Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Enamelling leaf jewellery

Today I have done some of my more usual kind of work, getting an order ready to send out.  It is nice to be able to just sit quietly and enamel (not a very good photo as I took it with my mobile phone).  I made these pendants and a few pairs of earrings to go with them.

Large holed beads

I have had a busy few days trying to get back to normal (after the Guild of Enamellers annual conference) and trying to start sorting out my studio ready for North Yorkshire Open Studios in June.  I did make a few new large holed beads though a couple of days ago.

I made another funny bird bead, this time with a large hole so that it would fit onto one of my charm bracelets.

I have also begun to make a few more 'snowflake' patterned beads but with large holes for a new bracelet, for my Inspired by Heritage project.  These relate to the Scoresby collection and are based on the patterns I used for the beaded necklace a few weeks ago. 

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Art clay silver

I had a lovely day yesterday in the studio with Jo.  She was over from New Zealand visiting family and wanted to learn something about art clay silver.  She was very focussed about what she wanted to learn, worked hard all day and here are her lovely pieces.   

Thank you Jo for letting me post these on my blog for everyone to see!
I love to teach enthusiastic people to use art clay silver, it is such an interesting material to work in and everyone produces something unique and beautiful.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Blue necklace

Here is another necklace I showed at the exhibition at Guild of Enamellers annual conference a few days ago.  This one is hand made lamp worked glass beads combined with a large bead made in art clay silver and enamelled.  The tiny spacer beads are also hand made using art clay silver. Some of the glass beads have been included on the website of Beads and Beyond magazine, although I didn't get anywhere in the competition as the standard of entries was fantastic.  It is nice to have the picture on their website though.

The Guild of Enamellers is a fantastic organisation run by an enthusiastic group of people and it is a real honour to be their Chair (person) for the year.

Enamelling and beads

I have just spent a very hectic but enjoyable weekend at the annual conference of the Guild of Enamellers.  We always have a themed exhibition and this year the theme was textures, chosen by Carol Griffin when she was Chair.  

This was my entry.  It is a combination of lava beads with silver overlay paste and then enamelled onto; two beads made in art clay silver and enamelled and a whole variety of hand made lamp worked glass beads.  

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Inspired by the Anglo Saxons

Yesterday I did a workshop at the museum making wire jewellery based upon Anglo Saxon inspirations.  I am putting a few images on in a slide show at the side.  This was a lovely day and I really enjoyed seeing how creative people can be given a very simple medium like copper wire and a few beads.

More bore hole stuff

I am still amazed by the drilling of the bore hole, even though the work has not been finished yet it has made me really happy - and appreciative of the importance of water.  The smiling man is Phil Cockerill of Cockerills UK Drilling, looking rightly pleased with progress!  http://www.ukdrilling.co.uk

water water water

Wow Cockerills have been drilling a bore hole in front of our house and have done a fantastic job. Obviously there is still a bit of work to do before we are properly connected to our new supply but it is amazing.  I know the film goes the wrong way up but I realised I needed the camera the other way and didn't want to miss anything by starting again (shame about the fog though). Here is a link to their website  http://www.ukdrilling.co.uk

Tuesday, 14 April 2009


Well, they started drilling this morning but I had to go out, so didn't get to see anything really happen.  They were adjusting the vehicles to make sure everything was level as I left for the museum - and it was a really foggy morning here so the picture isn't too good!

Monday, 13 April 2009

New machinery arrives

Excitement in my studio today with the arrival of a drilling rig..... no I am not going into larger scale work (I wish, this is a serious bit of kit) but we are having a bore hole drilled.  We are currently on spring water and this is always directly affected by changes in the weather.  If we have a heavy downpour then the water flows through from the spring into the holding tank too quickly and is sometimes heavily discoloured and probably occassionally actually contaminated.  If we have a dry summer we have to be really careful with the water we use.  After a lot of thought we have decided to have a bore hole.  When the rig arrived I was busy enamelling with my work experience student in the studio so missed it trying to get up our drive with the help of a neighbour's tractor.  Since I took the photograph another lorry has arrive presumably full of equipment and managed to park next to this on the drive..... where we usually just park our little car!  I will miss most of the action tomorrow as I will be in Whitby Museum doing a workshop making brooches based on Anglo-Saxon patterns.

Saturday, 11 April 2009


I have spent a couple of days enamelling, seems like ages since I last did any.  On Thursday my friend Margaret and I had a full day experimenting.  I love working with Margaret she is so enthusiastic and always willing to try out new ideas.  We did attempt riso screening but found some of my new screens didn't work so had to resort to using the old ones.  We then went on to try screen printing using enamel ink on pre-enamelled steel from W G Ball; grinding crayons down and painting with them and then Margaret threw in some sand and fine copper wire mesh.  I followed this yesterday with enamelling very carefully onto some of the beads I made a couple of weeks ago.  I also enamelled this pendant that I had made ages ago but wasn't very happy with.  I have combined two shades of lilac enamel with dyed cultered pearls I bought a year ago.  I will be wearing this one at the forthcoming Guild of Enamellers annual conference.  It is the 30th (pearl) anniversary of the Guild and after the conference I will take on the role of Chairman for the forthcoming year.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Wire Bird Workshop at Whitby Museum

Today I have run my first practical workshop at the museum.  I had a small but enthusiastic group who made their own wire bird brooches.  First of all I took them on a mini tour looking at birds in the museum collection.  I talked about the start of my residency and looked at the way in which birds were represented - at the abstract forms and patterns spread throughout the museum.  These vary from wood carvings from the Pacific to tiny jet carvings; finely painted china, prints in a Japanese book, inlaid mother of pearl on a gun, tin toys and of course the carved birds in Noah's ark.  The group then went of with their sketchbooks to have a closer look and after lunch developed their ideas into unique wire bird brooches.  I will add these as a small slide show and hope you enjoy them.  

Next Tuesday I am running a workshop making wire brooches based on Anglo Saxon patterns.... book now 

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Egg decorating and badge fun

I have spent a very busy day at Whitby Museum helping young visitors to make drawings on eggs - which I think were then rolled downhill outside in Pannett Park and making their drawings on paper into badges. Great fun, lots of enthusiastic children and their parents, all the eggs were used up (thankfully) and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I completely missed all of the events that were going on outside in the park as I was fully occupied so didn't get chance to slip out and have a look around but know from what the visitors were telling me that there was a scavenger hunt; den making; tombola and of course egg rolling...... sadly too busy to take any photos so today's entry has to go without :)