19th March - 25th June 2016
An exhibition of jewellery, sculptures and wall hung works by makers who reclaim, upcycle and re-invent materials into beautiful contemporary craft pieces. Innovative, inspiring and truly stunning collections to marvel at.
Wall hung works and sculptural pieces
"These timber wall hung compositions consider the struggle between our desire to impose form on the natural world and its unwillingness to conform. The physical world corrupts, erupts, distorts and discolours our efforts to suppress, edit or frame it. There is also human error. Although I strive to apply my own structure to these works through concentration and technical skill, I fail. I make mistakes, my concentration wanders, I change my mind, and I can’t maintain a straight line or a perfect sphere. I find I am being pulled toward an intuitive way of working, like stacking firewood. The finished piece is evidence of fallibility, methodology and is an expression of nature’s fragile and yet robust qualities. The work becomes a study in texture, colour and process led by the nature of the material. The title for each work is provided by the location that the timber is found. How it has responded to its surroundings and environment is central to the narrative.”
Joanne creates original recycled wall hung art and has been a collector of things for as long as she can remember. Filling shoe boxes with beads, stamps, butterflies and buttons. Today her studio is full of drink cans, sweet papers, foils, corks, bottle tops and bits of plastic from an assortment of packing. Through a series of playful experiments Joanne transforms these normally ‘throw away’ materials into something that will be cared for, maybe work and treasured in a jewellery box or hung and admired on the wall as a piece of art. She loves the challenge of turning something old into new, something seen as beautiful or intriguing and hopefully something that will inspire others.
"I am a textile sculptor living on the beautiful Hampshire coast. The Textile Menagerie is my imaginary storyland of creatures. I use reclaimed textiles in my work; a soft, worn medium that carries the imprints of lives previously encountered. Old cloth, conveying a sense of history, lends itself perfectly to my endeavours. My making process is slow, manipulating fabric into form, allowing a personality to develop organically as I wrap, fold, stitch and stuff. I aim to weave a little soul and magic into every beastie I create. My depictions are stylised, obviously inspired by the animals of our world, but not an attempt to replicate that beauty and perfection. Instead the idea of a specific species informs a more surreal interpretation, unbound by reality."
“I design and create bespoke terrariums and miniature worlds in curious objects. Combining my passion for plants and all things quirky, I am re-kindling this popular Victorian trend but with a modern twist. Each creation captures a snapshot in miniature of scenes from daily life, staged amongst a verdant setting. Each design is unique and can be customised to the finest detail. Since my terrarium journey began, it has evolved along the way. I started out using moss in my terrariums; I loved using moss, as I find it such an enchanting plant. It is great for landscaping little worlds as it reflects the forest in miniature and it is easy to imagine little people living amongst it. I like to re-create this feeling of enchantment and wonder by containing it inside a glass vessel, so people can be intrigued and look inside to be filled with delight at the magical world. My work has developed into everlasting terrariums, as I wanted to preserve the little worlds forever. Now, people can enjoy their miniature worlds without needing to maintain them. It has also opened up the possibilities for me to use different vessels, moss is restricted to glass vessels with lids, now I can be creative with teacups and compact mirrors and anything that looks interesting enough to hold a little world inside!”
Jennifer’s work has led the way in the upcycling revolution in art and craft; a veteran maker of vintage material, investigating the re-used and recycled since 1999. “Giving new life to things that would otherwise go unloved or be thrown away,” is central to her practice. Welcome to her fantastical world, where every exquisite detail is made, folded and manipulated from paper. Once books, maps, envelopes, wallpaper or scrap, the paper is transformed into textural forms. Like cloth it is stitched to construct two or three dimensional objects, decorative and functional: lampshades, cameras, tools and furniture. The origin of the paper often provides a starting point for the artwork: the narrative of the books and papers suggesting idea and form. Jennifer uses the idea of the domestic space, to set a stage for the work: upholstered chairs, kitchen utensils, and garden tools hanging in their shed invite you in. References to fairy tales, films, literature, music and nursery rhymes;the layers of paper and meaning together build the narrative.
