Made with Love
16th January - 12th March 2016
Our annual exhibition exploring the romance of British Craft. These talented British makers come together to showcase their beautiful jewellery, ceramics and works in mixed media resulting in an array of ideal gifts for Valentine’s and Mother’s Day.
Charlotte studied for a degree in Fashion Design and originally started working in silver just for fun. She now is a full time jewellery designer maker working from her well-equipped studio, which looks out over her garden, to the river beyond. Charlotte is inspired by all sorts of things; the written word, her travels and small found objects and treasures which are cast in solid silver and used in her work. Charlotte often uses small found objects and treasures cast in solid sterling silver in her work. Her love of sewing, and inheriting both her Grandmother's button boxes inspired her to make her button collection.
Gracie May Designs
Based in Birmingham's famous Jewellery Quarter Grace designs and makes contemporary jewellery, inspired by abandoned and forgotten books and the fragile beauty of their words. A devoted collector of discarded books, Grace breathes new life into the words on their pages by immortalising them in jewellery. Using a variety of techniques including etching and wax carving she crafts delicately composed and elegant pieces of silver jewellery, each containing a unique and tantalising fragment from an unknown book.
Fairy tales, the trappings of royalty, religious symbolism, alphabets and lettering, chess, confectionery and cakes are just some of the things that have inspired Nicola’s jewellery over the years. She enjoy making highly decorative pieces, often incorporating moving parts or hidden details that only the maker and the wearer know is there.
From her snug attic workshop in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter Becca makes jewellery and silverware inspired by the coastal landscape as she looks out over the grey, tiled roofs of the city. This love of the coastline comes from a myriad of childhood holidays in Wales, spent exploring the rivers, fields and beaches around her father’s family home. Constantly inspired by the elegant lines of the landscape she’s still a regular visitor to the countryside whether by foot or on a bicycle and always returns to Birmingham with a camera full of pictures and pockets full of twigs and pebbles. These translate themselves into shapes and textures which cover her workshop until they come together to form work characterised by its bold simplicity and subtle balance. From tiny earrings to tall water jugs Becca delights in the process of making and is most at home when covered in a fine coating of silver dust.
Over the past couple of years Rachel's jewellery work has explored the technique of drawing on enamel. She was taught enamelling at college and took a dislike to it (something to do with the bright colours). It was therefore a conscious decision when she revisited enamelling that she would eliminate colour altogether and just explore the possibilities of white enamel. If over fired white can produce subtle shades of blue and grey through to yellow. The patterns and textures are simply applied with a graphite pencil and an oxidising stain. Rachel doesn't have an obvious theme to her work, the patterns on the surface of the enamel are based on random doodlings on bits of paper, although lines and circles frequently appear. She don't plan the patterns on the enamel and as such each piece is unique.
Natalie’s grandmother taught her to crochet when she was very small. An elegant woman, she also taught her the art of fine sewing and embroidery, how she made hats and managed to transform the mundane into something unique. Meanwhile Natalie’s mother, a keen dressmaker, also taught her how to knit and gave her free rein with scissors and needles. One of a large creative family, she became competent at a sewing machine by the time she was seven, turning her hand at making basic dolls clothes, and later discovering how to make dressmaking patterns for herself. “I used to crochet miniscule pieces using sewing thread and make all sorts of things for my appreciative family, who would often say how did you make that?" Now, many years on, Natalie often thinks how lucky she is to be knitting, crocheting and weaving with precious metal, using these traditional skills to make pieces for other people to treasure and keep. Natalie is classically trained and a versatile jeweller (studied at Sir John Cass in London) and she makes everything from engagement rings to brooches, interesting commissions and experimental pieces.
AneMi Design (Anisha Mistry)
Based from her North London studio, Anisha Mistry of Anemi Designs creates beautiful contemporary handmade pieces of jewellery using traditional engraving techniques drawing inspiration from architecture, nature and textiles. Graduating in Fashion Textiles, lead Anisha to travel back to her roots in Gujarat - India and immerse herself into the local culture and customs in Kutch. While living and working with weavers, tribal embroiderers and block printers has deeply influenced her philosophy into the designs she creates. She then spent time with a silversmith, in a tiny workshop in Bhuj, Kutch and by seeing how the craftsmen shaped the metal to make jewellery inspired her to learn more about the traditional craft. After returning to the UK, Anisha began studying jewellery manufacture at Holts Academy and by combining these skills with her signature illustrations, Anisha then transforms her work into elegant, free spirited jewellery.
