Made with Love
14th January - 11th March 2017
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.
Nettie’s inspiration is simple; a desire to explore the movement of metal and all the possibilities of the fold-forming technique which has captivated her. Her fold formed jewellery uses aluminium, copper and sterling silver. The technique folds sheet metal and compresses and stretches those folds by hammering. Once opened, beautiful flowing organic shapes are formed. Fold forming was developed by Charles Lewton-Brain in the 1980′s and was a completely new way of working with metal. Nettie discovered the technique around 5 years ago and, after a year perfecting the technique, she changed the direction of her practice to devote her time solely to fold forming.
Tania is a jewellery designer based in Somerset. She uses sea gems that have been rounded and frosted by the waves over decades which were found on beaches around the world, to create beautiful jewellery pieces. The exciting variety of shapes and colours means her work appeals to a wide audience. Creating wearable objects out of materials that most people would walk past without noticing is just one of the aspects of jewellery making that Tania finds so inspiring.
A self-taught maker, Cathy has been making jewellery for over 30 years. She set up her business in 2000 and has been working full time as a maker ever since. Cathy’s designs are inspired by the British countryside and gardens; birds, flowers and insects all feature. The starting point is usually a walk by the coast or in the country or a series of drawings of plants from the garden. Her interest in plants is not surprising as her degree was in Botany. She makes pieces from silver, many using direct casting, an unusual technique in which hot molten silver is poured into hand carved moulds, giving highly textured surfaces which can be embellished by adding a patina, enamel or gold to the surface. She also uses the ancient technique of chasing and repousse to create sculptural surfaces, in addition to hand piercing and fabrication, stamping, and roll printing with handmade plates.
Joanne’s jewellery is made in her Hampshire studio using fine silver and 24ct gold. Her favourite technique is Keum Boo, a Korean technique that permanently bonds 24ct gold to fine silver. It is this technique that she uses in this popular Golden Collection.
“My jewellery is crafted to last lifetimes, designed with care to be cherished and passed down the generations, yet intended to be worn every day. A gift of love, a precious reminder of the birth of a child, an 18th birthday treasure, or a simply a treat for yourself to celebrate how unique you are.”
Jane lives and works in rural North Norfolk, where she manages a small woodland with her partner, Tim. The woodland provides wood for fuel and a sustainable supply of timber which Jane uses to make mixed-media jewellery. Jane’s current work focuses on using the products of the woodland; she uses sycamore and hand turns a range of bead forms, which can be combined in different ways to generate multiple designs, mainly for necklaces. The beads are either sealed to capture and enhance the natural wood surface or coloured using toy safe paints and varnishes. She uses a variety of natural and manmade cordage for threading and knotting. “My inspiration is taken from vintage toys, modernist architecture, folk art and information graphics from the 50s and 60s. Use of geometric shapes, playful use of colour, repetition and order, tactility and movement are all recurring themes.”
Clare designs and makes her jewellery in her tiny workshop in South Wales working with silver, printed papers and resin. Every piece of jewellery is individually hand crafted and therefore unique. The Whimsy Fable range is inspired by fairy tales and storytelling; “as a little girl I loved being read bedtime stories and my favourite books were those that had been passed down and read so many times that the pages were tatty and worn.” Words are printed on recycled and textured paper and Clare chooses paper which has slight marks or mottling giving each piece a slightly aged and vintage feel.
Born in London, Alice was always influenced by the strong architectural lines that surrounded her whilst growing up. She now draws complex beauty from the simplest of forms to make elegant, contemporary jewellery with meticulous attention to detail. Alice began her studies at the Chelsea College of Art and went on to study jewellery and silversmithing at the illustrious School of Jewellery in Birmingham where she won awards for her innovative creations. Her work is influenced by the cuts, folds and repetition used in paper art, and draws on lines, angles and repetitive shapes for inspiration. This stems from a playful exercise that Alice gave herself one day. Intrigued to see what she could make from only a small square sheet of silver she began to practice first with paper, and soon discovered there were endless possibilities. This was the beginning of Alice's first collection, Square Roots, and her interest in paper art. The Pleated collection follows on from this, emulating stiff pleated fabric, shards of reflective glass and of course, folded paper. Emulating stiff pleated fabric, shards of reflective glass and folded paper, the Pleated Collection has an art deco like quality with a contemporary edge. Each design has been meticulously hand carved from jewellers wax, cast in precious metals and matt finished to give a soft, subtle sheen.
