Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Reveal - A Christmas showcase of handmade craft: 25 - 28 November 2010 & 2-5 December 2010

Reveal starts from 5pm to 8pm this Thursday 25th November at The Old Fire Station Gallery, Henley on Thames, RG9 2AQ. This is the first of two shows and will continue to be open between 10am to 5pm from 25th to 28th November. 

Reveal showcases the work of 28 local artists, each producing quality handmade distinctive and bespoke Christmas gifts.

If you can't make the first show there will be a different range of equally high quality Christmas gifts for sale from 2nd to 5th December at the second show. Please join us for the private view of the second show between 5pm and 8pm on Thursday 2nd December. There will be wine and nibbles as well as the opportunity to chat to the participating artists. 

Friday, 19 November 2010

Meet the maker ... Joanna of JoJoJewellery

Thanks to Joanna from JoJoJewellery who tells us a bit more about her handmade jewellery.

My work is based around art silver clay and silver smithing techniques. I love using graphic prints and striking aged technique to give it its quirky edge of vintage New England, medieval and even Shakespearean inspired designs. My latest designs have started to incorporate tiny touches of enamel to create a new exclusive range for JoJoJewellery.
JoJoJewellery has been in business for nearly four years. In this time I have established my work in over 40 stockists nationwide, and have been chosen to join the website Not on the Hight Street and also been entered in the 2010 Craft & Design Selected Awards. I also have a yearly venue at the Henley Arts Trail where I serve on the committee.
For more Information, please visit Jo's website, or her Not on the Hight Street shop.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Meet the maker ... Machi de Waard

Today we find out more about Machi (formerly known as MagpieNest) and her stunning jewellery.  

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Machi and I’m a jeweller. I’m currently Artist in Residence at South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell. I make modern pieces in silver and gold, sometimes using gemstones.

How long have you been making and how did you start out?

I’ve been making since I can remember, even cutting the line from my children’s Snoopy fishing rod to make necklaces. It’s already been 3 years since I started full time as a jeweller and I’m still loving it.

Where do you promote and sell your work?

You can find my jewellery online on Etsy and Folksy, as well as on my own website. I also exhibit at craft fairs and participate in shows with local artists such as the Caversham Artists and the Berkshire Designer Jewellers. Since I’m one of the two jewellers in residence at South Hill Park in Bracknell this year and next, people also drop by there to discuss commissions or just to see what I’m working on.

Who or what inspires you?

I’m a big fan of abstract expressionism and minimalism, so work by artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Yves Klein inspire me. Closer to home, though, my whole family is artistic so I can also see creativity at work in my sister’s knitting or my mom’s painting or my grandmother’s tapestries….the list is endless. I love how you can give the same material to a hundred people to make something and they will all come up with something totally different.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? / What’s the best piece of advice you would give to other makers starting out?

Best advice: take good photos. Advice I would give: make a light box. Look it up on Google and away you go…

Have you got any current projects/new stock you’re working on that you want to tell us about?

I’ve changed my business name to my name (Machi de Waard) from MagpieNest to make it clearer that it’s just me making the jewellery and also so people can find me more easily! I’ve also been very busily honing my collections and have quite a few new items, including new lace bangles, a bigger and better version of my peek ring, and two new silver with gold ball earrings.

Do you have any favourite online sellers or handmade websites that you can recommend?

I have tried many an online shop and have come back to the two that work the best for me: Etsy and Folksy. I feel that they are the easiest to work with in terms of set up and maintenance. It seems to me that these two are the most recognised by people interested in handmade work and also offer a good selection of items to their followers. You can find me on Etsy and Folksy.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Meet the maker...Helena Ross of Helix Glass

Helena Ross is based in Crowthorne, specialising in the use of glass in architectural panels and jewellery. Her company, Helix Glass, combines the artistic skills of design with the craftsman skills of modern glass working.

The owner and designer, Helena Ross says "I have always been interested in colour, and was first attracted to using glass by the way light spilled into buildings from stained glass. A visit to Coventry Cathedral inspired me to train in the art and the craft.”

Helena studied at degree level under Rodney Bender at the Swansea Institute from 2001- 2004, and this helped her develop a modern design style that is very effective in homes, public spaces and commercial buildings. Her main style is based on the interplay of graphic images operating in overlaid levels, and in addition to traditional techniques incorporates sandblasted and kiln-fired elements. The overall effect provides a three-dimensional impact, that changes as the light moves during the day, and as the viewer approaches the piece. “The aim is always to provide interest as different elements of the design are registered by the viewer as the eye traces the design. I hope people view the panels with positive thoughts, as I try hard to bring an underlying harmony to the work.” Helena also carries out commissioned work in a variety of styles from medieval through Art Deco to contemporary designs.

Helena also produces jewellery with the same fascination of colour and light. It is driven by the discovery of unusual combinations of textures, hues and patterns, aiming to provide lively pieces that shimmer in the light.

 You can see Helena's glass at the second show of Reveal on 2nd - 5th December 2010.