Mandy set up her workshop in 1983 after leaving the Royal College of Art and established her studio in Model House Craft and Design Centre in 1990. Mandy works primarily in anodised aluminium producing one off and batch production jewellery. Over the last fifteen years she has also been developing work in felt, combining this with her jewellery practice, creating both functional and non-functional work. Her three passions are colour, pattern and technique and much of her inspiration comes from her travels around the world. Speaking about her Lace Collection; “My work has always had a textile influence and this collection, made from laser etched anodised aluminium, has been inspired by lace, traditional Russian and small samples from the collections at St Fagan’s National History Museum in Wales.”
Donna creates silver textured sheets inspired by repetition in nature and architectural shapes and patterns. By arranging and overlapping these shapes and then fusing and forming, Donna's finished pieces resemble beautiful elements of flora and fauna. Donna produces large bespoke pieces for special exhibitions and smaller pieces for galleries and shops throughout the UK, America and Japan. Working with silver and gold and a carefully chosen colour palette of semi-precious stones, Donna's beautiful bespoke pieces such as her cluster neckpieces are made up of continuous floral and bud clusters. Other pieces are constructed of fine sheet layers that glisten and often move when handled or worn. Donna's vocation as a florist for five years provided her with a plethora of shapes and textures to draw inspiration from.
Originally a ceramicist Rebecca has recently retrained and developed a new body of jewellery that combines luxurious porcelain and bone china with precious metals. Her work is informed by the recurring themes of sex and food and the instant gratification of covetous confectionary sits against the inherent value of the materials she uses. "In this age of austerity we must look to the humble things that make us happy, and we must celebrate them with reckless abandon. I aim to draw attention to the little things that tempt us and glamorise the simple pleasures in life. Sugar free, fat free, but completely indulgent!"
Vicky Lindo Ceramics is the creative partnership of Vicky Lindo and William Brookes. They produce earthenware decorative ceramics at the Pigeon Club Pottery in Bideford, which they set up in 2013. They both attended Herefordshire College of Art and Design where Bill specialised in musical instrument design and Vicky in Illustrated Textiles. Bill has worked as a Barometer, Clock and Furniture maker before collaborating with Vicky on her Ceramic pieces. Their work is inspired by Bideford’s slipware pottery heritage, the secret lives of pets and random creatures met on their way to work, a love of beautiful trees and plants and the funny things that happen to them. Often eccentric and highly decorated, they use coloured slips and underglazes combined with sgraffito to create pattern and texture, humour and warmth in the pieces they make.
Charlotte Miller is a Bournemouth based ceramicist who creates handmade sculptures and tableware inspired by animals within domestic settings. Her anthropomorphic, whimsical budgie sculptures are both endearing and nostalgic, whilst her range of quirky tableware is a tribute to English eccentric kitsch. Charlotte uses a combination of ceramic surface decoration techniques from hand printed to digital decals to collage on the surface of her pieces to create witty and satirical scenes. These have then inspired her latest series of budgie sculptures in stoneware with Engobe decoration, which bring the characters featured in her illustrations to life. Charlottes love of print making and sculpture has led her to develop a range of work that concentrates on form as well as illustrative and textured surfaces. Both are influenced by her degree in Contemporary Crafts, where she studied both textiles and ceramics.
Angela's chosen medium is bone china. The work is a combination of slip casting and hand building with paperslip, exploring the delicacy and whiteness of bone china and its potential for the transmission of light, a quality which first drew Angela to it in 1991. Angela is particularly interested in the effects of light on the landscape, especially in coastal and mountainous areas where the infinite variety of organic contours, tonal contrasts, and patterns provide a continuing source of inspiration. Fragments of these have enabled her to introduce a delicate tracery of translucent texture into the work using paperslip, a medium I developed during her MA Research.
