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.

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.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Meet the maker...Louise Barter of Secret Garden Studio.

Over the next few months in the run up to Reveal we will be finding out more information on the exhibitors taking part. We'll get to know where they trained, where they get their inspiration from and more details of what they make.

Today we meet Louise Barter of Secret Garden Studio.

I studied Textiles for my HND and then continued onto Degree level at The Winchester School of Art. My passion for fabrics and pattern, has led me into creating contemporary wall hangings. I like to source unusual materials, many of which have been recycled from vintage closets! I'm bonkers about buttons and enjoy using them to give an added tactile dimension to my work.
Past commercial experience in the fashion industry, has given me the desire to turn my attention to the interior boutique! I try to capture a certain childlike naivety within my imagery, but with an air of sophistication. I believe that simplicity holds the key to good design and composition. My inspiration derives from everyday objects or nature, as I thrive on the challenge of taking something considered 'normal' and styling it into a modern masterpiece!
Remembering back to my primary school years, I recall wanting to become a wallpaper designer. I had a fascination for repeat patterns and spent many an hour sketching and doodling. My creativity blossomed over time, always with the desire to have an artistic occupation. It's quite ironic now, reflecting back, to realise that I've finally achieved my childhood dream, albeit via Applique Wall Art.
I am a great believer of individuality and making a statement, so follow your intuition and don't ever by deterred. Stay true to yourself and let everything else follow.
I love what I do; it's a part of who I am.

You can see Louise's Contemporary Applique wall art at Reveal 25-28 November and  2-5 December 2010.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

More Reveal Exhibitors

I know you have been waiting for an update, well here you are. Here are a few more of the Reveal 2010 exhibitors. I hope you've seen something you like. More to come in the next few weeks.

Machi de Waard - Modern and distinctive silver and gold jewellery.

Jules Hogan - Knitted accessories and gifts

Jane Tadrist - Contemporary silverware and jewellery

Amelia Staines - paper cut illustrations

Are they all fabulous!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

2010 Reveal Exhibitors

This year there will be two Reveals. The first one takes place from 25th to 28th November 2010 and the second will take place from 2nd to 5th December 2010 at the Old Fire Station Gallery, Henley on Thames, RG9 2AQ.

All items on show at Reveal are handmade and for sale, all items that are purchased can be taken away the very same day.

You can become a fan of Reveal on facebook for regular updates and to see more information on exhibitors in the coming months.

Here is a little taster of a few pieces from confirmed exhibitors for 2010.

Monda Loves... - Handmade softies, accessories and greeting cards from recycled materials.
Nicola De Cruz - Hand embroidered and printed purses, handbags and brooches.
JML Pottery -Hand thrown decorative and functional ceramics
Julie Simmonds - Ceramics.
CoCo Crafts - Handmade fabric handbags, purses, accessories and baby gifts