Thursday, 28 July 2011

Pixie tea

I've had this little (13mm) silver teapot charm for some time. The style of the pot suggests the 1940s so I think it has seen a fair few decades come and go. I mentioned it to a customer (a fellow blogger) who was interested in a commission for her anniversary. We hatched a plan for a tea-themed necklace.

Having been to ceramics evening classes years ago I knew how to attach a handle to a teacup but this was on an entirely different scale. Then came a spoon. I moulded the bowl of the spoon around a tiny freshwater pearl. My Gran's 1940s teaspoons had a row of dints round the edge so I half inched that idea.

I had a partial pixie tea service. I waited a while but no pixies came round so out came the wire and the necklace took shape. Fingers crossed that it ticks the right boxes.

After a couple of months of full-on jewellery-making I think I've got a dose of making fatigue. I'm in need of a bit of semi-horizontal time now so I'm off for a sit down. I'll be back in a week or two with tales of brooches and holidays.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Hit the hut

It's been an exciting week around here, much of which has been spent in the little wooden beach hut at the bottom of our garden. It's become one of my favourite places to be in recent months. I found a vintage table here and it was the basis of a plan for a new garden-based workspace. Slowly but surely I've been moving my silver clay, tools, bead boxes and favourite books up there. When the doors are open and it's raining outside it's a great place to be.

My first Open Studio sessions of 2011 took place last weekend. This image was a highlight. I made a little silver bucket some time ago. A visitor was interested in learning silver clay techniques in one of my workshops and I showed her the silver bucket as an example of 3D work. She became very excited and was determined to see if the little bucket were watertight and whether she could wear a flower in it around her neck. It was and she could. She went home with a new necklace. 

A few weeks ago I was contacted about a possible feature in a national publication and yesterday a photographer came to take pictures of the garden and the hut. I admit to buying a new dress for the occasion. It was an exciting few hours. More on this story in 2012.

Finally, as it's been rainy around here I've tramped up to the studio in my wellies most days this week. Someone wanted to try them on for size.

Edited to add: The beautiful paper garland on the wall of the hut was made by Sue of Mouse Notebook.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Cambridge Open Studios 2011

I haven't been around here much lately. I've had so many silvery items to make that it's made me a bit scarce. Perhaps I should spend a bit of time on the bloggers' naughty step, or perhaps there's just a limit to the amount that can be squeezed into a day.

Preparations for this year's Cambridge Open Studios have been keeping me super busy - it's a truly fabulous event when over 200 Cambridgeshire artists open up their studios and special sheds during the weekends in July and the public can drop in, find out how the work is made and watch the creative process in action.

Last year was my first ever Open Studio. I sat at the bottom of the garden in my little beach hut and people came to see me. About 150 people! I could hardly believe it. Sometimes we had tea. Sometimes we chilled out in the garden. Mostly we gossiped about making. It was just ace.

I'll be opening up the beach hut this weekend and the weekend of the 23rd and 24th July. I'm even more thrilled this year because I found a (slightly rickety) old table, have set up a new workspace and started making in the hut (pictures to follow) instead of on the dining room table.

I've finally overcome the kiln fear too and have been trying out new enamelled designs inspired by the garden, which is Very Flowery at the moment..

It would be wonderful to see anyone for whom it's not too far. There will be jewels and tea and flowers and chat. Hope to see you there.....