Hello good people, I hope the sun is shining on you wherever you are.
The countdown to the Handmade Fair begins and I am busy sorting out my display and props so that I can make a creditable attempt to reproduce a boutique look in my tiny space of 1.5 x 2 metres. I have been looking at ideas and picking the best jewellery to make the highest impact.
I have had to resist the impulse to put everything out on the table and create a jumble sale effect, or wear everything I've got like the sunglasses salesman in the photograph which I took at a tourist spot in Mysore, India.
The tiny shops in India are crammed with goods, with everything from fly - swats to flowers, and follow the rule - 'stack 'em high and sell 'em cheap'.
I, on the other hand need to strive for a degree of sophistication, and the mantra 'less is more' plays on in my mind over and over.
We drove up to Ragley Hall on Sunday just to make sure we find it easily on the day and are not struggling with Sat - Nav's on top of everything else. The pile certainly is imposing - sitting on top of a small hill, with gently rolling greenery surrounding it and a drive through some very pretty, very ancient English villages.
I've got a few days off over the weekend and next week and plan to put the final touches to the pieces I have selected and tag them with prices and pack them up ready to transport. In the meantime, I busied myself with wire and produced a couple of little pendants. It brought back to me how much I love wire and have missed it. Both pendants are inspired by the designs of the most generous Nicole Hanna, with a twist in the design introduced by me.
I embroidered and soutached (is that a word??) around carnelian flowers and stitched them onto a leather strip to make a cuff bracelet held up by an aluminium core.
A couple of necklaces and I was done for the week.
And now I have to go and lie down, having caused myself to become so anxious I'm practically hyperventilating!! The thought of the Fair being so close I can almost smell it is a bit scary. I was so calm earlier on, I don't quite know what's happened to me, all this hand wringing angst is not really my style.
I shall speak to you next weekend, same time, same place - until then, have a fabulous week, see you soon
Last week I posed the vexatious question - mould or mold? - and obviously more people are reading this than my counter lets on - people very kindly posted their answers to my question - there was one suggestion on Facebook that it depended on where I learned to spell - the answer is, in India, from nuns, and an Anglo Indian lady - the lovely Nora Jessie Laffery who supervised my homework as my parents were busy anaesthetists, working hard all day.
I have mentioned the different patinas I have been trying out on my kiln fired copper - there has been Liver of Sulphur, Kosher salt and ammonia fumes, salt and vinegar crisps, proprietary Patina kits from Vintaj, patinas from the USA from a lady who calls herself Miss FickleMedia (this name brings to mind a cat whip and thigh high patent leather boots - but she is actually called Shannon LeVart, from Missouri USA, and is probably nothing like my imagination has conjured up) and now a Butane torch.
To think that this jewellery making lark started with some beads, a couple of toggle clasps, a reel of Tigertail (it has 49 strands of fine stainless steel wire coated with nylon and is very strong) and some crimps to end the necklaces I wanted to make in a small storage chest of drawers!
I now have a chemistry kit, a kiln, a library of jewellery making books, two new cupboards to release my dining table for its original purpose, kilometres of wire in different gauges, three drawers of gemstones and beads, a Butane torch, boxes of polymer clay, resin, acrylic paint and alcohol inks, moulds (molds??!) - and this list grows. No wonder I spend all my waking hours thinking up ways to use all these up - and this will never happen, the way new stuff keeps finding its way back to our house - we should have shares in Royal Mail!
But I am enjoying it, so onwards and upwards I go! I have some pictures here of my journey into jewellery making over the last few years.
Girl About Town Earrings
Livin' La Vida Loca
Donna Spadfore aka Gailavira wrote this very complicated tutorial for the wirework surrounding the focal, and I have made this many times in different forms. Her tutorial was for a pendant, but I readjusted it so I could attach it to a frame and added wooden beads, the roses I made from the same clay as the face - stone roses!, and some turquoise ovals. A lot of work went into this necklace, and I am sure it will be well received - it has a mellow vibe which belies its name - La vida loca - but look into the focal and you will know where I am coming from.
The next piece came to me when I was relaxing in a hot bath, looking up at the ceiling. I painted it with stars when we first moved in, having taken a fancy to a passage from The Merchant of Venice in a conversation between Lorenzo and Jessica in Act 5 Scene 1...
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears.
Soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patens of bright gold.
We read The Merchant of Venice in school, and I knew it particularly well having been made to learn it almost off by heart as punishment for various minor misdemeanours and infringements of tiresome rules - I was always taken by the idea of the patens of gold, and I got some of my own - so some good came of all that! (ssh, don't tell those nuns!)
I made a Man in the moon which I stained with alcohol inks and studded with tiny watch parts from my Steampunk stash. Another moon shape from the same mould was converted into a whimsical sun with the addition of some brass filigree circles, these were painted and distressed in copper acrylic paint. I decided to make a necklace with the sun, moon and stars, all in one and named it Celeste after the Celestial bodies in it.
I haven't had time to make much more than these offerings this week - the rigours of the day job have overtaken me. I hope to be able to add some self made components to each piece I make and along with bought elements, like gemstones, beads etc, have pieces of jewellery on offer that are most definitely one of a kind. People who have bought from Caprilicious have commented that the jewellery they received in the post is better than in the pictures on the site - maybe that's an indictment of my photography skills - I don't mind that one little bit - my fervent wish is to put a smile on your face when you open a package from me.
Have a good week and I will catch up with you next Friday.