Thursday, 25 April 2013

CAPRILICIOUS JEWELLERY

My intentions were to supply you with another tutorial ...  but 
I don't want to hold back some of the stunning ARTIST FEATURES 
that are building up on my desktop!  Getting an insight into another 
wire artist's way of working and a sneak peak at their handcrafted 
jewellery, often inspires and ignites other creatives around them and 
I'm sure you'll feel this way when you read this next feature on:

NEENA SHILVOCK
(ne - Navaneetham) of
CAPRILICIOUS JEWELLERY

 

 












I know you'll love reading through Neena's recent interview and delight
in her beautiful statement pieces that draw from her exotic roots of
India.  An obstetrician and gynaecologist by profession, Neena has
set up her own jewellery business called CAPRILICIOUS! She had really
wanted to brand her jewellery, 'Capricious', however, a Google search 
led her to find that the name had already been used ... so hence,  
CAPRILICIOUS was born! Her strap line being: "Delicious jewellery for 
the Capricious woman'!
























* Tell us a little about your background?
I was born in the UK, but moved to India with my parents as a baby,
where I was brought up and educated.  I moved back to the UK in
1983 and live and work in Warwickshire.  My mother has a love for
jewellery and as children, my sister and I have been taught to love
craftsmanship.  The ladies in my family have an artistic bent;  my
mother and sister are both talented amateur painters and I have a lot
of their work on my walls.  However, although I went to painting
classes a long time ago, I didn't think much of my abilities, I didn't
think I had a creative bone in my body ... until I started to make
jewellery! I have surprised myself and my family, by being a late bloomer.
My husband has been very encouraging and has thrown himself
into my hobby and he gives me maximum critical support in my
endeavours.






















* Did you have any formal training in jewellery making?
It all started with me falling in love with some extremely contemporary
statement jewellery made by a very talented lady and then deciding
that I wanted to try to make my own original pieces for myself.
I went to jewellery making classes at a local college, but the class did
not catch my imagination and I dropped out.  After a while, I picked
up the courage to enrol on a taster class at a semi-professional jewellery
making school nearby, it was a beading class - and I was instantly
addicted!  I went back for more weekend courses over the next two
years and have taken it from there.  

I love the new trend where artisans share their expertise by way of 
tutorials.  I buy a couple each month and try them out, as time permits, 
adding my own twist to the design, thus making the jewellery entirely 
my own.  I always give the designer credit on my page, of course.
 
















* Do you have a studio at home?
Yes, I work from home - wire work in a tray in front of the telly
and other stuff in my craft room.  I have my kiln and enamels out
in the conservatory due to a lack of space - so I am fairly evenly
spread out through the house ... there is evidence of what I do
everywhere!

I started out with a tiny box of beads and findings and it is amazing
how this hobby has taken me over, as I have little heaps of jewellery
making items in every room of the house!

 




















* What inspires your designs?
I am an intensely practical person, with a problem solving personality,
which reflects in my day job.  On a daily basis, I am expected to be a
detective, examining everything in minute detail and tailoring solutions
to fit problems.  I bring these skills to my jewellery making and probably
love wirework for this reason: the cut and thrust of adapting a technique
to a different size bead or cabochon.  The attention to detail with what to
do with wire ends and the engineering solutions I have had to find to
make the piece of jewellery sit perfectly on the wearer. I just love
teasing out the solutions to these problems.

I grew up in India, where tropical
flowers grow abundantly all year
round and one just takes that for
granted.  It was only when I moved
back to the UK and experienced the
changing seasons bringing their own
beauty to the garden, that I really
began to appreciate 'nature' in all
it's beauty.  I particularly love leaves
and a lot of my designs include them:
in wire, beads and gemstones ... So much
so, that I was forced to make up a
page called 'The Leafy Glade
Collection', just to house all these
pieces!


I also love fantasy, mythology, fairies, pixies, Greek myths -
I would never have thought I could be so fanciful! However,
if I had thought about it more, I might have guessed it -
The Hobbit is one of my favourite books.  Jewellery making
has taught me a few things about myself ... and surprised me
in the bargain!

My designs start with a theme and then seem to grow.  I like
to use cultural and aesthetic diversity with humour and elegance
and often make 'Tribal' jewellery for the contemporary woman.
Images from museums and archaeology show the evolution of
jewellery from the need to arrange objects in new personal manner -
I add a pinch of whimsy and a storyline from my imagination to
conjure up pieces that resonate with my design ethic.

I never know from one week to the next, what I am going to
make - I just pick a focal point to a necklace and add other
elements that appear to go with that focal to a tray and then,
go with the flow ... I cannot use a bead board, or design
a necklace from a drawing - when I have tried, it has always
ended in failure.




















