Category Archives: Video

Our First Year in Business! Let Us Reflect…

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Wow what a year! So many changes in 365 days.

Hoy Sound Collection of swirls announced our birth in May 2016, then the cubic squares of the Barriers Collection in September.

Meeting lots of friendly Orkney folk at the annual County Show in August. Going down to my first ever Trade Fair in Glasgow this year in January!

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Zoe showing her works at Scotland’s Trade Fair at the beginning of the year.

And of course, Gok Wan!

Gok Wan’s Fashion Brunch Club invited me to show my collections on his eight glamourous models at the Perth Race Course in May to celebrate Ladie’s Day. I trained down to the plush event, all glitz and glamour, in a huge 600 seater marquee. And the sun shined too. See all the highlights of the event on my Instagram and Facebook page.

What have I learned in a year?

Work hard, every day counts, don’t be afraid of change and you never know what is round the corner – so be prepared and stay positive! And thank you for following my work as it grows and changes, who knows where we will be next year.

If you are interested in keeping informed…

…please sign up to my Zoe Davidson Jewellery Newsletter! You will receive special discounts, tips and trends on jewellery, as well as the latest news on my business. Please click “Sign Me Up!” to opt-into my newsletter.

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Highlights from ZDJ’s Launch

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Visitors Catching Up at the Launch

Cannot believe it has been a whole month since the launch of Zoe Davidson Jewellery! And what a month it has been. Since the launch, I have been busy creating beautiful jewellery for my lovely new customers and thankful for all the wonderful supportive comments so far.

In this post I would like to highlight a few key moments at Zoe Davidson Jewellery‘s launch, held on the 1st of May 2016.

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Samples of Zoe Davidson Jewellery’s Fold Form

Demonstrations
Every wondered how jewellery is made? This is exactly what I wanted to show my visitors on the launch day and enjoyed doing it! It is a great way to socialise and create a connection with your audience.

Before working in jewellery, I’d always want to watch a professional at work, no matter the craft. Almost proof that they are who they say they are. At the majority of exhibitions and fairs, you meet the makers behind their stands of emaculate work but think, how did it get from a sheet of metal to a piece of jewellery?

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Hoy Sound Collection on Display

I take great pleasure in showing individuals how small a jeweller’s saw blade is and how to measure their ring size. The most common question I had was:

 “In what form do you get the silver in?”

The surprise they got when I said “in sheet or wire”, like many jewellers. Demonstrating and explaining the fold form technique was my favourite part: using some fire, banging the metal and showing that something so rigid can be shaped with just a bit of heat. It’s always memorable if you can surprise someone.

Drinks and Nibbles
I believe if you want to make an impression at a launch party, keep visitors drinks topped up, give out delicious food and have a consistent theme throughout.

Hoy Sound, my first jewellery collection, is a fast flowing channel of water situated to the South of Stromness. Thus, I thought because my work is sea-related, why not provide fresh local seafood? It also helps that I work at my local fish shop part-time!

Orkney Fish, my local fish shop, were kind enough to sponsor me with providing delicious seafood for the launch. On the menu: smoked salmon pate, crab pate, flaked hot smoked salmon and some scrumptious veggie options. This is an opportunity to thank Orkney Fish and OFS Ltd greatly for the amazing support and providing a fresh taste of the sea to compliment oceanic jewellery launch. Thank you.

But this goes for anyone starting a business: don’t be scared to ask for help. You will be surprised at how generous companies are as they have been there themselves.

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Our Hoy Sound Collection shot by Art Mosomi Photography

Images and Film
In the gallery space beautiful images by Art Mosomi Photography had been printed and hung up for show. Images of some Hoy Sound pieces worn on the gorgeous Johan, the face of this collection. Photography sets a pleasant atmosphere and allows individuals to get a clearer understanding of what the work is about. I suggest you get images printed professionally and make sure they are actually good photographs. It shows you are serious in what you are doing. In Orkney, iDesign have been invaluable in creating some amazing work for me, from posters to signs to leaflets. Their customer service is friendly, prompt and more importantly, local.

