Times they are a-changing…
I’ve handed my notice in at Thor and Wistle. Alas I need to return to full time employment within the corporate world. I’ve learnt so much in the last year and a half and will still be making and selling jewellery in the weekends/ online. The issue is (as ever) cashflow, my husband has also been out of work - it’s been lovely spending so much time with him in our domestic bubble but times are tough….going gonna rough…or some some cheese.
I’m totally at peace with the decision, it feels about right. I think I’ve learnt enough about the manufacturing, making and selling process to continue small scale, while taking the pressure off of myself to make a living out of it.
I have plans to do more courses too; desperate to learn CAD design and more about wax carving. The great thing about learning the art jewellery making is that there is no used-by date. I’ve probably go another 30 years of creativity left.
The necklaces pictured above are re-tweeked designs. The Bangles slightly older. If you are interested in purchasing any of the pieces you see here, email me directly: email@example.com
The Joys of Jigsaw!
Does anyone else have moments when you discover something new then wonder how the hell you were so stupid not to figure it out sooner?? That’s how I felt after my husband schooled me in cutting perspex with a Jigsaw (Electric hand-saw thingy).
In my head I thought it would crack the perspex or the blade would go so fast the perspex would melt. Yay, none of that happened! The wonders of fast, easy to cut, straight lines are now at my finger tips. The threat of loosing said finger tips just ad’s the mystic of it all….I guess.
The reason I’m in the midst of a make-fest and working on new designs is a potential market spot, this weekend, at Cabbages and Frock’s, which is a craft market in Marlybone, London. Keeping an eye on the weather forecast before committing.
I’m planning this latest selling adventure with ‘Empire of Indulgence’ buddy Laura Parra. for those not in the know - Empire of Indulgence is a little collective of Jewellery Makers who met through Holts Academy. Some of us are teachers there and some are ex-students.
I’ve also go another pop-up shop, for one week, in June or July….obviously I need to find out a little more information on that one:[)
Blog Images: S’all about a work in progress. Sorry, the lighting in my basement flat is terrible - it’s on the top 3rd of the to-buy list…that I don’t have any money for at this stage. Nay bother, one of these days we’ll get there.
Bye for now. x
“Excuse me - has anyone seen spring anywhere?”
I think most of the UK is suffering from ’ over it now’ with regard to winter. The plus side of that is (as a sales person), it’s a great opener for any conversation - we all LOVE to share a little grumble, which in it’s own depressing way unites and fortifies us!
Thought I’d tell you about an exciting new (London based) jewellery designer in at Thor & Wistle this week - Gisele Ganne. Her work could be considered macabre with inspirations taken from victorian mourning jewellery and tribal cultures, but I adore her style.
Skulls are a bit dime a dozen these days with lots of artists (and manufactures) jumping on the band wagon and while Gisele’s collection is generous with them (don’t be put off if skulls aren your thing, her work is a myriad of varied curiosities) they are used with unique style, humour, delicacy, and above all - individuality: you’ll certainly stand out from the crown wearing Gisele Ganne, her collections are instantly recognisable and the finish ‘qaulity’. I particularly love her Vodoo range of needles and skulls and the mourning rings.
Not sure if it’s just Shoreditch but it feels like there is a building momentum for the darker side of frivolity. I mean, taxidermy and antlers on the wall, skull art, day of the dead celebrations in London! - who would’ve thought? I confess to the odd mooch on the net looking for interesting animal bone and skull replica’s…I think I’m normal. Why are such things so compelling now? Is this all part of my mid life crisis - some desperate need to be different or is a segment of our popular culture shifting away from plastic packaged modernity and connecting with art and design on a more visceral and primal level?
Growing up in New Zealand (being part Maori and of a generation where the mistakes of Imperial thinking were being redressed with a return to ancestral teachings) I’ve always felt connected to …how do you describe it without sounding flaky (?)…the energy of life and death?? Myth and Legend were used to describe my county’s creation, Life and the passage of death. The metaphors of Rangi and Papa (earth mother and father) and the tree of souls (spirits travel through it on the beginning of their journey into the afterlife) ignite the imagination and resonate so satisfyingly with me. It’s a far fetched hope but, maybe Jewellery designers like Gisele Ganne and Rachel Entwistle (more on her later) will get people talking and looking at other cultures beliefs…and thinking.
Well, all’s I’ll say is, what ever is happening I like it.
Ciao for now lovely people!
Top: Giselle Ganne, Porcupine Quill Necklace
Below: Giselle Ganne Dances with Wolves Ring + 2 pieces from Rachel Enwistle Momento Mori collection. all available instore at Thor & Wistle
Yikes! A Birthday Boy!?!
Tonight I’m off to a friends birthday dinner and being quite skint these days, was all a-fuss over what I could make for a gift.
The chap in question is a guitarist so (and,I know this is obvious and a bit cheesy) I started off with the idea of a guitar shaped necklace or something. Went online for guitar shaped templates and came across this cool image, ‘in the the midst of an act of rock n roll destruction’.
**Please note, the image below, in no way reflects this artists values with regard to the treatment of guitars. No guitars were harmed in the making of this blog.**
After printing the image @ 25% of it’s original size I found a scrap of…I think it was copper but it could have been gilding metal(??), cleaned it (with a quick sand) and then used some spray-mount to secure the image to the metal.