Yu Lan Burkmar
Yu Lan was born in Taiwan, and came to England in 1997 to study jewellery design. Since graduating she has been making her own jewellery collections which are colourful and beautifully crafted. During her studies she won several Goldsmiths Awards for both Design and Finished Pieces. In her home country Taiwan, she won the ‘Best Contemporary Jeweller’ award and in 2007 she was named winner of Best Emerging Designer in Platinum. Her work features two main techniques: White Cooking and Anodised Aluminium. White Cooking involves annealing the metal which makes the silver content rise to the surface. Then, after cooling, it is cleaned in a high concentrate sulphuric acid so when repeated several times, creates its matt, unspoilt white effect. The aluminium is “pre-anodised” which means it has been treated with an electrical current to break the surface enabling paints or dyes to be stained onto the metal. This Yu Lan does by painting or printing by hand, sealing the colours permanently by boiling the sheets in water. The jewellery itself is cut and formed by hand from the small sheets she has prepared.
Amy’s work draws inspiration from her drawings of botanical forms as well as her photography which explores colour and light. Amy endeavours to create jewellery which retains the fluidity of the drawn line by transferring her linear drawings from paper onto the surface of her pieces through a variety of techniques. She is also fascinated by the optical distortions created by facets and layers of clear resin. Amy employs a combination of precious metals, Perspex and opaque and translucent resin to achieve pieces which are colourful, wearable and, through the strange optical qualities, tactile despite their hard surfaces.
Jolene’s work is inspired by ancient worlds that collide with modern times giving a twist to her jewellery collections. She works mainly in silver incorporating base metals and semi-precious stones to give a hint of colour. Liking texture and simplicity, Jolene often uses etching, melting and hammering to create a distressed effect on the surface of materials which gives her work that handmade feel. Jolene has always loved making jewellery and after leaving The School of Jewellery in Birmingham (where she completed her Diamond mounting course) she was determined to make pieces that would be worn, and not put in a box because the owner felt they were too valuable. “My studio is a little treasure trove as I am a fond collector of all things vintage and like to surround myself with inspiration and beauty.”
Karen Risby creates contemporary ceramic wall hangings which act as an extension of her love of drawing. She explores pattern and line using both brushwork and sgraffito; a process that involves scratching back into the painted surface. She takes inspiration from nature, myth and storytelling; birds are a prominent feature of her work interweaved with landscapes, people and places. She uses porcelain slip, stains and oxides and fires her work to stoneware. Originally from London, Karen graduated from Camberwell College of Art in 1994 then lived and worked in South London for many years before moving to Suffolk to set up her new ceramic studio in 2010.
Jan graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in 2001 with a BA Hons Degree in three dimensional Design and Ceramics. The inspiration for some of her work comes from the changing environment, particularly with regard to Urban and Rural landscapes. Her love of asymmetry is portrayed in much of the work, in both form and surface techniques. This collection celebrates the individuality of people amidst the hustle and bustle of city life. Amongst the madding crowd, glimpses of humanity, a helping hand or a loving hug.
Anna Mercedes Wear
Anna is one of our Yorkshire makers and is based in Sheffield. Her work is figurative and she has been enjoying representing human and animal forms in clay for a good 25 years. Over more recent years she has concentrated more on the making of animals, in particular foxes and cats. “With each of my pieces I try to capture a fleeting moment in time, a memory of something past and familiar.” Anna hand builds the animals using the same making methods she uses when making her figures. She decorates flat slabs of clay with a combination of coloured slips over marked out impressed surfaces combined with screen-printing and mono-printing techniques. These are then shaped and the pieces are assembled into a figure or a fox. Each piece is different. Decorating before construction gives the pieces a vibrancy and energy that she cannot achieve any other way. “I still really enjoy all the different processes in making ceramics, although such a labour intensive craft, it still gives its rewards time and time again.”