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Zoe Davidson Jewellery [Our Story] Screen Shot

Finally, adding a bit of movement and sound in the gallery creates drama to the whole launch. On display, a film telling the story of Zoe Davidson Jewellery, made by Videographer, Gustavo Castro Elgueta and Orkney Musician, James Watson. Artistic to watch and easy on the ear, this film made a great back drop to the event. Having final items to sell is one thing, but giving them a personal story is another. The full video is on my website if interested: Zoe Davidson Jewellery [Our Story]

Finally some tips if you are planning a launch:
– Plan a good launch date ahead of time.
Make sure it is not clashing with any other events that may be on in your area.

Ask yourself: what would I want to see at a business launch? Because it is probably what other people are wanting to see too. For me, is seeing how the work is made and tools uses.

Ask for help. I could not have launched on my own without the help of friends and family. Make sure you have someone on hand to pass out drinks and nibbles as you need to be connecting with your customers.

– Lastly, relax and enjoy the event, as your business only starts once.

To finish this post, I would like to say a huge thanks to:
– Art Mosomi Photography for the launch photographs and many other services you have provided.
iDesign for sponsoring our launch and delivering excellent service.
Orkney Fish who provided us with some amazing local seafood.
The Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, for supporting us consistently and lending their film projector.
The Royal Hotel, Stromness who kindly lent us their wine glasses as we would never have that many in the house!
– Finally, my friends and family. For being at the launch, for helping and being so positive. I cannot thank you enough.

To view my website and products please go to www.zoedavidsonjewellery.co.uk

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Cheers!

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Collaborative Alien Project: Who Are We?

Got my little butt into gear and finally plucked up the courage to ask Grant Herron (a fellow Jewellery student) about possibly collaborating as I heard he was into Film props. He was well up for it surprisingly so we went ahead and got started a couple of weeks later.

We decided to take our own interpretation on a Sci-Fi Film ‘Alien’ by Ridley Scott. Both of us thought we should create some kind of arm piece. Grant, being more experienced in electronics, designed the upper arm which consisted of small LEDs, a small rotating satellite dish and hinged parts. This is what I also wanted to learn from him. For me, well I went all out making a silicone corset forearm piece (as I’d never really played with the material before but was very keen to), a prosthetic glove with ribbed tubes and long hinged creepy fingers, all made from latex of course.

As we were both passionate about film, we discussed perhaps making a short film which would be able to present our piece on the body, moving and electronics in operation. For that we would need a storyboard:

My buddy filling in the storyboard

Here are photos from the making of our pieces:

Grant’s upper arm piece in the making. The circular piece with small tubes protruding from (right of picture) is the joint so I can allow movement like bending my elbow.

 

 

 

The satellite Grant made. Also some LED lights you were able to turn off and on.

This sequence of photographs is me attaching my prosthetic latex glove using Pros Aide glue. You can only really glue prosthetics in stages to make sure you have glued it on properly.

Still loose flapping bits of latex.

After repeatedly applying the glue all the latex should be attached to the skin with no loose parts.

Here is the whole of my lower arm piece put on. The fingers are divided into 3 and there are 2 hinged joints on each finger so they can move. The finger tips are square copper wire soldered together and I have created clear latex windows on each so light can pass through.

Below this you can see tubes extending down from the knuckles which are made from latex and copper wire and lastly the piece on the forearm is made from silicone.

The Silicone Piece

I had to create a mould in plaster to cast the silicone in. It is very weird and squishy to touch which I thought went well with the nature of this project.

The Facial Prosthetics

Just experimenting where it looks best. I thought it would look good to exaggerate the cheekbone.

Samples of prosthetics. They kind of look like slugs to me.

Attached only using the prosthetic glue. You can still see that the edges have not been blended with the skin but that comes next.