* Do you work with other materials apart from wire?
I have recently gone into a polymer clay addiction phase and also
precious metal clay and enamel work.  The ability to mold colours
attracts me to polymer clay and enamels.  However, wire remains
my first love and I tend to use it in most pieces I create.  I like
wire as a connector of one material to another.  I get a fantastic
buzz when I conjure up a whole piece out of a length of wire and
a few beads - "ABRACADABRA" - magic!

I am now extending the magic by making some of the elements
myself - clasps, pendants, focal beads - held together by wire,
with a few gemstones and crystals sprinkled into them like
fairy dust ... a pull here and tweak there ... and there appears a
necklace in my hands!
 

















* Do you have a favourite design or technique?
I like designs that use judicious amounts of wire.  In my opinion,
designs that have too much wire to connect the elements together 
can make a piece look 'clunky'. Lacy, ethereal wire designs that
seem to embellish negative space, rather than fill it with a tangled
mess, are my favourite styles.





















* Where do you sell and promote your jewellery?
I have my own website CAPRILICIOUS JEWELLERY
where I list all my pieces.  I promote the website on my
FACEBOOK page.  An Etsy shop didn't really work out
for my jewellery, but my fan base is growing slowly through
Facebook - I currently have over 4900 fans!





















* What pieces are you currently working on?
I work quite quickly, so by the time this is published, it could be
anything!  I never know what I am going to make in advance -
usually, when I'm rummaging through my (very untidy) bead
stash for something to go with one piece, I find the makings of
the next one ... and it goes from there.  When I am lacking in
inspiration, I sometimes sort out my bead stash - some of the
pretty gemstone beads I have in it soon get the creative juices
flowing again, but alas, the tidy stash situation does not prevail
for very long!
 





















* Have you any advice to pass on to others?
Jewellery making is great fun but can be a lonely occupation,
especially when you are starting out.  Make friends - online,
if necessary with like minded people and you will find that
there are loads of kindred souls out there!  They can help
with all sorts of questions - with a design, or, with sourcing
a particular material as well as with judicious, constructive
criticism.  I belong to a few forums and they have inspired
and helped me immensely.

I would also add, that one should never be afraid of colour
and asymmetry - mix and match until the balance is right.
This adds interest to the piece of jewellery and makes it 
different from everyone else's - truly 'one of a kind'!


 





















* What are your future plans and aspirations?
I would like CAPRILICIOUS JEWELLERY
to be a name that is well recognised and respected by
my peers and am striving towards that.  I would also
like to be able to showcase my jewellery in exclusive
outlets and to be able to design fearlessly, using precious
metals, knowing that I have a market for it.  I would
however, strive to keep costs down, so that my jewellery
is within the price range of the women who want to wear it.

I am aware that my designs are a bit different from the 
norm and that I will have to wait a while longer than most
to build up a clientelle, however, I am in no doubt that it
will eventually happen.  I just need to keep plugging away
at the task in hand, making more and marketing what I
create.  

The best part of it all, is enjoying myself immensely
in the bargain!














 


*******************************************************
Neena, I'm sure that everyone reading this
will agree, that your use of colour, your 
creative individuality and sense of design
will eventually be recognised in a larger,
more artistic market. You have a very 
unique style that seems to combine the
elements of the East and West and that's
what makes your jewellery designs so
appealling and beautiful!








         

Thursday, 11 April 2013

NICOLE HANNA



















ARTIST SPOTLIGHT on ...
NICOLE HANNA
***********************************************************
Anyone working in wire who hasn't YET heard of this
week's feature artist, is going to drool and dribble
(in the nicest possible way!) at her stunning jewellery
artistry! Within our recent interview, you can gain a
little insight to this truly inspirational wire artist!

WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND?
I suppose you could say that I'm a national mutt.  I was born
in Illinois, raised in Arkansas and currently live in Michigan,
where my husband was raised.  Michigan is home, feels as if
it's always been so and I'm secure in the knowledge, as I've
raised my two teenage boys in a wonderful neighbourhood
and beautifully scenic state.  We live on the bay and I visit
the water front often for relaxation and inspiration.  To watch
the seagulls terrorize the local wildlife!  I do love those birds!

