Tag Archives: inspiration

Dazzle Exhibition in Edinburgh 2014

With the Fringe gradually coming to an end it was the perfect time to engross myself into the world of “Dazzle” – the place to be if you are a new jewellery designer/maker like me.

Dazzle showcases the best of contemporary jewellery by new graduates, as well as internationally renowned designers. The reason for my visit was to observe current jewellery trends and check out unusual techniques as I too, am beginning a business in jewellery.

HEATHER McDERMOTT

heather mcdermottTo start off, I was welcomed by the colourful abstract work of Heather McDermott, a young contemporary jeweller based on the Isle of Skye. Her jewellery is inspired by discarded objects and windswept grasses on Scottish seashores. Heather predominantly works in stainless steel and coats her jewellery with a special vibrant paint, which she then scratches off, to create the illusion of being weathered, just as you would see on a tidal landscape. I find her use of colour really effective in catching attention of the viewer, something to note if you want to lure customers to your work.

Website: http://www.heathermcdermott.com/

BETH LEGG

 Beth Legg Earrings Beth Legg Brooch

Next, I came upon Beth Legg‘s work and it was such a pleasure to look at. For me, granulation is a lovely technique which instantly makes a piece look more intricate. It is the creation of tiny silver balls which are then soldered onto your design, or in this case, soldered together! Legg’s pieces are inspired by the fragile nature of Scottish coastal landscapes. All her pieces are beautifully made individual sculptures, emphasising her sensitive and detailed approach to working.

Website: http://www.bethlegg.com/

KATIE ROBERTS

 katie roberts katie robert 2

Another jeweller’s work that caught my eye was Katie Roberts. I instantly recognised her work from stumbling upon it on Pinterest! The work is stunning in person, with the light reflecting off the three-dimensional forms. Roberts has developed an innovative technique, allowing her to create unusual embossed-like lines on the inside of her creations – creating an amazing rippling effect on the metal. Similar to when you see light reflecting off the water’s surface.

Website: http://katie-roberts.co.uk/

JENNY LLEWELLYN

jenny llewelyn

I have always been a fan of Jenny Llewellyn‘s work because of her love for sea life. Llewellyn is a contemporary jeweller and creates playful silicone jewellery inspired by luminous colours, shapes and movements found underwater. The pieces really do look like little creatures that could live on rocks and corals! I love how she has successfully combined this gelatinous soft material with precious metals, not usually found in jewellery. I see she always tries to find ways of fixing the silicone forms without the use of glue, this shows her skill and eye for detail in jewellery and makes the pieces high-end. Llewellyn has recently been nominated as one of the “Professional Jeweller Hot 100 2014”, showcasing “innovation, business development and design skills over the past 12 months”, definitely something to be proud of.

http://www.professionaljeweller.com/article-14967-professional-jeweller-announces-hot-100-2014/

Website: http://www.jennyllewellyn.com/

EMMA CALVERT

emma calvert

Emma Calvert creates statement textile jewellery, combining traditional weaving techniques with contemporary colours and precious metals. Interesting enough, she graduated in BA Textile Design from Central St Martins. Just shows you how diverse jewellery can be. Calvert likes experimenting with woven textiles, transforming a two-dimensional material into a three-dimensional form, which she then translates into jewellery. I have to say, I did purchase a wee present for myself here.

Website: http://emmacalvertjewellery.tumblr.com/

 HEATHER WOOF

heather woof.min

Lastly, I have to mention Heather Woof‘s work. The pieces really evoke a sense of movement. Woof is based in Edinburgh and is inspired by wild Scottish weather – and I think we all know what she means here. She works in hand-cut titanium, steel and precious metals, resulting in elegant wearable sculptures. The colours are beautiful, there is not only blues in the work but greens and purples melded together to enhance a sense of fluidity. I think the colours replicate that of Scotland’s stormy skies and rough seas. It is amazing how she has shaped this hard rigid material into something that looks so elegant and flowing.

Website: http://www.heatherwoof.com/

Overall, I found Dazzle to be an inspiring event to visit, especially for a new jeweller like me. From what I have observed, I feel that the contemporary trend is growing here in Scotland due to the colours and push for mixed media materials and design. It is great to see that craft in Scotland is flourishing, seems that it is the place to be for a craftsperson. I believe it is important to visit and take part in such events – to observe any changing trends and stay within the loop of Scotland’s Craft community which is growing stronger everyday.

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The Great Thing About Making Bad Decisions

Such an inspiring book. ‘Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite’ is written by Paul Arden and made me feel great about the way I work. The book lets you in on how making bad decisions can lead to surprising achievements and rewards.

It explains that your bad decisions can actually influence others, for example, in the day, high jumpers used to jump over the bar front first – almost like a forward roll. This was called the Western Roll.

However in the 1968 Mexico Olympics a guy called Dick Fosbury approached the bar but turned his back on it, flipping his legs up from behind him – beating all the other athletes by miles. This is called a Fosbury Flop and is now used by everyone.