The beginning of the blending process… but you can see that later!

Here is me and Grant and a few other helpers on the set just setting and cleaning it up.

Day time

Night time

My 20th time trying to put in contacts

Final Make-up

Midnight on the set. So so cold! Kept my dressing gown on as long as possible!

Just altering a wee bit

Final arm in the dark

Movie making in process

One of the Stop Motion pictures

Final scene

Such a good experience. Think we’ll be collaborating again for our final year as I think it is good practice for the future. You can learn a lot from each other and take things a step further. For me, I want to go into Prosthetics as I see it diminishing due to Computer Aided Graphics (CGI). Yes it can be extremely useful for big things but with it, you lose that sense of actually holding and feeling the object as it is all done on computer. Some makers use it because they are just being lazy and it saves time, but some actually use it for good purpose. For instance, in The Matrix when Neo dodges the bullets, that is a good example of well-used CGI.

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Lynx Excite Angel Advert

Wow, Lynx has gone all out with this new Excite Angel Advert played out at Victoria Station, London, where people can actually interact with Lnyx Angels through a Digital Video Billboard.

Angels fall straight from heaven in the digital video board as soon as you set foot inside the ‘Look Up’ marker box on the floor. Next, they begin to virtually interact with whoever entered the box – causing some quite surprised reactions.

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Addicted to Video Games

I watched a really interesting documentary about video game addiction. Why is it so addictive? What could possibly strive someone to play for hours? How much is too much?

Video Game Addiction

Have you ever even heard of this addiction? Ever thought it was real? Recently I have seen a very interesting Panorama documentary ‘Addicted to Games?’ which investigated youngsters obsessive playing of games, described as an addiction. There was one specific story which stood out the most where 3-month-old baby starved to death whilst their parents are obsessively raising a virtual child online. Last September after a long 12-hour online period the parents returned home to find their daughter dead: http: Korean Girl Starved Online

Symptoms of game addiction are:

  • Feeling irritable, angry and restless when you are not playing video games.
  • Obsessively thinking about video/PC games and playing them whilst doing something else.
  • Spending more and more time playing video games but at the same time feeling extreme guilt.
  • You would rather play games than spend times hanging out with friends.
  • Lying about how long you play video games.

You can even experience physical symptoms like:

  • Migraines – due to the intense concentration needed to play video games one may get painful headaches.
  • Sleep Disorders – may be caused by one thinking about the game constantly thus finding it difficult to sleep, also may be because your brain is being overstimulated.
  • Sore Back – As you play video games one will tend to sit for hours on end in the same position. This is the most common symptom within game users.
  • Eating Problems – One may simply forget to eat because they are so zoned in on the game, they may not want to eat because they don’t want to waste time.
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome – caused when the main nerve between the forearm and hand is squeezed or pressed, thus the wrist may become swollen and sore.

We spend over 3 billion pounds on gaming, World of Warcraft has sold more than 12 million worldwide and is the most successful game ever made. Players say that they can begin to substitute the real world with the game world in which they play, thus can have a derogatory effect on your life as it can cause you to lose friends due to the isolation.

“This game is a disease”

–   Leo, 20, Panorama Documentary

Robbie Cooper is a video artist who is interested in facial expressions children make whilst playing video games and watching television. The difference between children watching television to the children playing video games is video games pull you in so much quicker. There was one child who actually did not blink at all because he was so engrossed in the game, thus, caused the loss of his blink reflexes. Personally, Cooper’s outcome is quite disturbing as it conveys how gaming has become such a powerful form of entertainment and how immersed people can get – even to the point of forgetting to blink.

Overall, I think game addiction is so addictive simply due to their design. Whilst playing computer games I feel a great sense of achievement when I gain a point or a ‘new life’, and it is these small wins that keep me hooked to the game. Makes me think ‘I can get further’. Casino gambling acquires a similar tactic, small wins of money keeps them playing. This simple idea of new lives can keep me playing video games for hours without even realising. I am grateful that my parents did not allow me to have a Playstation or else I would probably never see them, thus, believe parents should become more aware of this addiction and consider the effects when buying computer games for their child.





