Keepsake objects of beauty and jewellery created by makers who explore exciting materials and making techniques. Highlighting embroidery, silversmithing, ceramics, resin, silver, printmaking, metal and found objects resulting in a vibrant display of work by some of the most inspiring craftspeople in the UK today.
Image: Bronwen Tyler-Jones bracelet
In the Spotlight
2nd November 2019 - 11th January 2020
Based in the North East of England, Marna is an artist whose work is influenced by the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors where she grew up. Using colours and textures and absorbing the sounds and feelings from the landscape she hand embroiders her artwork in her home studio and on location. It fascinates her how tiny details of colour and texture can be found in the darkest depths of the wilderness, whilst sounds of rushing grasses and wittering lapwings influence the energy and depth of a stitch. With an eclectic combination of materials and stunning hand-dyed and vintage threads, each element is lovingly handled and embroidered by Marna. Her main objective when working is to experiment with surface texture and colour, whether it be portrait or landscape. She works with thread exactly how one would paint with oil paint, building layers and injecting tiny spots of colour to create an image from the simple to the complex, with hidden details to draw you into the finished subject. Marna has worked closely with the BBC, Liberty of London, Mollie Makes magazine and the Manchester School of Art in Fine Art, she still considers herself a painter but has moved mediums from oils to threads.
Melissa explores traditional silversmithing techniques such as hammer-raising and forging to create artefacts for use or simple enjoyment. She mainly works with silver, copper and brass to create vessel forms and spoons. With hammer marks and oxidisation she is able to create different surface textures and visual interest, often complementing her metal objects with contrasting materials such as wood and concrete in the form of a plinth, a conscious encouragement for the user to display these pieces. For as long Melissa can remember (thanks to her mum and her creative ways) – she has made things, ranging from candles, cards and dried flower arrangements to wire and bead earrings that she would choose herself from the local bead shop. Her maternal granddad was a farmer and keen metal detectorist, and as a result Melissa was drawn to metal, and its durability; one of the fields on the farm, which we all called the Roman field, was a great resource. Her granddad found numerous coins and tool parts and most significantly a pendant, which was bought by the museum in Lincoln. It fascinates Melissa that the beautiful things you can make from metal essentially last forever, waiting to be rediscovered.
Josephine designs and makes contemporary art jewellery and silverware, based in Sheffield in South Yorkshire. She studied Surface Pattern design and Textile Design, specialising in print working in the Textiles Industry before doing a Master of Arts degree in Design, specialising in Jewellery & Metalwork. Her work is influenced by botanical plant forms, and explored notions of fragility, preciousness and impermanence. She is inspired by details found in nature and uses natural found objects in her work. She uses processes and materials which can record these ephemeral treasures, capturing a memory of matter that decays over time, fossilised as a porcelain cameo, or imprinted into metal, these materials tell a story. Her work is intended to draw our attention to the importance of connectedness to nature which is being lost in our fast pace, urban society. Human impact is a real threat to nature which has resulted in severe loss of biodiversity. Josephine's use of tranquil colours are intended to be reminiscent of those found in nature and she aims to create a sense of balance and harmony in her work, to symbolise a healthy relationship with the botanical environment and it's therapeutic benefits for health and wellbeing.
Gin has enjoyed creating and making for many years from her first disciplines of illustration and graphic design to now working with clay. Her ceramic practice has been established since graduating with a 1st Class Degree from Bucks New University in 2011. Clay, for her is a rewarding material, one with which she is forging a lasting relationship enhanced by firm grounding of mixed media and design experience. Drawing and illustrating has always formed the basis for each of her handbuilt animal sculptures. Her quirky and imaginative ceramics are inspired by memories and storytelling. She draws on imagery which has been shaped by treasured tales and translates them into beautifully crafted work, rich in character and detail. All sculptures are individually hand built in porcelain or stoneware, incorporating textile impressed elements. Each instilled with a twist of humour.
Melanie trained in illustration at Birmingham School of Art. She works from her studio at home in Birmingham and also as an artist leading participatory projects. Her creative process involves using original illustrations printed onto metal, often combining these with other materials or found objects. Multi-layered, detailed and colourful, Melanie’s pieces can be seen as three-dimensional illuminated manuscripts. Documenting a moment in time they focus on a central narrative but also feature intriguing details in the margins or secrets such as handles which operate moving parts or hidden compartments. Melanie is fascinated by spaces which are often neglected, found hidden between urban and rural places, often overgrown yet full of life. Often people meet here, wildlife thrives and they are strange, fragile, magical corridors which can be seen as metaphors for transformation, changing identities, memory and experience. Melanie observes and notices small details weaving true stories about these into elaborate and often complex sculptures. Her intention is to honour the stories of the overlooked through making things that are full of emotion and vitality.
Bronwen studied at Birmingham School of Jewellery gaining both a BA and an MA in Silversmithing and Jewellery. Since leaving in 1996 she has been making her metalwork inventions and range of jewellery from her workshop in Hereford. Inspiration for her pieces comes from comedy, mechanical components, symbols, text and more recently her children Eva and Fred where everything is a little more ‘rose tinted’. Words and narrative play an essential role in the thought process and co nstruction of the pieces; one word or phrase can spark off a whole range of ideas. The processes and techniques that she uses include etching, press-forming, patination, stamping, embossing and soldering. She works in both precious and non-precious metals and enjoys the diversity that gives her in her making practice. Bronwen aims to produce pieces that can be handled or worn on a daily basis. Each piece has a unique character that is further developed through the personality of the owner.
Deborah creates jewellery in-between craft and art. By combining porcelain with metal, she associates with traditional metal artisanship to introduce the novelty of seeing a porcelain piece as jewellery. Her work is carefully made by hand, therefore every piece is unique. The making of her jewellery is curated through a sequence of material processing and intricate handcraft techniques. The work shows the temperature from the materials and the maker’s hands. Her works are inspired by repetition, transformation, time and the minutiae that surround her. For her, jewellery is a wearable art piece that captures personal significance. Her Beneath collection challenges the tradition of colourful gemstones in fine jewellery by her subtle reimagining of pieces in white porcelain.
Louis Jane Wiseman
Lois is a Scottish jewellery designer based in Glasgow. Having grown up in the North East of Scotland, Lois draws inspiration from the scenic coasts and quaint harbours for which the area is famous. Her aim is to create fun, colourful jewellery in non-precious and precious metals. Lois’ main interest lies within the contemporary enamel field where she uses a combination of wet process and powder enamels on steel. Her love for blending traditional techniques, such as enamel and industrial processes such as welding, allow her to merge vibrant steel components and wire. This creates interesting 3 dimensional forms initially inspired by lobster creels piled up at harbours. Over time the edges of the steel will begin to rust, echoing the patina that naturally occurs when objects are exposed to a marine environment.
Lois Jane Wiseman
Gind Durham & Deborah Tseng
Bronwen Tyler Jones
Lois Jane Wiseman
Bronwen Tyler Jones
Melissa Montague & Melanie Tomlinson