Jane Bevan is a lifelong collector and an artist with a passion for English woodlands. Walking and exploring daily amongst ancient trees near her home, she gathers interesting and eye catching materials to carry home and transform into artworks. The thorns, fragments of bark, seeds, feathers and acorn cups which are her treasured, seasonal finds, are celebrated in Jane’s work, often because of their tiny imperfections and irregularities. The materials are hand-stitched, tied and intricately assembled into vessels, sculptures and 2D collage.
Aimee is a collector, a gatherer, an arranger of things people have discarded and forgotten. She seeks out objects that have fallen out of use, out of society and brings them back to life.
“I have always been fascinated by the shapes and sculptural forms of animals, they present a never-ending source of inspiration to me. I try to capture a feeling of their movement and presence in my sculpture. For this I use wire and other materials in a way that suggests drawing in three dimensions. This allows me greater freedom to add changes whenever I want during the construction to keep the feeling fluid and to reflect the diversity of movement and form. I increasingly use recycled and discarded materials as I enjoy the challenge of transforming something with a past history into something new and exciting.” Influences include nineteenth century animal engravings, domesticated animals and our dependence on them, movement of racing animals such as horses and dogs, skeletal structures both organic and inorganic.
"My Childhood was spent going on adventures and making up stories for my toys. I very much liked making things, I once spent a whole summer holidays building houses and furniture for the fairies in the hedgerows of a Bedfordshire village! Nevertheless my main hobby was, and still is, collecting found bobs and bits. I would spend hours at the local allotments filling my pockets with such treasures as broken pieces of china, old buttons and coins. Eventually the choice I had to make was whether to become an Archaeologist ( preferably of the Indiana Jones variety) or keep finding 'rubbish' and make 'things' out of it. I left home in 1994 to study an HND in Design Crafts at Hereford College of Art. Whilst at college I found an affinity with wire and rather than putting down ideas in a sketchbook I started collaging cuttings from books and magazines as an inspiration/design reference and would use the wire to sketch out ideas. I still fill large sheet music books with these cuttings and now have a veritable library as I am currently working on reference book number 46! I use an array of processes in my work because of the variety of mediums I incorporate; however, wire-working has always been the common feature. I use galvanised wire, shaped and bound, to form the main shape of the creatures. A layer of newspaper is added onto this former, using a traditional flour & water paste, and onto this I layer my chosen vintage paper. The final stage of each piece consists of using a water based varnish to seal and protect any vintage paper and ephemera. Inspiration comes from fairy tales, nursery rhymes and the curiousness of the natural world. Often the creatures that I make are pure figments of my imagination. I try to envisage the oddities that many a Victorian explorer could have encountered on voyages to different lands. These whimsies are named and labelled. A museum of my own fantasy....."
Tracie Murchison is an Applied Artist working with wood and mixed media. Her most recent collection of work is created mainly from branches that she gathers whilst out walking. The branches that she selects already have their own personality but after she strips the bark, cuts and sands the wood, unpredictable markings and knots within the piece are revealed. Quirky buildings that she sees on her travels around the UK inspire the hand painted doors, windows and the roof shapes. She enjoys walking through charming villages that have little houses with wonky chimneys, Georgian and Victorian homes with tall chimneys, ramshackle sheds and quirky outbuildings. Tracie aims to create small artworks that have character and personality by using materials that she loves working with.