Just shows that making a daring decision can have great impact.

“The problem with making sensible decisions is that so is everyone else”

Another really funny story is explained of an Oxford professor bathing naked in a river. He was getting out when a boat of undergraduates floated by. In sheer panic he went for his towel and wrapped it around his head. The bottom line is he would rather conceal his identity than being humiliated!

Arden points out that showing people your work is a good way in getting constructive criticism. However, do not ask them what they think about it, as they will probably say everything positive – not wanting to offend. The only way to get great constructive criticism is to ask them what is wrong with the work and give them permission to give truthful comments – accept the comments and do not fight back! This is key in developing work, amending the problems and most importantly gaining strength in what you do.

“Be your own worst critic. When things go wrong, it’s tempting to shift the blame. Don’t. Accept responsibility. People will appreciate it, and you will find out what you’re capable of.”

  

Arden illustrates that having too many ideas is not always good. You tend to become flustered and do not finish things to their utmost potential because you have something ‘better’. Maybe having fewer ideas are better so you become more focused and work harder on each of them – making the most of the ideas you have.

This book is really motivating as when I work I usually take risks, however, I’m also thinking it might be better just to go down the safer route. But a little of me thinks – “that does not get people talking about your work, it’s not exciting to be safe”. It is the same when you go into a gallery and see something full of sexual content and quite disturbing. You end up talking about it throughout the whole gallery saying how obscene it is. Even when you exit the building you tell your friends about it. TELLING THEM ABOUT IT. This is the way it has effected you. The image has remained stuck in your brain. Memorable. This is what taking risks is all about. Taking things over the edge. So yes risk-taking creatively is something I truly believe in.

Leaving on one of my favourite inspirational quotes, he concludes:

“The world is what you think of it. So think of it different and your life will change”

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Design & The Market: Research Your Business

For our first Design & The Market we have been asked to identify an enterprise, such as a company or freelance designer, to research and evaluate, followed by a presentation about that business. This should help us understand and acknowledge of what running a business is like.

Today, we allocated ourselves into teams. My team includes Linsay Thompson, Lucie Hunter, Cat Doyle, Rachel Bruce, Jennifer McGurk and myself. We sat down and had a brainstorm of which successful designers and companies we would benefit  from most and decided on Steven Webster, who creates cutting edge, almost glam goth, jewellery.

We decided as a group which individuals were best at talking, researching and presentations, thus, making sure we were organised to proceed knowing which person was doing what in the continuation of the project. Through the technique of brainstorming our team thought about different questions and things to look for in more detail when researching Webster’s company, including market research; what is happening in the Jewellery industry?; What are the trends? And so fourth.

It was a successful first meeting, everyone seems to be excited and enthusiastic about the project. So looking forward to hopefully getting in contact with the ‘Webster’ himself.

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ROUSEY-WRAP Imake Project

In our Critical Making Module we were given a brief asking us to design a concept which improves your daily life via exploring traditional design & craft practice and new technologies. For me, waking up in the morning is a real task especially during the winter months, thus, decided to design some kind of alarm clock which assists your waking routine. I had a great time researching all kinds of alarm clocks, like one which wafts a smell of cooking bacon or freshly brewed coffee so you got to get up and replenish your appetite, and another which actually donates your hard-earned money to some charity so getting up is a MUST. Inspired by these quirky designs I started to think of my own.

I came up with a magnetic alarm clock concept. The idea was you would wear pyjamas fitted with small magnets and when the alarm went off the magnets would activate and quite literally pull you out of bed.

I also thought of a duvet which turns extremely cold which makes getting out of bed a relief. HOWEVER, I was a little scared because supposedly magnets can do horrible things to people with pacemakers and my grandpa has one so was against that idea. I decided to go for a safer option and design something that would actually physically shake you awake. In addition, looking into sleeping disorders and treatments helped me with my designs, in particular, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

SAD is basically a mood disorder which affects individuals in any season, but most commonly in winter (winter blues). It can cause depression and make getting out of bed extremely difficult. To be honest I think I suffer a bit from this and wanted to keep this in mind when designing.

I thought a designing a special duvet which could gradually brighten and gently vibrate rather than scare you awake with a blaring noise. For inspiration I looked at photographs taken on Guy Fawkes fireworks night and went on creating numerous fabric samples and even investing in Electroluminescent Wire which is amazing stuff! I dyed, melted, grated, sewed and pleated materials to try and achieve an effect I liked for the duvet.

Inspiration

Material Samples

The images above are plastic bags ironed together with metallic foils in between and embellished with sewn circles on the top to echo the circular shapes created by the fireworks in the photos.

Pleated materials to create texture and light effects when the fabric reflects.

The material above has been dyed using a rusty items so the brown rust transfers permanently to the fabric. Pretty cool tie-dye effect but does not really fit in with my project.