  




















(Above: Blue Pearl Wave Pendant by Nicole Hanna)

DID YOU ALWAYS ASPIRE TO BE A JEWELLERY DESIGNER?
I think if I've ever had a life-long aspiration, it was to be an artist
in general, though jewelry design didn't figure into my arsenal of
interests until much later in life.  I like to draw, write, photograph
local fauna and foliage and stumbled across jewelry during a period
of unsettled frustrations, when additional distractions were a 
welcome necessity.  I began beading, what I admit were rather
uninspired designs, but having taught myself everything I know,
had limited skill sets from which to draw from.  About five years
ago, after discovering the beauty of wire-wrapping at a local show,
I branched into basic cage wraps with beaded embellishments,
though I didn't focus on building a personal style or niche until
2011.  I fiddled and fumbled with wire for years, stumbling through
a sort of accidental 'style' until I settled on something that suited.
I learned the netted bezel from ENI OKEN, which still stands as the
only technique I've learned in a tutorial ever to figure in a finished
design.

            




















(Above: Fire Agate Curly Q Pendant by Nicole Hanna)

WHERE IS YOUR STUDIO?
I'm not sure what I'd do with all the space a legitimate studio
affords, as I'm used to currently working only from the comfort
of my own couch!  I have a small four-drawer tool box tucked
underneath our couch-side table, which contains my limited
supplies.  With 1000 square feet of house and three grown men
sharing it with me, studio space is an unfortunate impossibility!
However, these limitations in space have provided me with an
inspirational drive to create original pieces with only a handful
of tools and materials.  It's sometimes challenging, but always
rewarding and I've come to learn that you need only two tools
and $3 in materials to make something incredible each and
every time.

           













(Above: Aquamarine CZ, Two Finger Ring by Nicole Hanna)

WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
Definitely - MOVEMENT! Hard lines and angles are a rare find
in my work.  I like the fluidity of curves and coils with which the
eyes are encouraged to dance. Therefore, natural landscapes and 
oceanic currents are immediate sources of inspiration.  Artwork 
also proves to be inspirational, especially the fantasy creations of
CHRIS ACHILLEOS and BRIAN FROUD.  Two very different
artistic talents, but both incredibly entertaining. I listen to music
and sing while I work and the nature of the songs tend to showcase
themselves in the movement of my designs as well.






















  
DO YOU WORK WITH OTHER MATERIALS APART FROM 
WIRE?
I sometimes work with seed beads, though only as an outlet for
my personal expressionism or, when my wirework is otherwise
creatively blocked.  I'm horrifyingly slow at it, so I couldn't
imagine parting with the pieces I make utilizing these techniques!
I find myself far too attached to them, so I have a private collection
of bead embroidered work that I pull out and wear for very special
occasions.

       
        
















DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE DESIGN or TECHNIQUE?
Usually my latest design is my favorite.  It's new and original
and utilizes a bead or stone that I've been itching to use, so
immediately it becomes a "Oh I think I'll keep this for myself"
piece.  And then someone else says they love it and want to 
buy it and I say: "Oh, all right!".  Because I can't stand to horde
them for myself.  Each piece is always heavily woven and layered,
which is a favored technique providing a secure nest for focals,
without requiring any later noisy processing with tumblers or 
Dremels.  Also, I find it creates a sense of depth and character
that is completely original to me.  The first piece I made utilizing
these techniques made me think to myself: "Ah, so this is what
it feels like to find yourself in wire".

    
     



















(Above: Red Crystal Wave Ring by Nicole Hanna)

TELL US HOW YOU SELL AND PROMOTE YOUR WORK?
I sell via my own WEBSITE which I decided to build when I became
disillusioned by the popular selling platforms I'd utilized in the past.
I figured since building an audience was a necessity despite the
platform, I might as well create something entirely my own, on my
own terms and direct customers, students and interested readers to
a stand-alone site instead of a standard selling platform.  I find 
social media is incredibly important in keeping my work relevant
and helps create a sense of personable interaction that customers
not only appreciate, but to which they are also incredibly recipricatory.
Perpetuating an atmosphere of sharing, learning and beauty is not
only smart for business, but incredibly rewarding.

         













(Above: Hematite Carnelian Bangle by Nicole Hanna)

WHAT PIECES ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?
At the moment, nothing in particular.  I never plan and almost
never work on pieces in installments. I work fast and what I start
during a sitting, I usually finish during the same sitting.  However,
I have vague and grand plans concerning a wire woven crown,
which I may or may not wear around the house while referring to
myself as "Queen Mom" to my subjects ... er... children!"

     













(Above: Vesuvianite Viking Knit Bracelet by Nicole Hanna)

WHAT ARE YOU FUTURE PLANS AND HAVE YOU ANY 
ADVICE TO PASS ON TO OTHERS?
Create without fear and create every day.  Tools and materials are
nothing but extensions of your own hands and nothing created by
hand is bad or wrong or unworthy of the love and admiration of
others!

As for future plans, on the agenda for this year are video tutorials,
summer and fall workshops, two shows and three new collections. 
Long term aspirations include a fully-functional online "school" for
aspiring wire wrappers with quarterly week long retreats.  

