Makers inspired by the beauty of birds come together in this remarkable display of jewellery, ceramics, stone, wood and works in mixed media. Each maker translates their inspirations into unique handmade creations for you to own or admire.
Sally’s jewellery is inspired by nature, in particular birds. The graphic images from field-guide books and wildlife illustrations, ordinance survey maps, charming old packaging, classic industrial design and many other bits and pieces Sally sees on her travels. Sally enjoys using unconventional materials and bold colour and has a huge collection of old (and some new) tin boxes and advertising items; all of which are religiously compartmentalised into different colour ranges. It's often hard to ruthlessly dismember a beautiful old piece of industrial design, illustration or typography from the 40's for example, but Sally gets a great sense of satisfaction when she thinks about people wearing the jewellery she has made and thus giving these objects a new lease of life. Sally first started drawing and designing bird jewellery after purchasing some of the RSPB bird pins. She loved the simple outlines and bright colours that portrayed the birds. Sally was fascinated by these creatures that can move so quickly it is hard to see there iconic liveries when they are in motion and loves the connection we have with our feathered friends who visit our garden feeders or birdbaths. Sally often enjoys watching the Sparrows and Great-Tits swooping in and out of the view from her studio window finding them to be a real source of inspiration.
Magnolia is a Colombian jeweller, now based in Yorkshire. Having grown up surrounded by verdant tropical mountains, nature and the people who work closely with nature have been Magnolia’s inspiration for as long as she can remember. Learning first from her eldest brother she started working with silver at the age of fifteen and has developed her jewellery ever since. Magnolia delights in giving life to each piece by fusing and transforming metals, often uniting them with precious and semi-precious stones. Magnolia strives to use Fairtrade gold, silver and ethically sourced gemstones in all of her work.
Becky graduated in 1999 and has worked in Brighton ever since. Her work is a mixture of jewellery and three-dimensional illustration designed to be both worn and displayed. With drawing as a starting point and the great outdoors as a source of wonder and constant inspiration, elements of narrative are captured in silver and transformed into miniature scenes telling out across the surface of a brooch or hanging as a pendant. The pieces are individually made by hand from sheet silver and copper with 9ct gold and 22ct gold leaf for detailing. The metal is pierced out, then textures or patterns are applied to the surface using a rolling mill. These components are then layered together, soldered, and finished with matt, oxidised and polished surfaces to add depth and tone.
Anna de Ville
Anna is a self-taught jeweller based in Birmingham. The shape of her jewellery pieces are sawn from a sheet of silver and then built up a layer at a time. The final details are made with fine silver wire and by oxidising the background and polishing the foreground a dramatic effect can be achieved. All of Anna’s inspiration comes from the natural world. Ever since she started showing her work at the British Bird Watching Fair each summer at the RSPB reserve at Rutland Water she has become obsessed with trying to create the character of native birds and animals. Sometimes they are humorous, some times more stylised. These handmade pieces are a real joy to work on and make Anna want to get up in the morning.
Becca makes jewellery and silverware inspired by the natural world. Her work is characterised by a subtle sense of balance where she creates pieces with graceful shapes and sweeping curves in silver, gold, platinum & palladium. Becca graduated in 2008 and after 10 years based in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter she packed up her workshop and moved to the Cornish seaside. A 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. These translate themselves into shapes and textures which then come together to form work characterised by its bold simplicity and subtle balance.
Kate grew up in the picturesque landscape of the Lake District. She studied an experimental foundation course at Cumbria College of Art and Design and received a BA (Hons) degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing from Loughborough University. Kate’s jewellery is inspired by everyday doodling of shapes, patterns and natural forms. The metals she uses and loves give her a colour palette of rich, warm tones. Kate can blend them to give subtle, stylish effects or contrast them to make vibrant stand-out pieces. Beautiful rich colourful metals, when combined with inlaying, engraving, hammering and hand cutting, give the work the fluidity of the original doodle. Over the years Kate has built up a visual language of shapes that she constantly adds to and re-works. This comes together with the materials she uses to define her style. Inspired by nature, Kate is a keen gardener and walker, and her Birds and Flowers collection is probably the most personal of all her collections. It focuses on the everyday passing of time, seasons and observations. The work is connected to the landscape and nature that features in the artist’s day-to-day life.