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Talk to Your Jewellery

I have read recently that there is a new device which can actually imprint your voice into a piece of wire. I really like the idea that you can use your own voice to create a piece of jewellery and the way it becomes very personal. In addition, I beliebe it can be a very romantic present for your lover, slyly conveying your emotions to her/him in a piece of jewellery. But in my opinion, the end product does not impress. Just pieces of bent wire, perhaps develop the shapes created into more interesting pieces? Using the line? Increasing the scale?

 

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Abused to Beg

Just after watching a small documentary about beggar children in the African State of Senegal, I feel I need to show my opinions.

‘God’s Beggar Children’ was the name of the documentary showing how the poor children of Senegal live day to day life. They attend Qur’anic schools , which are free but very basic, and are forced to beg on the street by their own teachers everyday. It can be up to six hours a day they would be spending walking the streets for money, rice and sugar, and if the children did not bring back the amount of food the Maribu (teacher) wanted they would be severely beaten. Some children run away from their Islamic school, few run to friends or relatives but the majority end up on the streets.

In the documentary, there was one part where a young boy cried when showing his scars where he had been beaten, as it was too much for him. Very moving.

Authorities should stand up and take action, saying it is enough. Why don’t they?

I was shocked to hear that a teacher, who beat the children, said he ‘condemned the government for not funding schools like his’. Why should you beat children to learn? What is the money collected used for?

However, I was pleased to hear that the Government have started to look at regulations of Qur’anic schools but they need to make sure that not only does regulation include curriculum and the types of studies going on but that they have norms and standards that guarantee the protection of the children.

Yet, at the present, 50,000 children still beg on the streets just to avoid being beaten by their own teachers.

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Christmas Spirit

Today in our lecture we discussed how we buy christmas presents, what can attract us to buy and how children are becoming increasingsly picky and fashion conscious.

So how do girls shop?: Girls shop with consideration, we shop for a long time, pleasurable, relaxing and look for the new trends. I find shopping quite theraputic, even if it is just browsing through shops. Girls usually shop in small groups but personally I like to shop alone. You can spend longer looking at things and not feeling bad if the other is bored, and you can listen to music so you are in your own little world.

How do guys shop then?: Guys… well as quickly as possible and all in one go. They just go into a shop and come out five minutes later with their item as they don’t like spending time to try on garments as it will probably take hours of time. Even I agree with the guys way of shopping sometimes, I hate spending ages.

How do you get customers to buy more: How do you design a shop which will make customers stay longer? Put a restaurant in it? Music? Make it bigger? Well first of all I think you would have to plan your store layout, ambience and attractive visual merchandising displays. Never put things right at the door like clothes and baskets as it will cause the customer to turn around to pick it up and may just make them spot another store thus leave. Try position most attractive and popular items in the right of the store as customers (in UK and Australia) always tend to turn right when entering shops. Must be due to us sitting on the right in a car. For instance, the clothes shop Zara positions their products on the right and have their checkouts on the left as they are the last things we go to – to pay. NEVER situate the woman’s wear at the back of the store, behind men’s wear as more women shop compared to men. Men like to sit down whilst women are in the changing room. In front of the chair maybe place small gadgets or interesting books as the man may pick it up and have a look at it to pass the time. People who touch things are most likely to buy it, if the unfold it or open it, the chances are they will. Also simple common sense factors such as: don’t play loud, inappropriate or poor quality music as it may ruin a customer’s shopping experience; dirty bathrooms, they should always be lovely and clean whether for public use or not as it can be a huge turn off.

