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Showing posts from August, 2015

Motivation Monday - seek passionately

Free visual arts career development open days, London

I will be speaking at two free career development open days at the Mary Ward Centre, London next month. They are on Wednesday 16th September and Saturday 26th September.
The visual arts day has been designed for artists and would-be artists to consider their next steps.

Wednesday 16th September & Saturday 26th SeptemberWRITING AN ARTISTS STATEMENT  10am-1pm, Room 14 Award winning script writer and poet Colin Pink will lead a workshop to help develop effective and exciting statements which sum up an individual artistic vision. LUNCH 1–1:30pm, Room 11  VISIT TO COCKPIT ARTS 2–3:30pm
A short walk from the Mary Ward Centre, Cockpit Arts provides support and studio/workshop spaces for a wide range of creative artists, designers and craft makers. After a short talk, we shall visit several makers in their studio spaces, including jewellery, textile and glass designers and their businesses. PUBLICITY ON A SHOESTRING 4–5:00pm, Room 14
Returning to the Mary Ward Centre, Anna Campbell will examine s…

Innovative trends in ring design

Ring design has come a long way from the traditional stone set piece. There are a few interesting trends that are here to stay

Illusion rings

I love the illusion ring, a clever design that leaves you wondering how it’s done

This gold chevron ring by Katia V on Etsy is one ring rather than two. The way it is made ensures the two chevrons maintain their distance apart on the finger

This X ring by Happy Way Jewelry has a similar look

WD Unique Designs has a lovely range of these types of illusion rings including this one

This ring by Raphael Steinbach features another trend in illusion rings, showing a lot of skin through the front of the ring

Unusual shapes There is also a trend for more unusual shapes in rings, playing on the traditional and turning it on it’s head

This gorgeous resin and metal ring by

Marking for the intensive diploma in Creative Jewellery at the London Jewellery School

This week I have enjoyed marking the work of my diploma students on the Diploma in Creative Jewellery at the London Jewellery School. The diploma is normally a year long course, one day a week, where students learn a variety of jewellery making techniques including silversmithing, silver clay, perspex, polymer clay, fused glass, enamelling, wax carving, wire wrapping - all kinds of techniques.
Every summer the jewellery school runs a seven week intensive diploma course where the students attend five days a week for six weeks and then complete a workbench week to finish off work and to complete pieces for a final exhibition. The intensive course covers all the same topics as the year long course, just a bit quicker! Students attend the intensive course for a number of reasons for example, one of the students is from Germany and has been staying in London for the duration of the course.
I am the mentor and tutor for the intensive diploma group this year (as I was last year) and it is amaz…

Texture Tuesday - Lincoln cathedral

Motivation Monday - know what's true for you

London for free - a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum

I live east of London so don't often venture over far to the west where the main museum quarter is. However, yesterday I was meeting a friend for lunch in Kensington and decided to go to the jewellery gallery in the Victoria and Albert museum.
Kensington has some of London's best museums including the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum - all of which are free to visit for all. It's definitely a great place to go for a day out, with Hyde Park just up the road - lots of free attractions in one spot!
I love the V&A and first had a wander around on the ground floor to look at the sculptures. I was particularly looking for the copy of Michaelangelo's David as we have a holiday booked in Florence soon and are going to be seeing the real thing! It really is amazing to see. To think it was carved from one single piece of marble.

I then made my way up to the jewellery gallery, my main reason for being there. I had hoped to take some photos there to share with you bu…

Workbench Wednesday - three pendants

This is what's on my workbench today, I've got three pendant to finish off. I really want to get them in the kiln tonight. I've had a couple of questions about what the purple one is on instagram and facebook so I'lł let you know it's dicrotic glass. Glass can be fired in the kiln whereas most gemstones are damaged at that level of heat.

Another visit to Blenheim Palace

On Sunday we visited Blenheim Palace again. It is a beautiful house and gardens in Oxfordshire. We only saw a small part of the gardens last time we visited so it was great to get to the Pleasure Gardens and visit the butterfly house this time. I really loved it in there. The way they fly looks so unreal, like they're on a string and being jerked about. We saw some beautiful butterflies as you can see. I would love to make a butterfly brooch with enamel to try to capture some of these colours.

Texture Tuesday - Pantheon, Rome

Motivation Monday - great things are done by a series of small things brought together - Van Gogh

My top 5 favourite podcasts

I have become a big fan of podcasts this year. I listen to them when I am making jewellery and when I am travelling, particularly when I am commuting into London for work. I find they help pass the time and keep my mind occupied. A podcast is an audio episode, similar to a radio programme. You can download them to a device e.g. a smartphone, iphone, tablet or ipad. Once they are downloaded you can listen to them on the go (you can listen to them via 'streaming' but this can be costly on your mobile data so downloading while you have wifi is best).
Here are my current top five favourites (although I am finding more all the time!)

The Undisclosed podcast is my current obsession! I first heard of Serial from one of my students and became hooked on that and I recommend it if you haven't heard it. In fact, you have to listen to Serial before you listen to Undisclosed. Serial and Undisclosed look at the case of the murder of Hae Min Lee in Baltimore. Her ex-boyfriend was convicted…

Inspiring designs - innovative earrings

I am a big fan of pinterest for finding and sharing beautiful jewellery designs and I have noticed a trend for some unusual and innovative earring designs. Front and back earrings Traditionally earrings are designed to be seen front on but this new trend for front and back earrings means they are more versatile as they can often be worn two ways. The focus on the back of the earring means that there is something to be seen from the back of your head!

These pearl earrings worn by Emma Watson have a smaller pearl stud at the front and a larger one at the back.

These earrings are pearls on one side and sterling silver and cubic zircona on the other and can be worn either way around.

These earrings feature a stylised hook coming from the back around to the ear lobe

I love this geometric design from Laonato on Etsy

These are rose gold plated and available from Astrid and Miyu

Texture Tuesday - Gloucester cathedral cloisters

Jewellery making travel essentials

This blog post was originally written for the London Jewellery School blog

I often find that inspiration can come when I am away from home and without my jewellery making equipment! When we travel we see new places, people and things that can inspire us. We may also stumble upon a beautiful bead shop as I did recently when we made a trip to Murano, Venice. So, to capitalise on this inspiration I take a small sketchbook and pencil as well as taking lots of photos! I also have a little travel kit of jewellery making tools and supplies that I take if I want to make while I’m away from home. It consists of


Chain nosed pliers Round nosed pliers Cutters

I tend just to take these pliers. If I have space I also take flat nosed pliers as they are really best for opening jump rings. The little case I put everything in is the smallest sized packing square from travelon, you can find a link to it here.   I only work with full sized tools. I know you can get some really cute mini travel plier sets…

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