Any world in which I share my love of creativity with others is a 
world worth working toward.

         
















(Above: Carnelian Rose Bud Ring by Nicole Hanna)

*************************************************************
I personally LOVE your artistry and craftsmanship, Nicole! and I can hear
a chorus of "WOW's"!! ringing in the ether after having read and viewed
this feature.  Keep on doing what you're doing, it's very inspiring and
utterly beautiful!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

SHEALA DENNING

 ARTIST FEATURE
*********************************
SHEALA DENNING
************************* 

















As you may know, I am always looking for hidden, as 
well as 'known', wireworking talent to feature on the
Guild blog (so if you've been hiding, like Sheala!)
rise up from your wireworking chair and announce
yourself and you too, could become a Featured Artist!

So it's my biggest pleasure (BIG DRUM ROLL) to introduce 
to you to this month's talented artist SHEALA DENNING!  
Sit back and enjoy our recent interview and images of her
stunning work  ...

WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND?
I was born in Lincolnshire, but my father being in the Royal Air Force
travelled about Britain a lot.  When I was 14 years old, he eventually 
retired from the Forces and we settled in Bristol.  I now live in Yate,
which is a small village (or, it was when I moved here, but now its
a town!) situated half way between Bristol and Bath.

DID YOU ALWAYS ASPIRE TO BE A JEWELLERY
DESIGNER?
Not specifically jewellery, but I did want to design things.  I have
always been artistic and had paints and pencils in front of me. 
Originally, I wanted to be an illustrator and on leaving school
I went to the West of England College of Art to study Design.
Unfortunately, I did not finish my training due to pregnancy and
subsequently becoming a full-time mother - a decision, I have
never regretted!  However, during my working career, I always
worked in some capacity in design - initially in the design office 
of a packaging company and later for a small magazine for coach drivers, 
which was a subscription only publication.   

         
  





























WHEN DID YOU START MAKING JEWELLERY?
Two years ago I hurt my back and was laid up, literally spending many
hours propped up on the sofa in front of the TV totally bored.  My
partner, Gordon, bought me some beads and a basic tool kit and I
started beading, but making necklaces and earrings using components
that were made in their thousands (and the same as everyone else used!)
was not challenging enough for me.  I felt there was something missing!
Then flicking through the TV channels, I came across a programme that
had RACHEL NORRIS in it and I thought 'WOW'! So I started watching and
people like Rachel, GEMMA CROW and LAURA BINDING became
my inspiration!  I wanted to do what they did, so out came the purse and
my wireworking began ... I had surgery last year and I am walking again,
but still totally addicted to working with wire!






















DO YOU HAVE AN FORMAL TRAINING, OR ARE YOU
SELF-TAUGHT?
I am totally self-taught.  I had a few books to go on and watched
Jewellery Maker TV and You Tube.  My first attempts looked
very much like bird nests blown around in a storm, but practice
makes perfect and although I know my work isn't perfect, it's
handcrafted and to me that is part of the appeal.  No two pieces
are identical, they may be similar but NOT the same.






















HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE AND
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I don't have any particular style, I just "go with the flow",
so to speak.  I like soft flourishes and swirls, Victoriana.
I also like big bold pieces, but I must admit I am not too
keen on geometric styles, squares and triangles don't appeal
to me and I will only create them on request.  As for what
inspires me, everything in nature.  As for artists, it's
Rachel Norris, Gemma Crow, Abbey Hook and
Nicole Hanna - all these designers get my creative juices
flowing.  When I see their work it gives me inspiration,
not to copy, but certain flourishes or components in their styles
will trigger an idea for me.

















WHERE DO YOU SELL YOUR WORK?
I sell to friends and family, craft fairs and through word of mouth.
I have sold through the internet just before Christmas - selling 8
items simply from posting pictures on a Facebook group!






















HAVE YOU ANY ADVICE  TO PASS ON TO OTHERS?
Never be too critical of your own work.  I have found that I
have made something and thought that's not good, yet other
people have totally drooled over it and bought it!  I once had
two ladies wanting the same item (that I personally thought
was awful and could have made better) ... so somebody out
there will always love what you have created!
















WHAT ARE YOU FUTURE ASPIRATIONS AND PLANS?
I don't want to be a world famous designer, just to have my work
appreciated and still be creating jewellery until they nail the lid
down!

*************************************************
Sheala, THANK YOU for sharing your work and words with us!
Your talent is evident! There is no doubt your beautiful jewellery 
will always be enjoyed and appreciated and I'm sure that you will 
gain many more admirers after this exposure!