March was a busy and exciting month :) After visiting Desire Jewellery and Silversmithing Fair in Richmond, it was straight back into the workshop for me, where I invented a few new pieces ready for a photo shoot that was happening the following day (there's nothing quite like leaving it until the last minute!).
The shoot took place at DMU, where Heather-Mary Firby, the photographer, is currently studying. As well as having a great photographer, I was lucky enough to have two fantastic make up artists involved as well, a huge thank you to Elspeth Joy Peacock and Vicky Whiteside! Oh, and to my sister for being a star and organising practically everything and for having a pretty face .. ;)
Following the completion of shiny new things and the shoot, I had some exciting news - EVERYTHING from my Creepy Crawly Collection, including the new items, was going to be stocked in Wistow Gallery! I was lucky enough to go to the Launch night, and the gallery is just as beautiful as the rest of Wistow. Kate has done a fantastic job of sourcing incredible, unique items from Leicestershire and Rutland's artists and makers. It really is a gorgeous little gallery and I’m so proud that my jewellery is part of it :) The cupcakes at the opening night were pretty tasty too!
New Beetle Studs - The Creepy Crawly Collection
So that's March over and done with! As expected comes the start of April, along with increasing feelings of panic and whispers of insanity. April could only mean one thing for so many artists and makers – Yep, time for the British Craft Trade Fair (BCTF).. Argh! Until mid March, I was feeling pretty relaxed and a little smug that my preparation for the show was going so well. I'd made all of the items that I wanted to display, I had photographs ready for my catalogues and there wasn't much to be done other than making jewellery stands and putting together the catalogues. Of course, that was before I sent my army of Creepy Crawlies over to their new home in Wistow. All of a sudden I was a collection of jewellery short and I had to work like a madwoman to get everything remade in time, which would have been fine if I'd already finished catalogues and stands.. But I hadn't.. Uh oh!
It was a pretty intense few weeks and I can't say that I remained entirely sane for most of it – there were tears, uncontrollable laughter, an inability to form coherent sentences and enough tea to fill a large lake, but somehow I got everything done! I even had time to pop down to London for the UK Jewellery Awards Shortlist Party, but aside from getting kerfuffled about the etiquette on whether people kiss the right cheek or the left cheek first (I went for awkward facebutts in return), accidental knicker flashing, getting the heel of my shoe stuck between paving slabs and getting horrifically windswept, there's not much to talk about.. ;)
New Beetle Ring - The Creepy Crawly Collection
On the 14th, I travelled up to Harrogate with some of the other Design Spacers (Thanks for driving, Ginny!), where we set up the stand and our work, before heading over to the lodge where we were all staying. It was lovely to spend time with everyone outside of the workshop, it was very relaxed and it's such a pretty place. Lots of ducks too – gotta love ducks! :)
Over all I think we all did amazingly well and it was really exciting to see everyone’s work all finished and beautiful! We seemed to get a good response from people visiting the show too, so fingers crossed that exciting things come from it during the follow ups!
I think the highlights of the weekend definitely have to be my surprise gift from Ema of Duck in a Bucket Designs – one of her adorable glass caterpillars! We also visited Betty's Tearooms which was probably one of the best places ever.. So gooood!
Finally, the genius idea that some of us had of taking a short cut from the show ground back to the Lodge. We'd already discovered that you could walk around the fields down the roads, but we were certain that you could take a short cut across the fields...
Well, turns out that we weren't wrong! To cut a long and hilarious story short, it actually took much longer to go the short way – Bearing in mind that two out of three of us were wearing dresses and little shoes – not entirely suitable for adventuring - we had to cross a river, leap over ditches and streams, hop over fences, crawl under barbed wire fences, fight our way through dense branches and trees and sneak through farmers fields (Where we were nearly given away at the last minute by a pheasant launching itself at us from out of nowhere.. We might have screamed a little bit!).. After much laughing and sporting a few nettle stings but a surprising lack of mud, we made it! I'll leave you with the moment that we emerged onto the road after our long and perilous journey...
Last week I travelled down to London for DESIRE Jewellery and Silversmithing Fair. A couple of jewellers that I know were exhibiting there and as i've considered applying to future shows, it was a great opportunity for me to look around have have a think about whether or not my jewellery would fit in there, whilst also giving me a chance to catch up with some friends.
I've heard mixed opinions about the fair and I was a little dubious about travelling down to London to visit it, but I had a wonderful time - I think I could talk for hours about some of the people that I met and the work that I saw, but I'll try to keep it brief with a few of my highlights!
