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Showing posts from May, 2011

Craft Central - studio open house

Thanks to Handmade by Emily, I found out about Made in Clerkenwell, an event being run at Craft Central. As it is located so close to my work I decided to go along on Friday after work. I'm very glad I did. Craft Central 'provides secure and professional workspace in a unique central London location from which makers can base their business.' They had two buildings open to the public and I really enjoyed climbing the stairs and wandering into the studio spaces. You didn't know quite what you'd find - jewellery, photography, scarves, toys, ceramics - all sorts of beautiful handmade things. I really enjoyed speaking to the designers and asking them about their experiences. It was inspiring for me, just starting out in my jewellery designing career,  and everyone was very warm and positive.



In the 'Made in Clerkenwell' corner shop I found Made in the Highlands showcasing the work of six makers who live in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. This was fantasti…

Crafty Magazines - checking out Mollies Makes

There's been a lot of chat on twitter and blogs in the last few days about a new craft magazine called Mollies Makes. As a bit of a magazine fan I decided to take a look. Issue 1 came out in the UK on 12th May, with some people saying that shops are already out of stock. I managed to find a copy in a Hobbycraft and decided to give it a go. I don't normally buy general craft magazines, preferring ones that are more specific to my crafts. However, I have set up a subscription for this one as I was impressed, even though there wasn't much jewellery. I love the quality of it and it's photos. I also love the house/workspace features. I love home magazines and their features are especially good because it features people making and buying handmade things for their own homes. And with a five pound subscription for the next three issues - I feel that's a bargain!

Other magazines that I subscribe to

I adore Metal Clay Artist magazine. Silver clay is my main medium and it is …

Learning to enamel

Ever since I discovered silver clay I have wanted to add colour. I love enamelled pieces, from football badges to intricate brooches. I have used coloured resins and I did like them but I do like the effect of real enamel.
When I saw that Joy Funnell (whose work I wrote about here) did one to one days tailor-made I decided to go for it.

Joy is based in Hastings so I had the excuse to book myself into a rather lovely B&B called the White House. I had the Washington room which is pictured here.

 Joy's husband kindly picked me up from my B&B and then Joy and I were off! In the morning Joy taught me how to make silver clay pieces ready to be enamelled using deep textures, recesses and the enamelled accents technique to create a cloisenne effect. We ate a quick sandwich and fired the pieces, moving on to grinding up the enamels, painting them on and firing.
I made two large pendants using all the enamelling techniques and then used liver of sulphur to patinate them. I am really p…

Do you need a fiction prescription?

I have been thinking about reading a lot recently. I aimed to read fifty books in a year last year and achieved it. I read lots of genres but mostly fiction.
I am sad that many book shops are closing. Having worked in a book shop for a few years while at university and at the beginning of my career they are my favourite type of shop. I love a good browse. It's a feeling that Amazon or the Book Depository are never going to be able to replace.
However, a few of my friends (and my Mum) now swear by their kindles. They say they are very convenient and they are reading more than ever. I am considering getting one although I do feel they are single function devices (I know you can get email on them but I have an iPad for that). I have been using the kindle app on the iPad and that has been fine but it's been winter so there hasn't been any screen glare! I am still considering the benefits of being able to own a book within 30 seconds of buying it rather than having to wait (if …