouveau movement. One poster that gave Bernhardt instant fame was 1894 play Gismonda.

The images below are gorgeous and shows Sarah Bernhardt's incredible style. Amazing.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hatton Garden Festival

It was Hatton Garden Festival yesterday.

I was lucky enough to take part in this event. As well as selling my own work, I also took part in the world record attempt to manufacture the most silver rings in one hour.

I started early on Saturday as I had to be in London to set up my stall and was already set up by 10.30 am.

At 12.00 the world record attempt was well under way and all the volunteers were put into different areas along the production line, I was placed in the shaping area. Here I was in charge of shaping the rings after the rings were soldered together.

Me in action.

Every ring was numbered by the Holts Academy course leader Scott, then hall marked by the Assay office especially opened for this event. I was put down for a one hour stint, unfortunately we only managed to make 10 in this hour. But luckily the Holts Academy group would be there for the whole day. Before I knew it the world record was broken by 5 rings, now the world record to beat is 30 rings in one hour!

The finished rings for sale

This event drew in alot of attention from the public who were really interested in the cause and how each ring was made. It was a great way of getting people to see what goes into the making a ring.

The volunteers in action.

Then I went back to my stall which was being looked after by my lovely boyfriend who was doing a good job selling my work. I left him to it and went to see what other treats were on offer.

All day during the festival we had entertainers, face painters, experimental dancers and live music to keep us entertained.

There were many food stalls to sample many cuisines. I opted for a Bhangra burger which was lovely, nicely spiced and very fresh!

Fabrications the independent gallery, studio and shop were there with a stall to let the public have a go at designing a textile necklace with recycled fabrics and beads.
Fabrications was set up by Barley Massey, passionate about eco design and upcycling. Check out their website here.

I spoke to one lady who was in the middle of making her own necklace who said she was really enjoying doing something she doesn't normal do. I think thats why going to events like this is great for people as it opens your eyes to new things and it can be very educational.

Also on offer there was a chance to make your own wire jewellery with Holts Academy, Talks about how jewellery is made using traditional techniques and new technologies. All of which took place on an old style London bus.

There were stalls where you could watch traditional craftsmen who were engraving, cutting gemstones and designing rings with a computer. It was a great way to see what these craftsmen go through in their industry and learn something new.

Events announced by a traditional town crier.

Holts Academy workshop

A craftsman cutting gem stones.

I also discovered a new up and coming jewellery designer, Amma Gyan. She designs jewellery using moulded leather into unique and gorgeous jewellery. She has always worked in leather designing high-waisted belts back in 2003 which she got a lot of recognition for.

She has recently been awarded silver in special media category from Craft and Design magazine. I'm sure there will be lots more to come from her.

Amma Gyan and her stall.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

London Jewellery Week: My Day part three. Liberty: Meet Alex Monroe.

I had one more stop before my day ended and it was a stop I had been looking forward to all day. I was on my way to Liberty to meet Alex Monroe and see his new Chrysanthemum collection. Liberty would be the first stockist of Alex Monroe's new collection.

Alex Monroe was going to be there from 5pm til 7pm. I was a little early so had a little look around Liberty to inspire me and also kill time as Ididn't want to look like one of those obsessive fans that arrive early to a venue and stands in the corner ready to pounce on a unsuspecting jewellery designer.

I finally decided to go into the jewellery department and slowly find my way round to Alex Monroe's collection. He still wasn't there, however I got chatting to two lovely members of his team, who told me about Alex's collection. They told me the collection was the best received collection at London Fashion Week, which is very exciting.
They also told me Alex was cycling in from his studio. I decided to look around some more and have a little read of some books but with my eyes still on the look out for Alex Monroe.

Finally there was some buzz in the Jewellery room and a tall man had a crowd round him and a camera pointing towards him, it was Alex Monroe. After chatting to some other people I got my chance to spend a few minutes with Alex Monroe. All that waiting around was worth it. As you could probably tell I was a little nervous but he made me feel completely at ease from the start. He told me about how he constructed each of the chrystamimum petals individually by cutting and texturing them, and these are tiny petals.

Alex Monroe is a very friendly man, who designs all this beautiful jewellery while also traveling the world frequently for meet and greet events such as this one. But he says that he finds these events so important for customers to find out more how he produces his collection.

He really is a great inspiration and told me how he always wants to be involved in all aspects of his business even when it gets so busy. Like so many designers now who hardly find the time to design he makes this a high prority for himself.