Georgina makes handmade slip cast earthenware vessels, bowls and jugs. These are from moulds which she has made from paper models. She experiments with different twisted shapes, and through working with paper the outcome has been a simple shape but with a subtle twist. Georgina is inspired by fairy tales, imagination and the surreal. “I take something and make it into something like from a dream. Through drawings I scan these into the computer and manipulate them on Photoshop to get designs which I put onto my vessels, bowls and jugs. Each piece is unique in how I place the transfers.”
Inspired by her love of shorelines and sea, Kirsti-Hannah makes hand built ceramic vessels influenced by the beaches and cliffs around Wales and Scotland. The work is hand built from a variety of stoneware clays. Her slab built bottles are created using thinly rolled clay to create finished pieces which are light and elegant and her coiled bottles are spherical in form. Each one is completely different due to the nature of the construction method. The bottles made are reminiscent of human forms having defined shoulders and narrow necks. The glazes and decorations are then added to evoke landscapes, seascapes and marks found in the landscape. The coiled forms are reminiscent of washed and worn beach pebbles. Kirsti-Hannah uses a dry turquoise glaze as well as impressed marks highlighted with copper carbonate and over glazed with a satin white glaze.
Using a variety of clays, the glaze is altered from a vivid turquoise to a washed out blue.
Meghan was chosen as ‘Newcomer of the Year 2016’ at the British Craft Trade Fair, sponsored by craft&design magazine and is making her mark in the world of contemporary ceramics. Drawing and mark-making techniques are used alongside raised textures to directly decorate the ceramic surface, creating richly layered and contemporary slab built Earthenware forms. Spontaneous layering and merging of fragmented imagery, taken from different places, have created a unique collection of interesting ceramic vessels inspired by memory and unconscious experience of place. Architectural drawings developed from sketchbook illustrations are applied to the clay body using processes such as stencils, ceramic transfers, slips and underglazes. The spontaneity of decorative processes and the adjustment to building slight alterations in form for each vessel means the clay becomes a working canvas.
Penny’s ceramics are based on her love of the outdoors, reflecting a connection with rivers and upland fells and she works from her experiences in the wilder and more remote parts of Britain. The use of textile imprints and patterns reference the place of British wildlife in design over the centuries, the permanency of these creatures in our collective minds despite the fragility of our surroundings. Grogged earthenware clay is used to hand build bowls and vessels, the makers markings deliberately left to add texture along with the textile markings from rolling out. The drawings in the clay are scratched into the surface freehand, sometimes in a sgraffito style after coloured slips are applied. After bisque firing body stains and underglazes are used to decorate, the stains gather in the textures. Further decoration is then applied using monoprint techniques with coloured glazes before the clay is glaze fired. Some pieces have gold lustre which is applied in a third firing.
Virginia's ceramics are an eclectic amalgamation of nostalgic form and imagery, transforming the ordinary past by drawing on a wide range of domestic traditions. Her handmade pieces include teapots and cups, coaster tiles and milk jugs. Virginia uses a combination of slip casting and hand building techniques to create pieces in her signature style. Their surface decoration includes slip painting, enamel transfer printing and metallic lustre's, making reference to historical wares including the familiar blue and white stripes of Cornish Ware as well as industrial plumbing and Victorian fabrics. The resulting pieces are eclectic and precious with a playful humour yet at the same time are ordinary and familiar reminding us of that bygone era when afternoon tea was a serious business.
Mark Smith Ceramics
Marks work is inspired by coastal life, architecture and the effects the natural environment has on materials, such as wood, metal and painted surfaces.
Sarah makes figurative objects out of clay which are mainly slab built. She likes to keep the form simple where the clay form dictates the character and she is creating rather than her dictating the clay. Sarah uses a range of stains, slips and under-glazes to build up the colour on her pieces and oxides and glazes to enhance the textures. “I consider my work to be light hearted and humorous. It is very much about people watching. I am a people watcher and love observing body language. It is fascinating to watch how we communicate with each other through body language. I love the idea of trying to guess what is going on in other people’s conversations or minds and then creating my own scenarios.”