A little while ago I was given a collection of clockwork pieces and was immediately inspired to incorporate them into my jewellery. When I am crafting I am often struck by how my work evokes old memories, and, to me, the clockwork has come to symbolise the interplay between past and present.
In 2008, Sarah Montague and I ran an indigo dyeing club after school. The kids really enjoyed it – they couldn’t wait to untie their fabrics after dyeing!
At Christmas, we had an exhibition in a lovely gallery in Torrington, called The Plough. By selling our work at The Plough and at school, we were able to raise over £500 for a charity chosen by the children.
I can’t upload any photos of the kids without parental permission, but here are some photos of the techniques we used, and the finished creations.
Here’re a few photos of a piece that I’ve just been working on: a rich red, flame-bright necklace. I wanted to create a dramatic and bold piece that would make something of a statement. I have also included a couple of pictures showing the same design in blue.
I‘ve been making different types of jewellery using all kinds of materials for years. My current work stems from my experimentation with textile earrings around about 2005-2006.
So here are a few photographs of some of the earlier attempts. I find it interesting to look back at them and not only see how the work has evolved, but also how so many of the basics were there rightfrom the beginning.
A little while back I took part in the Cornwall Crafts summer show at Trelowarren. I wanted to create a much bigger textile relief than any I had previously designed, and the result was Dragon. A bigger piece meant a lot of different challenges; there were difficulties that were never an issue for smaller pieces, particularly how to keep such a large surface interesting whilst maintaining a sense of unity of form.
Designing the Template I began by cutting smaller scale paper templates in order to explore different shapes. The relief was cut from one piece, then shaped and stitched into a three-dimensional form. I cut out a template from fabric of roughly the same stiffness and flexibility to my own fabric to confirm that the design would work.
Making the Fabric I used the same techniques as on the smaller pieces, but much more attention was needed to make sure that the entire surface flowed together. Different parts of the dragon were shaded in bronzes and golds, and white was used as a highlight. Alex cut brass tubing into lengths, which were added to provide contrast and structure.
Framing the Dragon I wanted the background to be an integrated part of the design, and so rather than use a plain colour fabric, I used Japanese shibori techniques with indigo dye on silk. The silk panels were mounted over canvas onto wooden frames, and then finally the dragon was hand-stitched onto the silk.