Claire designs and makes contemporary jewellery from her workshop on the edge of Dartmoor. Claire produces several ranges; some in sterling silver, some in anodised aluminium and some combining both. Claire’s inspiration comes from many sources; living on the edge of Dartmoor means flora and fauna feature heavily in her designs. Claire feels incredibly fortunate to do what she loves as a job, and appreciates each and every customer for liking her work enough to buy it.
Leoma’s jewellery evolved from a fine art background. She uses saw piercing, shape forming and stone setting to create beautiful nature inspired jewellery. Leoma incorporates motifs with solid shapes and stone setting for an abstract and contemporary look to her collections. The black and white effect is contrasted with bright and unusually cut stones that complement each other perfectly. Leoma’s jewellery has a sentimental feel to it which is enhanced by the intimacy created between object and body.
Alison’s jewellery is inspired by her particular fascination and amusement with birds. Alison studies the different structures of their habitats (spikey hawthorn, leafy beech and berried bramble) and recreates these scenes for her unique necklaces, brooches and pins. Semi-precious stones and pearls used in the collection cleverly become Rosehips, Haws and Elderberries.
Nature has always been central to Laura’s life and work and she has always enjoyed making things, particularly small things. Laura was born and raised in the countryside of the Lincolnshire Wolds and from an early age she made tiny objects as homes for ladybirds, seeds and tiny flowers from the garden. Life in miniature and delicate features in plants and nature, have always captivated her and made her smile. As a child both of Laura’s parents taught her the art of seeing and to understand and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. Laura’s immediate surroundings, plants and wildlife remain a boundless source of inspiration for her work and life. Laura has been making precious jewellery and objects in metal for 16 years and in that time she developed a distinctive and unique voice for her work.
16th March - 22nd June 2019
Image: Rachel Sumner
Ceramics & mixed media
Chris is a folk artist from Cheshire and draws his influence from both his own observations of birds and early decoys of North America. He has a strong belief in the simplicity of line, form and colour which direct the final and original designs for which he is best known for both at home and abroad. Multi-award winning artist Chris Hindley has won, and continues to win, prestigious awards for his wooden art. These include the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art Birds Illustrated Award and three awards of excellence, highly commended in 2 of the David Shepherd Wildlife Artist of the Year Awards, twice winner of best in show, best in open and interpretative carving at the British Decoy and Wildfowl Carving Association, four time winner of working decoy and three awards of excellence at the National Wildlife Carving Exhibition to mention just a few.
Juliette originally trained at Manchester Metropolitan University in Textile Design and then went on to design embroidery for Marks and Spencer’s. When children came along, she started her own successful soft furnishing business. Juliette then got the gardening bug when she took on an allotment and decided to go to college to make sure she was doing it right. She received a commendation in RHS Level 2 in Horticulture and went on to get a Professional Diploma in garden design with distinction at Reaseheath College in Nantwich. During her study time at Reaseheath, they ran a willow weaving course and she became hooked. After studying at various workshops around the country she now sells at artisan markets and fairs and making pieces for film and TV, including Disney, Bollywood and Hollyoaks.
Kathryn studied at Wolverhampton Polytechnic and Mid Cheshire College of Art and Design. She now lives and works in Worcestershire. Her carved relief panels make use of traditional hand-carving techniques to depict a wide variety of birds. The pieces are carved and painted out of lime wood and then coloured with acrylic paint and finished with a plain wax polish. She occasionally depicts other animals or fish but birds are clearly her passion and are beautifully observed. Often images are cropped and only glimpses of the bird are seen, as if in passing.
Lucy studied sculpture at Camberwell College of Art in London. Her work is rooted in the handling of materials and an enjoyment of the theatre of the three-dimensional object. Her sculptures are made from a fine aluminium mesh and housed in glass-fronted boxes. They are designed to be free-standing on a shelf or can be mounted on a wall.