During this project I took part in an Arduino workshop run by Ali, Digital Interaction guy, which took a whole day. We were taught how to program LEDs, Light Dependant Resistors (light/dark sensor) and Variable Resistors (dimming/brightening device) through Arduino circuit boards which allowed us to understand how to incorporate technology into design. I got really excited to blend textiles and technology!

I discussed with Ali the types of motors and sensors I required for my duvet. I used Light Dependant Resistors to light up the EL wire when the surrounding area had no or very little light (i.e. sunrise, night, sunset), which were programmed through Lilypad circuit boards (perfect for textiles as they are small and washable).

So my final outcome is a beautiful yet medicinal duvet aimed for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective disorder. The EL wires turns on automatically at sunset before you go to bed so you can fall asleep to an ambient glow and at sunrise (or when it nears the time wanting to waken) it automatically turns on again gradually to act as a sunrise (especially good in winter). When it is time, the blanket will gently vibrate and arouse the sleeper awake. Overall, I believe this Rousey-Wrap can suit any occasion, whether it be for people who suffer from SAD or just as an elegant decorative item for your room.

Above is my first prototype however I thought the EL wires were a bit harsh when on so decided to conceal them with an layer of fabric so the wires would softly glow through.

Sorry but I tried to take photos of the blanket when the EL wires were on but the light was far too dim to catch anything on camera. But it does look very relaxing and ambient, perfect for a gentle glow in your room.

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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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Creative Paper: Li-Chu Wu

Li-Chu Wu was born in Taipei, Taiwan. She trained in Jewellery Design at Fu Jen Catholic University and graduated in 2006, followed by completing an MA in Jewellery, Silversmithing and Related Products at Birmingham City University in 2009.

Her sculptural jewellery looks nature inspired portrayed by their bulbous organic shapes. I enjoy looking at the lines made by the multiple layers of coloured paper. Wu’s method of placing bold vibrant colours next to one another is effective in making the pieces striking and particularly attractive in appearance. Their value increases when combining the paper with precious materials such as silver, emphasising that these pieces are truly special.

Wu’s intention is to  convey the values of the materials itself. Some of these pieces are small enough to wear and others possibly intended to be displayed as a unique sculpture because I personally could take time observing these pieces individually. The amount of effort put into making each piece in unmeasurable, Wu must take pleasure in “the making” part of design (the repetitive cutting, placing and gluing) because why else would she use these exact processes in every work. I aspire to this and feel similar in when creating my works, the whole repetitive processes such as weaving, beading, soldering I find is very therapeutic and take great enjoyment in doing it.

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Colour with your Jewellery: Maria Cristina Bellucci

Maria Cristina Bellucci’s jewellery really stuck out for me. She used to work for many years in costume design and now has developed her own style in making jewellery made from coloured pencils.

Bellucci’ use of colour and contrasting geometric forms are effective in creating modern and unique jewellery. The way in which she slices and sands the pencils back exposing the interior lead draws distinct interest and curiosity to each piece. Jewellery these days are usually made from precious materials, gems and wire, so the fact these works compose mainly of pencils adds another dimension – sustainability, playfulness and surprise. I like the distorted shapes created by the pencils makes the pieces look slightly stretched.

 

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Mary Donald: Latex and Plastics

Mary Donald studied at San Diego State University, where she focussed on Metalsmithing & Jewellery Design. She uses various materials such as wood, rubber, plastics, latex, fibre, metal and unusual found objects to make her unconventional jewellery pieces.

Rubber & Mixed Plastics:

Donald skillfully uses latex and monofilament to create these unique organic pieces.

I love the translucent fleshy colours of these pieces and the alien-like forms – they remind me a little of calamari or embryos. The contrast between the dark singed edges and the pale latex is effective because it makes the pieces stand out more on the wearer.

The piece above is made of mixed plastics, oxidised silver and brass. I particularly like the way Donald has spaced out the shapes to give sense of serenity. A variation of techniques have been used to join the translucent shapes together including drilling, riveting etc.

These two pieces are beautiful and elegant.

Donald has created this piece using orange peel and thread. What makes this piece interesting for me is both the texture and the variation of fold made by the shrivelling peel. The dotty white surface contrasting with the smoother outer orange surface are appealing in creating a highly distinctive and interesting piece.

I am really inspired by Donald’s jewellery because she can somehow unite unusual objects together and make it ‘work’. Her method in disguising the materials and making them look unique and ‘of value’ is what I find truly impressive.

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Kathleen Jackson: Prosthetic Skin Jewellery

Kathleen Jackson is a contemporary jewellery designer who likes to bread the boundaries: interested in people’s relationships between jewellery and the human body.

These pieces are made from a prosthetic gelatin which are stuck to the skin using prosthetic glue; Jackson then blends the gelatin into skin through using gelatin blender and rubber mask grease paints. I think her jewellery is subtle and soft because of the way Jackson has skillfully blended the prosthetic gelatin; merging it with the human skin.

She successfully and delicately adorns the figure whilst emphasising the natural organic shape of the human form. Beautiful.

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