Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
This weeks winner is Susanm, Congratulations! You have won a Lotus Button from Tari.
Send Tari an email with your email address and she will get it right out to you.
I've had a busy time of it lately - flitting between my two shops. I love both of them and am excited about where both my jewellery AND my supplies shops are heading, but I do find I can only really focus on one or the other on any given day. I've been going backwards and forward this week so I thought I'd share what has been going on in both of my little corners of the internet these past few weeks! If you read my own blog, you'll know some of my goings on already......
It's long been an ambition of mine to create a jewellery collection or two. All the advise you read online about running a successful jewellery business suggests that this is a really important aspect of this. It makes things more cohesive, and if you want to approach shops and potential stockists, it gives a clearer message. The problem for me, and many others I am sure, is that working with handmade beads and components, often the items we work with are one of a kind. Not so easy to create a collection based around this!
However, there are some pieces you design that I really feel 'I could develop and take this idea further'. One such is my popular Gardenia bracelet:
around which I have excitedly begun to design The Gardenia Collection this week. Beginning with this lovely, subtle yet colourful palette, I have created both a necklace and earrings, and have plans to take this further!
All will be available in a Made-to-Order section of my shop very soon. I am also excited to explore further colour palettes in these designs....I feel there is lots of scope here. This is something to build on over the coming weeks and months. I am very excited about this side of my jewellery - I won't be giving up my custom, bespoke and one-of-a-kind items, of course. After all, what could be more lovely than wearing a unique piece of handmade art? But I am also excited to go down this avenue as well. Collections of jewellery that I can present to the world, with the real stamp of 'me' upon them. I can't wait to see where this all goes!
As for The Curious Bead Shop, there have been exciting goings on there too! I love coming up with new ideas and projects for each of my wee shops :-) In Curious, it has been the launch of my own handmade copper findings. The primary range available are my Deco Rose Findings. These sprung from my work with the Brit Pack Beaders a few months ago. I chose this painting by Scottish artist Margaret MacDonald as our inspiration piece:
(c) The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2012
NOT TO BE REPRODUCED.
You may know Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scottish architect, designer and artist, and one of the Glasgow Four, of which Margaret MacDonald was also a part. I adore her work and return to it often for inspiration.
As part of my Brit Pack Beaders challenge, I had to send out clasps to the rest of the team....and I chose to make my own, based upon the swirling roses within this piece. Here's what those clasps eventually grew up to become:
Rich, sumptuous copper findings with my swirling rose designs on each. I particularly love the ear wires:
Sweet, simple and oh-so-easy to use. I love the rich patina that you can achieve with copper too. So delicious and mysterious!
I have also been doing some collaborative work with my friend Teresa of Bo Hulley Beads. She makes the most beautiful ceramic beads and components - if you are not already familiar with her work, do go and check it out! We have been working on a series of clasps together. Here are just a few that are or were available in Curious these past few days!
These are all button clasps, made specially to work with my Deco Rose clasps. Bo also makes connectors which are a lovely alternative to these buttons:
Don't you just love the gorgeous colours that Bo glazes with? I think they work perfectly with my patinated copper! Bo and I share a passion for colour and I love working with another artist in another medium to come up with these lovely components.
This week, I am giving away a pack of my Deco Rose copper findings, worth £14/$22! To be in with the chance to win, leave a comment below, answering one of the questions I pose you.....
So my question for you is about your design process. Have you ever worked on a collection? Or do you stick to one of a kind, flitting from one idea to another? Do you have plans to explore a single design idea in the future and see where it develops? Or are you happy just to create whatever feels right to you?
Leave a comment below to be in with the chance to win!