A fascination with Alexander Calder’s ‘Circus’, constructed from found objects, along with The Cabaret Mechanical Theatre’s automata, inspired Rachel to construct mechanical sculptures and automata at college. The relationship between human and animal is a recurrent theme, as the manipulation by hand cranks to animate the creatures suggests. The use of perforated metal and meshes has become the material of choice to define form and create a transparency to observe the mechanics and the drawn wire structure. Birds, insects, mammals, fish, and crustaceans, either at the farm, on the coast, at wildlife parks, or even wildlife on the screen, are now her subjects.
Since childhood Jennie has been fascinated with the natural world compiling observational notes in the form of Nature Diaries. Collecting feathers and scraps, tiny fragments of wings or shell, all filter into the diaries and ultimately into her ceramic work. After gaining an Honours Degree in Ceramics at Loughborough College of Art and Design Jennie worked with Marianne de Trey at Shinners Bridge Pottery, Dartington. In 1982 she moved to Coryton and set up Longham Pottery with her husband, Andrew Osborne.
Jennifer began carving stone after a chance encounter with masons dressing wall-stones, and was taken by the sound and rhythm of hammer on chisel, and the neat-handed skills of the quarry men at work. On the strength of this meeting she purchased her first stone working tools and her love affair with stone began. Quarry visits are still exciting to Jennifer, selecting blocks for sculpting, and learning about the stone’s formation millions of years ago. Jennifer works primarily in sandstone, but also carves smooth and polishable limestones, marble and irresistibly tactile soapstones. A love of wildlife and the natural world is at the core of her work, enthusing and driving a desire to capture a creature’s essence in simple shape and form. From her workshop Jennifer catches glimpses of hedgerow birds, flitting, alarm calling or in courtship display and so inevitably these influences find their way into her carving.
Jean creates hand painted ceramics in porcelain and stoneware. Her background in illustration shines though in her depiction of birds in their natural habitats on her beautiful vessels, plates, beakers and tiles.
Phil is a potter based in North Norfolk specialising in terracotta slip decorated bird jugs. He trained at Farnham School of Art and Epsom College of Art and Design in the seventies studying vocational ceramics. Having been a production wheel thrower, making functional domestic ware, he has now become increasingly interested in the freedom and scope of the hand building techniques he has been working with in his teaching capacity. Phi has developed a line of bird and animal form pots using thrown shapes as the basis for altering and constructing. As a potter rather than a sculptor Phil tries to retain the essential essence of a pot/vessel whilst being prepared to ditch all other constraints. These pots are inspired by, and follow in the tradition of 17th century English slipware owl jugs but have been taken a step further, allowing influence of Pre-Colombian vessels and the pots of Picasso. Each lidded jug is assembled from individual wheel-thrown and altered pieces. They are made in terracotta clay, slip painted and decorated with scraffitto.
Rachel grew up in the small town of Oundle in rural Northamptonshire. She studied an Arts Foundation course at Northamptonshire School of Art before going on to study for a BA Hons in Fine Art at Maidstone, Kent. During her years there she studied textiles as a subsidiary subject and this became a great influence in her work. Rachel will be showcasing her driftwood bird wall pieces for this show where found objects are often introduced to detail characteristics of the birds she depicts.
Amanda is a West Midlands based mosaic maker who originally studied Fine Art (sculpture) at Liverpool’s John Moores University. Amanda's mosaic menagerie of birds and other creatures are hand made using stained glass in a kaleidoscope of colours, jewel-like millefiori and patterned ceramic pieces intricately cut and constructed. She finishes her mosaics with a dark charcoal grout to give them a deep rich and seductive quality. Among her influences are the vibrant textiles and embroidery of India and Mexico, as well as a love of natural history, kinetic sculpture and vintage mechanical birds.
Lucy Jean Green
Lucy is an artist specialising in kinetic art and paper sculpture. Lucy works from her small studio in West Yorkshire where her work is greatly inspired by mythology and facts that surrounds birds. She creates sculptures and delicate automata by hand cutting paper and hand-crafting brass mechanisms. Lucy also works part-time as a prop maker and has experience working on set and in art departments.