How many times have you forgotten the milk but instead come out with a bunch of other stuff? I have. This is the power of the layout of a shop. They specifically place the milk counter at the back of the store because they want you to look at the whole store, thus probably buy something else. Food shops place fruit, veg and flowers at the door to make the store look fresh to lure customers in. Also they are eye catching. They may bake bread and the smell will make its way out of the store, thus alert passer by’s taste buds.

Are you influenced by advertising?: We are being exposed to advertising like never before: on the television; on the internet; when you pass shops; in magazines. However the majority of adverts are aimed towards children. Products like cereal and toys have been advertised since before our grandparents were small. These ads may hook children and trap their parents into an endless loop into buying more and more products.

We watched a Panorama program called the ‘Tweens’. It is about children being lured in by designer brands through advertising and how important it is for them. Please click the link below for information about the Tweens.

Meet the Tweens

I find it hard to think if I was influenced by trends and the newest labels. I think I may have had it different to others as I lived in Brunei where designer brands were not really the ‘thing’. Nobody had them. But I do feel the pressure from other people now, how the sight of a designer label instantly makes you look expensive and rich. But I am not like that at all. I have no designer labels except for my glasses: FCUK. I just don’t see the point in looking like a spoilt brat rich kid. I like looking down to earth.

It is a shame that children are being captured by an identity. (skater, goth, etc). As they are so young and should be living in ease. However when children get the clothes they asked for their self esteem increases, this must be due to the fact of fitting in. As one of the children in the program, Adele, was telling the viewers that if she had a friend who did not wear designer brands she would still be her friend but not hang out with her often. This is because she will get bullied, and thus spread the bullying to Adele as she is her friend.

Now designer brands are getting so popular and trendy that there are now dolls who are fashion focussed and the new ‘thing’: BRATZ. Parents are getting concerned that they are too sexy and giving a bad message to their kids with their skimpy skirts and make-up. I agree in having dolls to play with, like when I was 7 I had good old Barbie dolls but not with slutty clothes on. However, dolls can give the impression that a small being thin is the ‘in thing’. If Barbie was a real person she would have 39 inch chest, 19 inch hip, and 33 inch hips, she would be a size 4 and her body fat would be so low that she would not be able to menstrate. The BRATZ dolls are just the same. Is this the message we want for our children?

Thus, in this lecture I learnt that the price of fashion can hit hard, it can cause parents to work constantly to keep the kids closets full of designer labels and avoid bankruptcy and how to design a shop to increase their sales.

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Summer of Love: The Psychedelic, Music and LSD

I love a good bit of colour, nature, music, festivals, a relaxed ambience and a quirky sense of mismatched style – this is why I am very keen on the Hippie Era.

The Hippie Era began in 1966 in San Francisco. It was a response to Lynsey Johnson’s presidency, between the years 1963 to 1968, where she brought domestic progress but also growth of the war in Vietnam. The bombing and violence caused the youth of America to flee to San Francisco to escape from the violence and political system. They did not move to rebuild or even change society they just wanted to escape from it all. Become part of a whole different world of love, peace, and flower power. And with a little help from drugs like LSD, the job became a lot easier.

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) is originated from an ergot fungus, discovered in 1968 by a Swiss chemist Dr Albert Hofman and his colleague Dr W. A. Kroll. Five years later, Hofman somehow accidently took some LSD and this was the first time anybody had had an acid trip.

LSD captured a number of scientists’ attention and began experimenting with the drug to help treat illnesses such as schizophrenia, sexual disorders and criminal rehabilitation.

LSD is colourless, tasteless and odourless. It usually comes soaked in blotters and squares or sheets of paper decorated with quirky designs (strawberries sunflowers, rockets). The drug effect is described as a ‘trip’ as it can last up to 8 to12 hours. It alters and expands consciousness and with a high dose it can completely wipe out the outside world with a new colourful one. You become more aware of things (visual, auditory, sensory and emotional) normally unnoticed in the real world. Intricate details on surfaces, richness of sounds, vibrancy of colour and the thoughts in your mind become distorted and exaggerated. Things can overlap and merge until you can actually see sounds and smell colours as if you have synaesthesia. However, it is not always all good. People can sometimes experience a ‘bad trip’ where the high can turn frightening and traumatic. It can be caused by the environment you are in, the mood you are in and the overwhelming feeling of the drug’s power. LSD is actually not at all addictive. It is not physically addictive and not a drug you want to do immediately again. However it can be psychologically addictive like if someone wants to escape reality.