I had the pleasure of meeting Michael Berger, a very talented Jeweller from Germany, who specialises in creating Kinetic jewellery. Approaching his stand from a distance, my attention was immediately captured by tiny swirling shapes. As I got closer, my smile grew wider and wider and I was beckoned over and handed a ring. Well, it was the most fun i've ever had with a piece of jewellery - the top section of the ring was having a party! Dancing backwards and forwards, spinning around and scooting up and down, it looked like it was having a grand old time (I realise that I am projecting my own emotions onto the ring, but it really did look like fun! Each ring looked like it should make a different sound... “Weeeeeeeeeeeee!”, “Vrooooom..”, “Wooooooooop!”.. Again, maybe just the noises that I was making as I played with them!).
One thing I learnt for sure; If ever I own one of those rings, I'll never get any work done ever again!
I also had a lovely chat with Amma Gyam, an award winning jeweller who uses the technique of molding leather to create her jewellery. Amma recently designed a range of jewellery for Jigsaw, a great achievement!
Whilst I was talking to Amma, she noticed my slug ring and mentioned my Hook, Line and Sinker Collection – having my work recognised by another jeweller was so unexpected and made me incredibly happy, I was still smiling after Michael Berger and by this point I had proper face ache from incessant grinning!
I learnt about metals that I'd never heard of before too, such as Niobium. Brian Eburah was kind enough to explain to me about the techniques that he uses, and raised the possibility of visiting his workshop to learn how to work with the metal and the anodising process used to colour it, which apparently doesn't require dyes as Aluminium does. I have to say, I'm quite intrigued to know more about Niobium!
Like I already mentioned, I think I could just keep writing about all of the amazing jewellery that I saw, but I think it'll be easier to leave you with a few links so that you can have a look for yourselves who i've been chatting to!
Angeli Yara – A very talented and lovely jeweller from Columbia, Angeli weaves delicate threads of jewellery into stylish and elegant jewellery.
Anna Faine – A fellow Alice in Wonderland obsessive!
Emma Turpin – We all know that I love jewellery that you can play with, and Emma's jewellery has spinny bits!
In other news...
THE GREAT EXHIBITION 2012 Update!
On the 14th
of February, due to having most votes in my awards category
(Undiscovered in Great Britain: Best In Britain Designer), I have been
awarded a free online stand - worth £500 - in The Great Exhibition 2012!
You can read more about the exhibition HERE, and remember, there's still plenty of time left to vote for me if you haven't already done so – Just click here to get started!
A big thank you to everybody that has already voted :)
Last but not least, Wistow Gallery is to be my newest Stockist, and the first place to have the new items in my Creepy Crawly up for sale! I'm very excited that my work will be sitting alongside creations made by some of Leicestershire & Rutland's finest artists and makers. Stay tuned for more information and for photographs of my new work!
Over the past couple of months there have been a few blog entries written about myself and my jewellery, here's a quick round up!
Next, if you're interested in how I became a jeweller, have a peep at this interview on Le Belle Collier! She updates her blog regularly, so make sure to check back and see what's going on!
Finally! I'm mentioned in the awards update on The Great Exhibition 2012. Remember, if you haven't voted for me then you can do by clicking on the image below and following the instructions.
I'm currently ranked 4th out of 196 in Products and inventions and 27th out of 2436 overall, so a big thank you to everyone that has voted, I really appreciate it!
Can you believe that we're into the last week of January already? I've been so busy, it's just flown by! What have I been doing?
Firstly, I've been entered into the, "Undiscovered in Great Britain; Best in Britain Designer" awards category for the Great Exhibition 2012. If you like my jewellery, please take a moment to vote for me by clicking on the image below, registering and pressing, 'Vote' on my page!
I've also been contacted by a lovely lady that is opening a Gallery in Wistow (a very pretty little part of Leicestershire!), more information coming on this soon, but she'd very much like to have my jewellery on board ready for when the Gallery opens in March - exciting stuff!
Also very exciting is that in April, Design Space will be exhibiting on Stand Number 300 at the British Craft Trade Fair in Harrogate. If you're looking for up and coming jewellery designers then that is where you will find them!
... Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens.. Errr, who cares? Not me - these are NOT a few of my favourite things!
So what are? Let's see!
First up, my final purchase of 2011! Despite bemusement from my housemate ("Why buy them when you can make them?!"), I spent more money than I should have done on a bee-ootiful (sorry!!) pair of bee studs by Paula Bolton. I love, love, LOVE them and they make my ears feel happy. They're made from silver and are partly gold plated, partly oxidised and they're just SO CUTE!! Sadly I can't find a photograph of them anywhere online and the other bees on Paula's website are different and not half as good as my little pretties.. So here are a couple of substandard (but still quite nice) buzzy bees for your viewing!
Next up, something that i've been pining after for a long, LONG time but haven't quite managed to get my hands on yet.. The Atlas Ring by Frances Wadsworth Jones! It was love at first sight, and i'm not normally a fan of pearls but this just really works for me! I've recently been in contact with Frances regarding this lovely little creature, and (with a variation on the pearl) it will be the next piece of jewellery to be added into my collection of most treasured items - I just have to save up for a while first, but it will be so very worth it! Also, check out that clasp!! AMAZING!!!
