Such a great weekend, captured here by David Rowe Photography. I didn't know my hall could look that big! Doing it all again next Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday; so please come along if you missed it.
Richmond upon Thames ARThouse Open Studio.
This venue is my house 65 Holmesdale Road, Teddington, TW11 9LJ
From 6 - 9 pm today, and 11 am - 6 pm this weekend (and again next weekend); it's Open Studio here. So come down and see what I make and where I make it, with the added bonus of 5 other jewellers, a silversmith and a photographer to see as well. What an event!
I am so excited. Photographer David Rowe has just filled my house with his amazing photographs as part of this weekend's Open Studio preparations. There are some amazing shots of Richmond and Bushy parks; including some of the amazing stags that we are lucky enough to have roaming just half a mile from my door.
This shot is of a couple of miles from here. The Thames with Richmond's Star and Garter Home at the top.
My eyes were drawn to a bracelet with small charms, and when I looked up, the stand belonged to Eileen Gatt.
"After graduating from the Royal College of Art in London, Eileen returned home to the Scottish Highlands to set up her own Jewellery & Silversmithing business in the Black Isle. This location provides her with the perfect environment in which to work as she is inspired by the mystical interaction between man and the sea. Eileen is fascinated by ancient stories and customs and this is what inspires her when she is designing her jewellery and silverware." You can find Eileen's website here.
Eileen actually taught me at an evening class many years ago when we were both in our twenties. I had seen her work on line before, but I came away thinking, that if I had to stand behind any stand today, that would have been the one I would have most like to have claimed as my own. (Hope you don't mind Eileen!)
The palette of pale greens and brushed silver hit the spot for me. The simplicity, the graphic shapes, and the fact it felt like there was a story behind the pieces, seemed just perfect. There was a necklace that I tried on and fell in love with. Best of all I feel totally inspired, and want to up my game.
And look at this image I found on line, polar bear, ice and snow. It could have been made for me!
Clean and contemporary, I really loved Mirri Damer's work. You can see her website here. I thoroughly recommend a look. Her collection is strong and cohesive. She told me she had a background in sculpture, and had set out wanting this to look delicate, yet with strength. She had a spectacular necklace made of mini clusters, and she had translated this down to a very commercial version which I was sorely tempted by. It was a version of this...
...but without the stone, and the double oxidised chain, did not hang down at one side. It was under £200, which in the Goldsmiths' Pavilion probably equates to a bargain! Perhaps I can put it on my list to Father Christmas?
I loved seeing Amanda Coleman's jewellery. My favorite bits were of the tiniest scale. She makes her work by photo etching through the thinest of sheets and then she puts several etched pieces together to form 3D shapes. Intricate and detailed, it is difficult to fully appreciate her work from her website, as the scale is what makes these pieces work so well, and you just can't tell how tiny they are until you see them for real.
Silver cow parsley stud earrings
Although not something I would normally be drawn to, Amanda was wearing her chandelier earrings, and they looked great! You can find her website here.
Whizzed up to Treasure on Friday, that was being held at Somerset house. I walked from Waterloo across one of the Jubilee Bridges. I love this view from there, although it always reminds me of the end of the Marathon, and how you have to do the steps up and down of this bridge, with such tired legs!
My intention was to visit Mel White, who has been in the same studio as me a bit recently. She was showing in Essence which was the Ethical section of Treasure.
It was great to see Mel's stand, and to see her enjoying the event. I am really looking forward to hearing how it went for her. A stand at Treasure is a big financial commitment, so I hope it went well. Mel is showing at my Open Studio next weekend - it will seem such an anti climax for her!!!
I have been busy today on a big batch of these tiny rings that I sell in sets of three. I am trying to get as much stuff ready for hallmarking as possible, so I can send hubby to the Assay Office on his way to work.
This is what I do with them when they are all polished up.
Here's how the Polar Bear was set up today to add the third jump ring on the back. The coin is there to stop the heat melting the chains, but that plus the two sets of tweezers really absorb the heat, which means it takes quite a while for it to get to temperature for the solder to flow. Ideally all three jumps could have been soldered without the chain in place, but this piece really needed to be hanging on its chain to work out exactly where the last ring should go. Phew!
Just a couple of shots of the work in progress today...
Must remember not to take shots of things on the honeycomb - it makes my eyes go funny! I have two round silver ends for the torque, which I hope to add tomorrow, and then I can get this polished and start setting the stones.
The rain was constant here today, but I was all snug in my studio with the rain drumming on the roof. It's only two weeks to Open Studio now - plus I have a whole pile of commissions; so it really is time to get my head down (especially as the kids were off school last week and nothing got done.) Here is what I did while the kids were at school today.
Clockwise from top left.
1.Soldered together the torque I have been working on
2.Finished soldering the Polar Bear necklace commission - just needs polishing, hallmarking and the stone setting
3.Made a teeny ring with a 5mm CZ as a bit of an experiment (unfinished)
4.Finally finished setting the stones on my latest commission for the US
5.Started adding some brooch pins onto my arctic hares
6.Gypsy set this 3mm stone in a chunky silver band I made last week
I'm planning another hour or so in there later when the kids are asleep. I was gem shopping at the weekend, and I have some lovely sky blue Topaz that I want to make into rings.
Nothing to do with jewellery stuff - but this morning my little family headed out to a big field nearby for a spot of 'car booting'. I managed to spend just a few pounds, and come away with a whole host of china beauties. My favorite must be this Victorian Moustache tea cup for £1. I am sure they have a real name, but I don't know what that is.
Basically, the cup has a little shelf inside for your moustache (not that I have one you understand!) to rest on. The shelf has a little hole in it, so you can sip your tea; but the beauty of this little number is that you don't get left with any embarrassing tea slops on 'yer tash!
Best of all the fancy gold writing says "Rev. A Jones Vicar of Bronington". Do you think he used it for Vicarage tea parties? Quite literally "More tea Vicar?"
Must do some research into this and find out all about it.