Organising my bench …

I lose things on my bench all the time and, just before Christmas, I went a little way towards solving that problem when I bought these lovely, lovely bowls at a fair in Leamington:

They’re made by Nicola Crocker, a ceramicist from Northern Devon who shares my love of the seaside – and her work really does look like it just washed up on the beach. I bought three little bowls, around 2″ across, in blue, green and pink shades, it was a difficult choice given the beautiful selection of colours that I was presented with:

her work comes in larger, sculptural variations too – though all with that gorgeous seaside focus.

Check out her website here.

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Silverware for 2012 #3

so, back at the bench today and fitting the base on this little beast proved rather a tricky manoeuvre. What works in card and sticky tape does not always work in metal and it needed a lot of shifting, filing and re-measuring to eventually get a neat fit.

With all the pieces lined up:

I bound it altogether, though I’m running out of the good, thick binding wire that I bought in uni so this is rather a Heath Robinson affair:

and the nice recessed base looks super:

I think I’m getting there with this piece, it’s a really cute size, so I’ll let it hang around the workshop for a day or so while I think about it, tweak it and draw etching patterns on it in sharpie!

Visit: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

I had a spare moment last week and snuck off to have a look at the silver collection at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.  The collection covers many centuries and each time I visit I seem to spot something that I hadn’t seen before.

How did I miss this?

Jewel Box by Alex Telford in silver 1974-5, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

I love the pebble shapes on the lid (it isn’t exactly clear how it opens …) which are beautifully, asymmetrically smooth and quite inspirational for the fly pressing I’m planning to do later this week. I would love to know exactly how it was made.

Detail of Jewel Box by Alex Telford in silver 1974-5 at Birmingham Museum and Art Galler

The only other example of Alex Telford work I’ve been able to find is in the V&A:

Coffee Pot, Sugar Bowl and Milk Jug, 1974 by Alex Telford at V&A

the gorgeous mix of silver and flawless enamel is here again – plus the bulbous, pebble-esque shapes in the handles of the vessels. I really like how clean and modern the enameled body is, it sits really well alongside those polished handles.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for his pieces in museums in the future …

Silverware for 2012 #2

… remember those silversmithing thoughts from the other day?

Well – I went from paper model to copper model this week:

which is always interesting. There’s less than 1mm of difference between the thickness of the card for the model and the thinkness of the copper sheet but my, does it make a difference! Seeing something in metal gives it a whole new dimension and really made me realise quite quickly that this piece was just way too big.

So, a quick trip down the road to the photocopier at Delta Pi and voila! A new, smaller piece:

I made a few alterations to the basic shape, just to change the outline of the curves and the next copper sample is now ready for soldering:

more pictures soon …

Facebook Finds #1

Facebook steals hours of your life. Snooping through old acquaintances photographs at 3am is something everyone does but no one talks about. Right?

Recently though, I’ve started using my Facebook time a little more constructively by exploring Facebook pages. Pages allow businesses and organisations to have a kind of Facebook profile and stay in touch with people interested in what they do. Folksy has done some super articles on how to use them to promote your handmade business (like this one here) and I’m really starting to love mine.

This recent exploration has turned up some lovely, lovely things that I thought I’d share:

1.

Bekki Churcher here is from Glasgow and her gorgeous, almost fragile looking work is inspired by urban decay – she uses some beautiful textures to evoke the broken buildings that inspire her and her ‘geomatric granulation’ is especially wonderful. It reminds me of Ruth Tomlinson somehow crossed with Elaine Cox

2.

Hannah Livingston is based in Edinburgh and her fascination with hidden secrets and quirky little containers makes her work beautifully intricate and utterly tempting. Many of her neat little lockets contain folded paper – forming a story of your own just that’s just waiting to unfold.

3.

Rebecca Little is another Glasgow resident whose work is both deceptively simple and fiendishly clever – as the best things often are. Delicate twists in precious metals are all lined up neatly to form textile like structures that would, I imagine, flow through your hands rather nicely and defy the solid, mathematical look of them.

I’ll keep hunting through Facebook in the small hours – though if you’ve got a suggestion for a page you love do leave me a comment!