International ceramic artist Kerry Hastings makes ceramic vessels which explore themes such as harmony and discord, colour and form, silhouette and contour. She adds oxide additions such as copper, chrome, cobalt to stoneware clay, varying percentages and combinations of oxides depending on the colour she wants to achieve. She pinches and coils sculptural/functional vessels whose forms and colours echo those found in nature; the swell of a wave, a bird in flight, lichen on rock. She then refines the pieces with much scraping with a metal kidney and burnishing with an agate pebble at the leather hard stage. After bisque firing she uses a diamond pad, buffing to a pebble-like finish. Tin glazes are applied on the inside only which results in different glaze/body interactions depending on the oxide added to the clay. Sometimes she adds coloured stains to the glaze if the oxide in the body is not so strong. She likes experimenting with different colour contrasts on the outside and the inside of the pot.
Brittany explores the translucent quality and fragile effects that can be produced through the use of porcelain. Taking shape and form as a starting point she creates functional vessels and tableware. She works in two different ways, slip casting and slab building. With both methods the making processes are exaggerated and become a main focus of the design. The new 2015 collection combines porcelain, leather & metal. Brittany constructs simple forms taking inspiration from industrial cogs and aged rusty tools. The seams created are highlighted by the rivets, leather handles and rusty screws, nuts and bolts holding the pieces together. Brittany’s Sea salt range incorporates colour through tactile glazes. Taking inspiration from trips to the seaside and the feeling of salt on your skin, these minimal shapes are frosted with salty blue and green glazes.
Jane's objects she makes invariably have an emotional starting point. They are also concerned with narrative. Jane's work is domestic in scale; it is designed with a display place in mind: the mantel piece or shelf in the home. She makes objects that are intended to fit in to the household environment. Jane uses red earthenware, cheap, honest, unpretentious and informal and adds paper and coarse grog. "I like the shortness it gives the clay, like pastry, and the lumpiness, uneven texture and imperfections seem appropriate. Naked, this clay body is recognized and familiar; flower pots, bricks, kitchen crockery and antiquity may spring to mind, there is a certain comfort zone surrounding it, clothed with grubby white slip that cracks and crazes like old sun-baked paint, there is a depth and porous warmth to the work that invites touch.”
Having graduated from Three Dimensional Design at Camberwell College of Art in 2014, Rhian Malin specialises in ceramics and is currently Artist in Residence at The Ceramic Studio Warwickshire. Rhian's work is predominantly thrown porcelain vessels with cobalt blue, hand-painted decoration. Having already exhibited her work nationally and been featured in major publications such as Homes and Gardens and House and Garden, Rhian hopes to continue furthering her career as a Studio Potter.
Antonia is based near Bath and has worked with glass for a number of years, starting out with a workshop in Cornwall creating stained glass windows to commission and exhibition. Traditional techniques soon gave way to more contemporary approaches igniting a passion for etching patterns and images into glass by the process of sandblasting. The delicate results inspired a change of direction, and paved the way for the creation of decoratively etched mirrors and bespoke designs in clear glazing. Antonia’s designs are completely original, generated from the camera or pencil and paper, her style is very much orientated around plant forms, using the glass as a canvas upon which the outside world remains alive in all its random spontaneity.
“Proud peddlers of extraordinarily interesting stories and beautifully whimsical things”; Emma Smalley creates beautiful canvasses inspired by childhood photographs, cities and landscapes from around the world and those closer to home and creates wonderfully quirky written pieces to accompany them. Her wonderful imagination runs throughout all of her beautiful products and several of her ranges incorporate characters from her story books which are interpreted onto children’s clothing, ceramics, stationery, greetings cards and knitting and sewing kits.
Linda makes one-off framed and unframed machine embrodieres using an industrial Bernina 950 sewing machine. Using her distinctive and unique style, she creates rich, colourful, naive and humorous embroideries which contain figures set in the outdoors, always happy, always smiling, and usually depicted within a story. Her work is exhibited successfully throughout the UK, Europe and the USA, and she has pieces held in the Southern Arts collection and within the permanent textile and dress collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Linda’s TV appearance on Kirstie Allsop’s Kirstie’s Handmade Britain (Channel 4) was aired on Wednesday 2nd November 2011 and is repeated now and again on More 4.