“Drawing inspiration from themes of collecting memories I create playful jewellery which might explore a fleeting moment, a chance encounter or a material souvenir charged with meaning. Referencing shape, form, colour and pattern to realise each piece of jewellery I hope to create something which has both familiar and yet foreign associations, perhaps triggering a vague memory for the viewer and hopefully raising a smile!” Silver, anodised aluminium and a confection of found and altered objects are used to create Lindsey’s jewellery. Anodised aluminium provides a perfect canvas for colour and pattern, something which has become somewhat of a trademark for Lindsey’s jewellery. The anodised aluminium undergoes an electro-chemical treatment during which millions of microscopic pores are created on the surface of the metal. When colour is applied to the metal, through the use of particular liquid inks and dyes, it is easily absorbed into the pores. Once colouring is complete the pigments are sealed into the pores, through exposure to steam, to create a permanent and durable material with which to make jewellery.
“After graduating with a degree in metal work and jewellery from Sheffield Hallam, I started my career working for international fashion designer, Lara Bohinc, for whom I was her principal maker. While working as a gardener, I was continually digging up broken pieces of pottery which contained echoes of the past. Although chipped and grubby at the edges, the detail of the patterns in each fragment inspired me to create my ‘Lost & Found’ collection, in which I set the pieces into silver to create unique and contemporary jewellery.” In the Lost & Found Collection the intention is to breathe new life into discarded objects.
Tina Alexandra Macleod
Scottish designer maker Tina MacLeod creates tactile pieces of jewellery that evoke a sense of place. The concept of the island and the unique atmosphere of the Hebridean coastal woodland are central to her work, capturing an essence of that sensed but unexplained aura often experienced within the forest. By utilising precious metal techniques that produce delicate but deliberate layers of surface texture, she is able to convey a sense of the ephemeral nature of the living landscape. Designing through making, she works intuitively with natural materials gathered from specific places, and by exploring hollow forms, creates jewellery which represents a connection to place which is realised through the importance of touch. Ultimately, each object becomes a representation of the viewer and wearer’s story, the original meaning transcends. The origin belongs to the maker, embedded within the piece but the meaning distorts and evolves as different people find their own connection with it.
“Though I have been making jewellery since I first took it as a subject at Art College way back in 1988, it was around 14 years ago that I first started incorporating the metal taken from tins into my designs, jewellery featuring re-purposed steel; lithographed tins that are vintage or new. The material is opened out and reformed into 'cabochon' shapes, then sawn out and set in hand-constructed mounts. The fragments of graphics selected from the tins are always the key inspiration in how the designs take their shape and are key in dictating what the pieces become and whether there are any additional elements needed to tell a story through the medium of jewellery. It’s fun to find tins at car-boot sales, charity shops and on-line auction sites and it’s even nicer to receive special pieces sent to me in the post by clients who want something bespoke.”
“I have a wide knowledge of materials; silver, wood, acrylic, reclaimed metals from tins, found objects, fabric and other collected items. I draw graphic images which I make in to contemporary jewellery pieces using these materials. I have been making jewellery since 1996. Methods I use to make my work are piercing, riveting, collaging, soldering, French crochet, and shaping on mandrels. Making the whole piece of jewellery is an important part of my work, so the clasp is as important as the rest of the necklace.
“On my second trip to Japan I travelled alone and found peace and solitude in Kyoto. I took a walk from Gion to Kiyomizu-dera and found myself happily lost amongst the side streets. A tiny paper shop drew me in with a myriad of patterns and colours and a thought began. Settings crafted in sterling silver and finished by hand are made to catch real pieces of the beautiful 'chiyogami' printed papers that first caught my imagination under a protective resin.”
"I produce jewellery that consciously contributes to the greater good, it has a social conscience. Messages are included, involving the concept of making the everyday and the disposable precious. My aim is to try and make use of the mobility of jewellery as an art form to interact with the audience that sees it, and this mobility could lead to the jewellery being seen in many and different social situations and places. By taking items seen as non-precious or tired, I use them, combine them with other materials and processes to make them desired and give them a new life."
