Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Meet the maker .... Nicola De Cruz

Nicola De Cruz studied Textile design specialising in embroidery & graduated in 2005. She then went on to become an accessory designer at the beginning of 2007, designing and producing handmade, high quality, exquisite purses & handbags.

From the third generation of embroiderers in her family this Surrey based designer creates accessory collections from her log cabin studio. The collections are based on vintage images, fairy tales and Victorian tea parties creating an elegant appearance with a chic, British style.


The accessories are made from a range of recycled, vintage and new fabrics such as leather, suede, cotton and silk.

Using a mixture of hand embroidery and hand guided machine embroidery techniques as well as digital printing techniques produce distinctively embellished accessory designs. The designs are then adorned with a mix of recycled, new and vintage buttons, ribbon and lace.

Passionate about British design and with focus on embroidery in the UK all purses and handbags are made individually in England.

Nicola De Cruz accessories collections have recently won a Silver award in The Craft and Design awards for Textiles and Needlecraft 2010.


I sell my work around the country at various exhibitions; I also sell my work in galleries and shops around the UK as well as online. Visit Nicola's website here.

Nicola is inspired by antique objects, vintage imagery from 1800’s-1950’s, flowers and natural objects and historical buildings.



We also asked Nicola a few more questions:
What’s the best piece of advice you would give to other makers starting out? Do a short business course to help you with your pricing for trade and industry as well as selling direct to the customer.

Have you got any current projects/new stock you’re working on that you want to tell us about?Working in new colours and making and designing larger handbags.

Do you have any favourite online sellers or handmade websites that you can recommend? Handmade web sites: Dawanda, Joolia and Me myself and I.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Meet the maker... Lara Taggart of Shadow Maker

We find out more about Lara of Shadow Maker today.

On a visit to South Africa I watched a local artisan string together clay beads along with various metal objects he had found. Inspired by the effective simplicity of the idea, I have tried to stay true to its origins by using only those metal objects I am able to find and recycle.

In order to bring the metal objects and the Shadow Maker to life, I’ve introduced the use of glass beads, which capture and reflect the light of their surroundings.



I have recently introduced various metal heart shapes into a new line of “shadowmakers”, which have softened the more industrial feel of the original design. The small hearts are made by myself, but the more complicated ones are made by a Zimbabwean gentleman I met in South Africa.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Meet the maker... Jami of JML pottery

Today Jami from JML pottery tells us more about her lovely pottery.

There are two things I have always known about myself. I am a practical person by nature and I have always loved making beautiful, useful things. These integral parts of who I am have led me to become a potter. The satisfaction I derive from creating something that can be enjoyed for its usefulness as well as its beauty keeps me working hard at the potter’s wheel, striving to continually achieve that balance in my work.


Intrigued by all things handmade, a ceramics course during university captured my attention. A visit to my ceramics professor’s house further opened my eyes to the beauty and simplicity of clay. In her kitchen, surrounded by all her own ceramic pots, dishes, cutlery and d├ęcor, I was mesmerised. I realised then that clay was the medium that could best fuse my practical and creative sensibilities. I have never looked back since.
A move to England after graduation gave me the opportunity to focus on this passion. I enrolled in the Level 3 City and Guilds ceramics course at Rosetta Studios and later went on to teach that same course. I later taught evening throwing classes at Lisa Hammond’s Maze Hill Pottery. After four years of learning and teaching, I set up my home ceramics studio to further develop my skill level and repertoire.


I make all my own glazes and slips from scratch. I throw everything and alter some items. Recently, I have been experimenting with use of coloured slip against lighter clay bodies. The interplay between the textural swirls and the body itself gives them an energy that I strive to achieve. See more here.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Meet the maker....Bal from Visconti Couture

Thanks to Bal of Visconti Couture who gives us an insight into some beautiful handmade jewellery and handbags.

Handbags and jewellery are essential accessories needed to either compliment or complete an outfit. Our designs are not only exclusive, they are individual creations delicately handcrafted making our jewellery and handbags both glamorous and elegant yet truly timeless must have pieces.

Our products are bespoke and therefore can be designed and tailored to suit the client’s individual style and needs. With something for everyone our products are appealing to customers looking for timeless classics. Each piece is designed and developed from concept to completion making it unique, individual and classy with great passion and care going into each stage of development.



Our jewellery is made using sterling silver, non tarnishing metals and wire, which are carefully handcrafted using specialist skills and techniques which are continually developed to ensure that each piece of jewellery evolves from the last making it unique, distinguishing and come alive. The innovative collection began with beautiful encrusted earrings accompanied by exquisite and intricate bracelets. These have been followed by glamorous Swarovski crystal rings, with most recently adding to our collection have been chic necklace pendants and chokers.

We select only the very best Swarovski crystals, beads and semi precious stone for our jewellery which compliments each piece giving it character, charm and a unique individualness. Our jewellery is delicate and light, making it elegant, chic and sophisticated to wear.
   
Our handbags are individually handmade from beautiful fabrics and embellishments. The fabrics are carefully selected by texture and colour to compliment our designs to the finish. The embellishments and trimmings are sourced from only the very best. Finishing touches of exquisite beads, sequins and stones makes each piece classy and elegant from the last.
With fashion trends changing season to season our pieces are unique timeless creations adding a touch of class.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Meet the maker... Jules Hogan

Today we find out a bit more about Jules Hogan.

I graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1995, and have been working in the design industry for the past 15 years.

My initial collection of jewellery was designed in 2008 and I have developed my ideas whilst pursuing work as a freelance knitwear designer.


The materials used are sterling silver, hill tribe fair trade silver, leather, pearls and semi- precious gemstones. All of the pieces differ due to the unique markings of the stones.


After selling knitwear designs both nationally, and internationally to fashion houses, this year sees the launch of my first collection of handmade knitted accessories and gifts.



All of the fabric is either hand or machine knitted and finished in my garden studio in Berkshire.Where possible I support British companies using surplus yarn, reclaimed buttons and felt made from recycled materials.

I hope you enjoy the collection as much as the joy it has given me to make. See more.