To fathom Hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.” – Humprey Osmond

LSD is a mind-altering drug which can cause ‘psychedelic’ effects. ‘Psychedelic’ usually means ‘generating hallucinations’ and relates to distortions of perception. The first time it was used was in a letter written to Aldous Huxley (1956) from the British Psychiatrist Humphrey Osmand, who was experimenting with the drug to find a cure for mental illnesses like schizophrenia. Osmand first spelt the word ‘psychodelic’ but later changed it to ‘psychedelic’ to get rid of the ‘psycho’ connotations it possessed. Two of the main artists who convey psychedelia and their influence of LSD are Andy Warhol and Yayoi Kusama.

Andy Warhol

Banana, 1966.

This piece by Andy Warhol was the cover for the 1967 Velvet Underground’s album. I think it is visually intriguing and ambiguous as it is simply an ordinary yellow banana. However at the top of the banana there are printed instructions for viewers ‘peel slowly and see’, which revealed a flesh coloured banana inside. I believe this immediately stirred art critiques as well as the general public due to it’s dirty sexual connotations. What a dirty genius.

Marilyn Monroe, 1962.

Warhol created many paintings of Marilyn Monroe after her suicide in 1962. He used a photograph from her film, Niagara. He wanted to mass produce this painting by using the technique called silk screen, involving enlarging and transferring a photo on to silk. Warhol admired Marilyn Monroe as a star and was fascinated by her beauty. He portrayed Monroe as not only gorgeous, but dark and mysterious.


Yayoi Kusama

Psychedelic art tries to imitate, introduce, inspire, and convey the effects of the psychedelic experience. It tries to portray a true reflection of the fantasy world whilst experiencing an acid trip. However it is never easy to capture the drug journey in either words or images.

“Like hallucination or dissociative phenomena… But don’t you see? – The visual stuff was just the décor with LSD… The whole thing was… the experience… this certain indescribable feeling” – Tom Wolfe

It was under the Hippie’s two concert venues in San Francisco, the Fillmore and the Avalon Ballroom, where the psychedelic poster art was born. The posters were designed by numerous major artists, the famous five nicknamed: Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse.

Between 1966 and 1971, they designed posters to advertise concert groups like the Grateful Dead, the Charlatans, the 13th Floor Elevators, the Doors, the Velvet Underground, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Pink Floyd, and many others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Left: Wes Wilson; Right: Victor Moscoso)

(Rick Griffin)

(Alton Kelley)

(Stanley Mouse)

Rain’ by The Beatles (1966) was the first psychedelic track as it captures the vibrant lucidity of an LSD experience. The heaviness and sonic presence of the track can appear to those under the drug’s influence. It explores LSD-influenced feelings of detatchment of the real world.

“Can you hear me, that when it rains and shines/ It’s just a state of mind?/Can you hear me? Can you hear me?”

John Lennon:When I’m in the middle of a dream/ Stay in bed, float upstream… Please don’t wake me… I’m only sleeping’. Written in a time when Lennon was tripping daily and his sense of self had virtually melted away.

A day in the Life’ by The Beatles was first banned from the BBC due to it’s drug references “I’d love to turn you on” which suggests the use of psychedelic drugs. “Found my way upstairs and had a smoke/ somebody spoke and I went into a dream” these lyrics also allegedy refer to drug use, smoking marijuana and going into a high.

 

 

 

 

To fathom Hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic.” – Humprey Osmond

 

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