Sabira Silcock makes Contemporary Jewellery and 3D objects from her studio in Manchester Craft & Design Centre. Playful, oversized jewellery pieces, combine traditional metalwork skills and an innovative use of non-conventional or ‘waste’ materials, alongside precious metals. In her ‘Cells’ collection, Sabira uses a combination of Corian and Perspex ‘off cuts’ , alongside Sterling Silver. Moveable rivets add dynamism, loosely mimicking the way in which cells multiply and grow. This tactile quality allows the wearer to interact and engage with the piece, positioning it as they wish.
"My current collection combines silver, epoxy resin, polyester resin and tealeaves. The resin is clear, white or ivory. The type of tea leaves used affect the outcome of each piece. This range of jewellery is inspired by the tradition of tea drinking. I am interested in the different types of tea available and the implements used when preparing tea, tea strainers, tea sets and teapots. My ideas develop and progress whilst working in my home studio. Designs continue to develop around the shapes I take from teacups and teapots, I use these shapes to inform and progress new ideas and designs. I work best by making and experimenting rather than drawing ideas on paper. I worked within a tea house which served over 55 varieties of tea. This has given me an insight into tea drinkers, and the ideal audience for the jewellery I produce."
“My jewellery explores the fragile relationship between people and objects. I use books as a symbol of permanence and longevity to create wearable objects with a fragility that questions traditional notions of wear-ability. As an item worn close to the body, jewellery contains a strong emotional and physical relationship to the wearer and its small scale makes it the ideal collectible item. My work challenges values of permanence and stability by embracing the beauty of the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”
Little Treasures - Jewellery
Society of Little by Eunice Beeching
Working with paper, recycled leather and vintage textiles. She transforms unloved and mis-shapen raw materials into jewellery and decorations and gifts for the home. A previous life as a teacher and a love of literature and fairy tales from around the world, fuel her passion for learning and knowledge. She has developed a range of Jewellery for Book Lovers transforming recycled leather and paper into miniature books.
Once a waste product, now desirable and collectable, these sea gems that have been rounded and frosted by the waves over decades, can be found on certain beaches round the world, and come in an exciting assortment of shapes and colours. Most of the pieces I use in my designs were found by professional beachcombers on the North East coast of the UK, but I sometimes use pieces from other countries as well. Creating wearable objects out of materials that most people would walk past without noticing is just one of the aspects of jewellery making I find so inspiring.
Uncommonly beautiful is a contemporary ethical and sustainable jewellery brand and consultancy studio. Fragments of history come together to manifest as timeless objects, intricate in beauty and bold as their brass, silver and other materials. Finding beauty in the once cherished and even over looked, to re-use and sustain, incarnating fresh and eclectic accessories. Uncommonly Beautiful was founded by designer-maker, Kirsty Kirkpatrick in June 2006. Alongside key inspirations like Bauhaus and the constructivists, matched with her exploration of re using historical pieces, Kirkpatrick has a background in Architecture and lighting design. With an imaginative approach, Kirkpatrick seeks to transform waste into something covetable and unique. Using found furniture, up-cycling and recycled materials, the label creates beautiful and fresh products from the overlooked. Discarded wooden house hold furniture becomes the base material for Kirkpatrick's design, screen printing and laser etching along with vibrant paint finishes make up the pendants, earring and bracelets for her ornate and abstract works.
Kate uses recycled and reclaimed biscuit tins, loving the colour, pattern and graphic design on old and modern tins. The result is a delicate, unique and totally desirable jewellery collection comprising necklaces, earrings, bracelets, anklets and brooches. Kate has won herself a name for innovation with this unusal material and has a knack for searching out the loveliest of tins from all sorts of places!
Rebecca Prior makes pieces using bicycle inner tubes that cyclists have abandoned. She adds colour using pigment markers and seals using a hot iron or varnish. The mix of geometric and natural shapes in Aztec and Native American design influences her patterns and shapes. She uses bold colour combinations and strong lines that remind her of screen printing. On the back of each recycled card she has noted information about the up-cycled element to the piece; the name of the cyclist, where the tube popped and how; the type of wood and what it was originally being used for.