See his new collection below

Check out the Liberty website here

London Jewellery Week: My Day part two. Designer Jewellers Group, 14 Carat and Lesley Craze Gallery.

Next I went to see an exhibiton at the Barbican. The Designer Jewellers Group were showing a varied range of jewellery from their members of the Designer Jewellers Group. They have members based all over the UK, and brings together a wide range of styles from contemporary to classic.

One of the exhibitors, John Moore, is an award winning contemporary craftsman who creates sculptural jewellery. He takes inspiraton from tribal jewellery and artifacts as well as natural forms.

This exhibition is definitely worth a visit. I think everyone will find something they would love to have.

There is always a member of the group there to answer any of your questions.

Jewellery by Petra Bishai

Jewellery by Sarah Macrae

Jewellery by Bo Davis

The Designer Jewellers Group Exhibition is on until 22nd June, so if you can't go this week there is still time to see it.

Outside Craft Central

Then I went to Craft Central's 14 Carat exhibiton. A lovely venue where designers were on hand to tell you about their work. The atmosphere was really friendly and there seemed to be a steady flow of people when I was there.

There were so many gorgeous things there I was very tempted myself. Situated in the heart of Clerkenwell, it's a great day out to get to know and support your local jewellery designer/makers.

Then I came across the Lesley Craze Gallery. I have never been here before but this was a great little find. I was greeted by the lovely gallery manager Rebecca Sweeting. The venue is small but full of delights ready to inspire you.

The gallery was showing the Collect Collections, exhibiting the work of the world's top jewellers and metalworkers. The Collect exhibition was previewed at the International Fair for Contemporary Objects held at the Saatchi gallery in May this year.

I found some really inspiring pieces. As well as this exhibition there was a permenant collection of jewellery designer/makers which is also well worth seeing.

Have a look at what I found.

UK based designer Simone Brewster

When I think I have seen everything in Jewellery design I come across something a little different.

French Jewellery Designer Maud Traon. These are amazing, so colourful and crazy I absolutely love them. Check out Maud's website too. here.

London Jewellery Week: My Day part one. Jewel East.

Yesterday at London Jewellery Week was so much fun. Here is what I did:

My first stop was Jewel East amidst the hussle and bussle of the busy Old Spitalfields Market. This is the first year Jewel East has run at London Jewellery week and is situated towards the end of the market by the food area. You get a chance to get involved in jewellery making with demonstrations and you can even have a go yourself. Find this at the Holts Academy of Jewellery stall they also offer courses in Jewellery making so if you are interested go get involved.

Then I saw a lovely group of designers from Flux studios. They are amazingly talented and so friendly. The director of Flux studios Vicky Forrester was there and spoke about her gorgeous collection and all about what Flux studios can offer budding jewellery designers. Definately worth a look at their website here. They offer courses throughout the year and at affordable prices.

Jewellery by Vicky Forrester.

Amongst the talent I spotted Helena Bravo Jewellery originally from America, Helena embarked on a career in fashion photography. She soon realised that she had a passion for jewellery making and took classes at Flux studios. Her work is very unusual she tells me how she loves to play different materials and how her work has the illusion of looking fragile but is actually very strong and robust. She is definately one to watch.

Jewellery by Helena Bravo Jewellery

Helena with her jewellery collection.

A surprise find from a lovely Italian woman Livia Lazzari. She told me she came all the way from Rome, Italy to be at London Jewellery week. Her designs are very much about being individual and not conforming to the world of precious jewellery. Livia's style is very tribal but with a rock 'n' roll edge to it. She uses alot of natural materials including wood, leather, coarse stones and feathers. All these materials have been discover from her travels across Europe. She has already had alot of exposure in Italian Vogue i'm sure it won't be long till she's discovered here too.

Livia Lazzari with her jewellery.

A gorgeous piece by Livia Lazzari.

Here are some of the highlights of JewelEast.

Jewellery by Yuki Sasakura. Some amazing pieces with silver mixed with beads and fabrics are really delightful.

Jewellery by Becky Dockree Beautiful photo etched necklaces.

Do come down and see Jewel East it was a great exhibition of jewellery designers. There is also a huge market next door to Jewel East. So you can find an outfit to go with your one of kind jewellery.

JewelEast will be on til sunday 12th however Saturday will be closed.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

interesting things to do with pencils

Sculpture: Jennifer Maestre.

Sculpture: Dalton Ghetti