After that it’s just a case of cutting it out, filing the edges smooth then sandpapering the whole piece in decreasing grades until you get the desired finish. I could have put this in the polishing tumblr for a shiny finish but think the satin look more durable.
Oh, point to note - Once you’ve cut the piece out, it’s easier to get the paper off with pure alcohol. Nail polish remover would probably do it.
I ended up making a key ring type thing as I’m not sure Tom is a necklace kinda guy. Here’s hoping he’s one of those ‘it’s the thought that counts’ people:-)
Actually made some jewellery this week
A friend’s birthday - 2 hours before leaving I realised that the pair of earrings I’d intended to give her must have sold. A bit of a fevered design process but I was happy with the results - and thankfully so was she:-)
I’ve also been preparing some new smaller shells for casting. Last time I just took the shell in ‘as-is’ and then spent an hour cleaning up each casting. Wearing my sensible shoes now and putting in the graft beforehand.
Unfortunately, as ever, there is a learning curve - broken shells and cursing. But I got two finished products out of it….now I just have to rustle up the cash to pay for moulds and silver….there may be a bit of a delay;-)
No picture of the new shells (cause frankly - thats a bit boring) so here’s a shell-bird instead! I worked around it for a couple of weeks but slowly it’s been pushed to the background o my work-bench.
Bloggers are the way forward!
I’m learning so much at Thor & Wistle, and one of those things is - the power of the blogger. You peeps may already know this but it was news to me; high profile Blogger’s get invited along to cool events, and get free stuff if they talk about products they like.
So I guess the way forward from here is to mooch about online and find some blogs that might like a bit of Make It Funky in their lives:-) Recommendations welcome! The problem is trying to stay focused whilst looking for them…so easy to get distracted by the pretty things.
Image: My new 3 Levels of Decadence bangle. So easy to wear, prefer 2 together for a real statement. Photography - Matt Cheetham
It’s been way too long!
I feel I must start with an apology for the frequency of my blogging lately. I can’t believe 2 days of work per week has impacted so heavily….(just looked back at that sentence and even I thought - what a princess!)…but really, it has.
As well as my duties for Thor & Wistle I’m getting read for another Pop-up shop in Clerkenwell November 5th - 11th (some crazy cool designs are emerging) and, just to pile a little more pressure on I was away this weekend and am in New York all next week.
Still, the pop-up shop is not quite as stressful this time around - I know what to expect; it’s just a bit of a juggle to fit everything in….and totally my fault for leaving things to the last minute as per usual. Just as well I work well under pressure…or perhaps that means ‘don’t work at all without pressure??’.
Time for me to get ready for work at the shop today; hope you like the shots of my new designs - just shot them quickly on my iphone. If you’re about in Clerkenwell 1st week November - pop down and try some on for size!
Jewellery Photography Course Review
Tutor: Matt Cheetham
Date/ Location: London Jewellery School, 10.00am - 5.00pm, Sunday 6th October 2012
Cost: £125 + VAT
On Sunday I headed off the London Jewellery School for another short course. This is my third there in the past few years and it didn’t dissapoint. Where do they find thier tutors - honestly I don’t know where Matt found his patience and good humour but it never let up.
The first part of the day we learnt all about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, depth of field… and how to find these on your camera. Prior to attending this course none of the ladies in attendance had given our camera manual more than a casual glance (that kind of tedium definitely more of a male pass time) but by lunch time we were getting the hang of it. There were loads of little tips on how to bounce light, what kind of studio lights to look for, shooting angles….. and after lunch we had fun playing with different lighting set ups (natural and sun made) - then stood behind Matt as he talked us through basic editing in photoshop.
This was only a one day course so obviously I’m no expert yet - getting my head around photoshop is another mission altogether. I will certainly be conducting more informed experiment’s with my jewellery photography though, and I’ll also be able to understand the banter when mooching about on photography forums. I see this as the beginning of the road but I’m set for the journey.
Wow what a week!
My little brain hurts from all the input. This Wednesday I started with Thor and Whistle; great place to work, happily absorbing the atmosphere and ever so grateful to Rachel and Camilla for creating it. I’ve had to adopt a stage name for the shop though - it’d be too confusing to have 2 Rachael’s there (especially as one of them is the designer/ owner) so from this pint forward I shall be Roxy. It’s a bit weird to introduce myself to customers as someone else but for a couple of days a week… it’s an interesting experiment, blurring the edges of ones identity.
This Saturday I’ll be at the Boogaloo Gift Fair in Highgate where I’ll be selling jewellery samples off at bargain prices. It’s always a fun day; what’s not to love, sitting in a pub sipping cider, chatting to craft minded entrepreneurs and meeting new people.
Also this week - thrilled to have my 1st 100% positive feedback from a customer on ASOS.
So party people, I’d better get off this computer and crack on with market prep.
Images: Taken around Club Row in Shoreditch where I work. I took these on the day I went in for the interview - early bird that I was, time to kill.
Sooooooo..oooooo Excited right now!!!
…though I think I may have expelled a little heat outta that statement with all those O’s.
And the reason for my effusive overload/ explode? …Just received a copy of Tank Magazine through my door (ordered online yesterday - nice service) which includes a lovely shot of several Make it Funky pieces. It’s such a cool mag - massive thanks to stylist Rhona Ezuma (also on Tumblr) who by happy coincidence, walked past our Pop-Up Shop and fell for the look.
I’m doing another Pop-Up Shop in November in association with the Aesthetic Council - let it rain Stylists and Fashionista’s!