Anything following this has to be an ANTiclimax (giggle), right?!
WRONG!! Next up is one of my workshop buddies, Karolina Paszkiewicz. This is her Madam Butterfly Collection, in which she uses real life (dead!) butterflies - but don't worry, they all died naturally! Using a well guarded secret technique, Karolina combines fine metal mesh and butterflies in a neat metal frame. Each piece is completely unique as no two butterflies are the same. I've never seen jewellery like it, completely stunning and innovative, and as with the other jewellery in this blog, IT WILL BE MIINEEE!
I almost forgot the adorable 'Lunch?' Necklace, made by the super talented Ema at Duck in a Bucket Designs! How could I?! Lovely little ladybirds and a googly eyed spider on fine silver leaves (possibly the least scary spider in the whole world?). All of Ema's bugs are hand made and full of personality!
Enough about my favourite things for now, I was probably starting to bug (groan!) you anyway.. I have other news!
I've taken a mini break from shameless self promotion as other people have been doing it for me! Keeping with the bug theme, Stephanie Walton - a friend and fellow jeweller - has been blogging about my creepy crawlies! You can read the entry here. Thanks Stef!
Emily Breden has also been kind enough to post about me to her facebook friends - here's what she had to say!
"Day 2 of my Arts-Fest. Today I'd like you to meet Nicole Iredale at Dinosaurs and Bunnies and Slugs, oh my. Nikki is quite simply the best jeweller in the world - ever. Not only has she filled my jewellery box to bursting but she also makes some amazing pieces including clocks & chess sets. Nikki works with a wide variety of materials, resin and silver to name but a few. She's winning some briliant awards at the moment - although if they're made of resin or silver she may have made them herself :-)) Anyway, get yourself over to her page and see what she's got."
Finally on the promotional front, we have CraftsLink, who I discovered through Twitter a few days ago (I joined Twitter by the way - follow me @NicoleIredale !). CraftsLink have been kind enough to post about my Jewellery on their Twitter and Facebook Page, I also have an online profile, which you can view here.
"Craftslink is a social enterprise designed to develop friendship and cultural exchange between the people who make handicrafts and the people who buy them. In addition, it provides a platform to professional and amateur craftspeople to allow them to promote and share their works and their ideas amongst family, friends and other crafts enthusiasts."
Happy New Year everyone!
The end of 2011 was a good one for me - I took part in another craft fair, this time it was Pedestrian Presents... All we want for Christmas. This was held at the Pedestrian Gallery in the LCB Depot, Leicester. Sadly, unlike Makers' Mart, it wasn't a good day for sales but I had a lovely day anyway, I got some very positive feedback and got some good hints and tips about the jewellery trade!
Pedestrian presents... All we want for Christmas.
With the end of December, it was also the end of our time in The Jewellery Box shop in The Mailbox. This has been an interesting experience - maybe not one that we'd like to repeat any time soon, but we all learnt from our time there! Some of the Design Space bunch made sales, and my slug ring was chosen as a prize by one of the competition winners, so there was some success!
The Jewellery BoxI had good news from Talent House East Midlands too - some of my Hook, Line and Sinker pieces have sold over the festive season, so I'm working on some new pieces to take down next week.
This is what the silicone mould is for.. Colourful Resin bugs!!Finally, i'm getting some things made ready to enter for the Goldsmiths competition..All very exciting!
Design Space invite you to their fabulous and festive launch party – a perfect opportunity to purchase some Christmas presents and to chat with the Designers!
The Jewellery Box, Level 3, The Mailbox, Birmingham 5.00-7.30pm
Come along and enjoy a glass of complimentary mulled wine and enter a FREE Prize Draw! The lucky winner has the chance to choose their prize from the exclusive selection in store!!
We look forward to welcoming you
Design Space x
It was announced today that the winner of the final Honda: Made in Britain competition is... Me! Here's what the judges had to say;
Here you can read about my current jewellery collections, upcoming events and any other (hopefully) exciting news!
Exciting things happening right now..
The makers at Design Space are selling their work in The Jewellery Box and The Renaissance Style Centre in The Mailbox until the end of the year- we have some exciting things planned for the next few weeks so be sure to keep a look out!
My jewellery is available to buy at Pippin In Edinburgh - pop in and take a look!
30 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5JZ
NEW WALK MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY
Some of my Hook, Line and Sinker collection is currently on show and for sale at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester until the 8th of January 2012.
I'll be selling my work at Makers Mart at Curve Theatre in Leicester on the 3rd of December, 12.00-8.00 - it's sure to be a fun and festive day, come down and have a chat!
PEDESTRIAN PRESENTS... ALL WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
I'll be selling my work at Pedestrian Gallery in Leicester on the 10th of December, 11.00-6.00 - also sure to be a festive one!