British Craft Trade Fair 2012 – Jewellery Newcomers

The newcomers section at this year’s British Craft Trade Fair was an especially vibrant and lovely place, filled with exciting ideas and makers keen to talk about their work and how their businesses are developing.

Emily Knight:

Emily Knight's Stand

Emily Knight trained up in Glasgow and her work has a beautiful emphemeral quality about it. She displayed her distinctive silver and enamel pieces against hand drawn sketches – which looked so wondefully natural that you can’t help feeling that the walls were an extention of her sketchbook.

Emily Knight, Brooches

She’s got a wondeful eye for setting colours together without the enamels looking harsh and the fun, quirky details (like the little silver bicycles) makes them wonderful and light.

Emily Knight, bangles

Maneggi:

Then, just down the aisle from me was this lovely stand:

Maneggi - Ribbon Jewellery

featuring work from Maneggi, who, well – has a thing for ribbons … and wonderfully sculptural things she does with them too. With a really sensitive eye for colour she combines ribbons and pearls into little wearable structures:

Maneggi, Aqua and Pearl

 

They have quite a soft, vintage feel which is given a classic edge by her use of the pearls and other beads that give form to her pieces.

Karen Fox:

Karen Fox Jewellery Stand

And just one aisle over was the work of Karen Fox, another recent graduate with a passion for neat, structured pieces built up out of layers of texture. Her larger scale ruffle pieces (like the collar that you can just see on the left) wouldn’t look out of place at the ballet and have a defnite theatrical, Elizabethan flavour that makes you want to layer them up into giant sculptures.

Karen Fox, Ruffle Series

The whole show catalogue is online here for you to get a flavour of just how much craft work was on show.

It was a truly stunning collection of work from new and established makers alike which gives me a lot of hope for the future of the creative industries in the UK – it’s really wonderful to be working in so vibrant a marketplace.

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Facebook Finds #2: Colour me bright …

It’s a little dreary and grey today so here are a few of my brighter Facebook finds to cheer things up:

Thea Clark goes to town exploring mixed media and modern technology to produce pieces that are at once soft and structural, they’re a neat play of very organic surfaces against harsher prints:

Thea Clark. Cyan Chain, mixed media brooch, paper, plastic, nickel , pearls, wood, tinted plastic, 2010

Thea Clark. Cyan Square, mixed media brooch with cyanotype on silk, wood, plexiglass, tinted plastic, nickel, 2010.

Jacqueline Ryan is much more traditional in her approach to getting colour onto metal  – she uses enameling – but the way she makes up her pieces, from tiny units inspired by the natural world is just breathtaking:

Jacqueline Ryan

Jacqueline Ryan

Jacqueline Ryan - Sketchbook Image

And then there’s Stephanie Tomczak who combines enamel and natural materials to superb effect, bringing out the wonderful qualities of each:

Stephanie Tomczak, Oceanic Gems Collection

Stephanie Tomczak, Oceanic Gems Collection

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 …