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Wednesday 24 February 2010

A dog hair jewellery keepsake - In memory of Kesha

This is a recent custom jewellery order that I was asked to make, and it was a real pleasure to create something so special. It is Kesha's dog fur/hair preserved within resin pendants. Kesha was a much loved and sadly missed dog who’s owner wanted something so that (in her words) ‘Kesha will be with me forever now’.

Dog hair keepsake pendants
Dog hair keepsake pendants

I made these pendants with great pleasure as I knew how much they would mean to the owner. There is no better feeling than using my creativity and producing something so sentimental and personal to the owner. Providing a piece of jewellery that is not just an item of jewellery but a keepsake full of memories.

The memory of Kesha will now be kept close to her owner forever...

Please visit my pet hair keepsake Jewellery website page for more examples of pet hair keepsakes.

Monday 22 February 2010

My Latest Pressed Flower Jewellery

The impending arrival of spring and Mothers Day has inspired me this week to start making some pressed flower jewellery. Well to tell you the truth, being handed a lovely gift of a box full of pressed flowers made me feel quite guilty that I should be making something with them! They have been sitting there for the last few weeks calling out to me and so this week I gave in to the temptation and had my wicked resin way with them.

Please correct me if I have incorrectly named the flowers that I have selected. I am far from being green fingered, sticky fingered maybe but gardening has never been my strong point!

The first one is a single pressed Fuchsia flower, set within a clear teardrop shaped resin pendant...

Real Fuchsia flower necklace
Real Fuchsia flower necklace

This second group of pendant are pressed Viola flowers set within both heart and teardrop shaped resin pendants.

Real flower jewellery - Viola pendants
Real flower jewellery - Viola pendants

So, I have finally quietened down my box of pressed flowers for the time being. They are quietly chatting amongst themselves and debating who will be next in line to be transformed into something beautiful....

Please visit my website for more examples of Real Flower Jewellery

Monday 15 February 2010

Recycled Newspaper Jewellery

I have been trying to select an appropriate picture to submit with my entry to the Made in Leicestershire directory. I have found this exercise a lot harder than I first thought. I first selected six of my favourite jewellery items and soon discovered that my favourite jewellery item isn't necessarily everybody’s favourite.

So after two days of pondering, and asking friends and relatives I have finally made a decision. The decision was based upon not what I and others thought is the best item of jewellery I have made, but the item of jewellery that best represents me. So this is it....

Recycled newspaper jewellery
Recycled newspaper jewellery

These recycled newspaper words of love were cut from a local newspaper and embedded into a resin heart pendant.

I suppose this jewellery piece says everything I want to portray about my jewellery; unique, using everyday or recycled objects and one-of-a-kind. It is also appropriate that they were recycled from a local newspaper since it will be displayed in a local directory. So there you go, it has been sent now and soon to be published and I hope it brings some love and inspiration to its readers.

Please visit my Keepsake Jewellery website.

Wednesday 10 February 2010

My Artist Statement

I have recently been asked to write an artist statement to accompany my entry into the Made in Leicestershire directory. The artist statement was to be limited to 60 words (maximum) and should explain why I make my art, how I make it, what it’s made out of and what my art means to me. And to fit all that into 60 words is quite a challenge!

It was initially quite daunting when faced with a blank piece of paper; however there are many art websites offering some good advice, such as the Creativity Portal, that likens the artistic statement to the making of a stew.

Shpangle Jewellery artist statement
Shpangle Jewellery artist statement

My artist statement took about a day to write, with the much appreciated help from my wife Angela. I found it extremely helpful to have a second opinion to share ideas with and also to proof read the finished statement. Firstly I wrote down everything about myself and my work, including my inspirations, favourite materials and experiences. I then highlighted key phrases and words within this text and removed the rest. The key words and phrases were then essentially joined together into sentences and refined, resulting in the following artist statement (that is exactly 60 words long!!). 

Shpangle Jewellery Artist Statement

Inspired by a passion for taking everyday and recycled objects and transforming them into pieces of art, I predominantly use resin as a medium to enhance the colours and textures of encapsulated items.

I specialise in creating unique custom jewellery, preserving nostalgic and sentimental memorabilia. My satisfaction evolves from creating handmade personalised keepsakes that evoke pleasure for years to come.#

Please visit my Keepsake Jewellery website.

Friday 5 February 2010

I am going to be in a book...

I wasn’t planning making a blog post today, however yesterday I had some fantastic news that I wanted to share. I have been selected to feature in the Made in Leicestershire Printed Directory 2010...

Made in Leicestershire Directory
Made in Leicestershire Directory

The directory is managed by Creative Leicestershire who supports the development of small arts, media and design businesses in Leicestershire and Rutland. Because the directory is limited to 50 artists this year, there is a selection process.

I had to submit some examples of my work and provide details explaining my motivation, originality and uniqueness of ideas, as well as skills and experience.

The selection panel selected 50 artists based on the following criteria:

  • Work is handmade with a high level of technical skill
  • Work is original and unique
  • Commercial potential of the work

And I was one of them! Wow, I am going to be in a book and I am so excited! This has really made a fantastic start to the year. I love getting the recognition and comments from customers and fellow crafters, but to be selected for this is the highlight of my jewellery making career.

Now I just need to decide upon a suitable picture and words to put in it.

Please visit my Keepsake Jewellery website.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Handmade Fabric Flower Brooches

I’ve been sewing! I haven’t really done any proper hand sewing for a few years, so I thought this week I would have a go. And, do my fingers show the proof! I had completely forgotten how clumsy I am at sewing but was very happy with my first attempt. I decided to make a fabric flower brooch and use one of my resin cabochons as the centre piece for the flower.

Fabric flower brooch
Fabric flower brooch

I had some spare white fabric (in fact I cut it from a table cloth that I sometimes use at craft fairs). I am so glad though that I resisted cutting up one of my wife’s tops.

This was a bit like combining origami with fabric and sewing…Each flower petal is individually folded (which is an art in itself). The folded petal is then stitched to prevent it from springing open. Once all the petals are complete, they are all strung together with thread and then fastened in a circle to form a flower. The fabric flower is then backed by a small circle of felt and a silver plated brooch bar attached.

I have recently been making resin handmade buttons containing seed beads and other buttons containing 100s and 1000s (the kind that you sprinkle of cakes and trifles). So, the center of the flower is a handmade resin cabochon button containing 100s and 1000s. I fixed a button shank to the cabochon and sewed it through to the felt.

I am very pleased with the finished flower brooch, especially since I haven’t really done a lot of sewing for a while. Isn’t it good how doing one handmade craft just leads to doing others...

Please visit my Keepsake Jewellery website.