Sunday, 22 November 2009

Memento for the plant collector's wife

I have at last got a photograph of this big necklace 'Memento for the Plant Collector's wife'. It is one of my pieces for my residency at Whitby museum and is inspired by the collections of herbaria. The herbaria are very beautiful and fragile collections of Victorian pressed plants and flowers. Earlier in the year I spent an afternoon with the Curator of this collection and she showed me a selection of the plants and allowed me to photograph them. I then converted some of the images into black and white and have used them to inspire various pieces of work since then. This is by far the largest.

To create this necklace I printed out a selection of the images in black and white; stuck the print outs onto sheet silver and sawed around them. I then constructed a chain to link them together. I then spent quite a bit of time polishing the whole thing but didn't like the very flat polished surface so went back over it to produce a scratched finish

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


Today I have gone completely mad and ordered a new torch for glass bead making. I have emptied and cleaned the silver smithing hearth and extended it to make room for my new bead making place and am really looking forward to all the new equipment arriving. I did carry on and make a few more beads with my hothead torch though, mainly as I needed a few more to finish off a necklace.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Spring returns necklace

Here is the necklace which was part of the set of accessories submitted to the contest in Japan
showing the front and the reverse. This was inspired by a Japanese printed book in Whitby Museum and at the time I designed and made it I had a small Japanese cherry blossom in flower in my garden so was able to study the form of its flowers in detail. Around the front edge of the silver piece is a pattern of tiny blossoms while on the reverse is the leaf pattern I often use in my work.

The necklace also has a matching 'C' type clasp with the two patterns one on each surface.

The rings also have the same two surface patterns one on each side of the shank.

My good friend Joy Funnell also submitted work that was selected for this exhibition.

I will be keeping the box it was returned in, very beautifully labelled with Japanese characters. I am very honoured to have had my work included.

Exhibited in Japan

Today I received a small package of work returned from exhibition in Japan. The two pieces of jewellery were entered for the Silver Accessories Contest 2009 and although didn't win anything there were selected for exhibition and included in the exhibition catalogue. This was very exciting for me as this was the first time I have ever entered an international contest. Here are the rings shown together as a set then separately. As you can see when they are being worn the very narrow band of enamel is both hidden and protected in between the other two rings.

Thursday, 5 November 2009


I have spent quite a long time today sorting out glass beaded jewellery ready to send off for an exhibition. I have also been thinking about a new website, although difficult to decided whether to just stick with the very simple thing I have and keep on with the blog alongside it.

I have also been sorting out new images ready to have a batch of business cards and some postcards printed. Re-sizing the images for print always seems to take twice as long as I expect it to, so the day is nearly over and I have been sitting at the computer screen for too much of it.

I have put some of my new images in as a slide show called Autumn 2009 so that you can see what I have been up to.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Today I have been in to the museum and had a lovely discussion with one of the volunteers on the curatorial team about this beautiful beaded purse. Inside was a small handwritten label saying that is is North American Indian Eastern Woodlands Culture. It is made of what seems to be a felt like black fabric with a sort of polished cotton lining and what may be silk binding around the edges (not that I know very much about textiles!). The beads are absolutely tiny and the triangular flap clearly folded over to close the purse - as there is an un-embroidered space on the other side.

One of the things I really love about Whitby Museum is that there are artefacts from many distant places which must have their own, often hidden, stories to tell about their respective journeys to Whitby.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Inspired by heritage

I have finished off one of my pieces for my Inspired by heritage residency project today. This bracelet is inspired by a number of objects from the museum collection of Whitby Museum. The patterns on both sides of the pieces are made using photo polymer plates. I have made the plates from photographs of objects in the museum collections.

On the underlying surface the patterns are created from photographs of spears made from wood and shark teeth. On the top or outer curve the patters are from pressed flowers preserved in the herbaria and not usually on display. The design of the form used to make the shapes is inspired by this beautiful shell necklace from the Pacific which is part of the ethnographic collections and currently on display in the Cook and Scoresby room of the museum. The very textured inner curve also has gold applied using the tradition technique of keum boo.

The piece has been oxidised and then highlights polished back up.

Holiday time

I have just had a brilliant holiday in Rome which has to be one of my favourite places. My partner and I worked out that it was the sixth time we had visited Rome and it is really great to be able to find your way around. One of the things I love is that it is fairly compact and usually we walk everywhere. This time we used the buses more as we had our Roma Passes, which get you a discount entry into some of the museums and all inclusive travel on the buses and trams within the city. Looking through my photographs they seem to be mainly buildings and food. Back to work now though, inspired again! The photo is part of an Egyptian statue and I loved the intricately carved marble collar.