Monthly Archives: June 2014

ICONS symposium

Last weekend I went up to the National Centre for Craft and Design (NCCD) in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. I went to see the Association of Contemporary Jewellery’s (ACJ) ICONS exhibition and to take part (as an audience member) in the exhibition symposium. I am so glad I went, it was a really fascinating and inspiring afternoon.

The exhibition looks great, and it was so good to see in person what I had only seen in photos previously. Photos are  a poor substitute for seeing things first hand – you lose the sense of scale, colour and texture.

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The ICONS exhibition in the roof gallery at the National Centre for Craft and Design.

It was so cool to see my own work in the exhibition! It feels great being in a show alongside many eminent jewellers – I would like to do more!

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My Vivienne Westwood pieces in the exhibition

The symposium started at 2pm and we had Joanne Haywood, Helen Noakes and Dauvit Alexander talk about the ideas and processes behind the work they made for ICONS. It was so interesting hearing three very different approaches to making jewellery.

Jo made a necklace for Patti Smith, ‘Woolgathering’, made from a hand felted surface, Italian silks, silver, gold, English paper pieced patchwork and faceted stones. There were many links between text and the final piece and hearing these described was a real insight. The faceted stones were a response to, “There it lies on the ground before us, a drop of faceted blood, more real than a ghost”.

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‘Woolgathering’ by Joanne Haywood
3 Group
Gathered around Jo’s collection of objects which supported her talk.

Next Helen Noakes talked about her piece ‘Solo Voyager’. Helen works mainly in resin and described the time consuming process of building up many thin layers. Some of her work glows in the dark!

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‘Solo Voyager’ by Helen Noakes

And lastly Dauvit Alexander talked about his piece, ‘Fashion: Victim – in Memoriam Alexander McQueen’. The number of materials, processes and collaborations that took place to realise this piece are amazing.

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‘Fashion: Victim’ by Dauvit Alexander


It was great to see the exhibition, attend the symposium and meet other ACJ members for the first time. The exhibition continues until July 27th.

Beyond Adornment – necklace swap

As you might know from previous blog posts, I entered a necklace into an open call for entries for the exhibition ‘Message: Beyond Adornment’ at New Ashgate Gallery. At the end of the exhibition the submissions for the open call would be swapped and I would be sent someone else’s necklace. Now the exhibition has finished I have received a necklace in the post!

‘I agree’ side
‘I disagree’ side


This necklace is by Poppy Porter and I emailed her to find out more about it. Poppy explained,

“It’s made from aluminium that has been custom painted using an airbrush.  It’s a paint effect that looks like stone so although it is painted metal it is supposed to look like someone has scratched the words into stone.  The idea being that anything on the internet is pretty much as permanent as being carved in stone. It’s a miniaturisation of a test panel I did when I was first learning custom painting. Look on my blog for a picture of the original. The wire it is hung from is one of the original strings off the bass guitar I painted for the exhibition. A bit of upcycling there :).”
When I first opened the envelop and saw the necklace I was intrigued, I didn’t know what it was made of and the only thing I recognised was the ‘I agree’ on one side and the ‘I disagree’ on the other which had also been on mine. It wasn’t until closer inspection that I discovered the words ‘Poppy Porter 2014’ scratched into the side in very small writing. Finding this was brilliant as it enabled me to find out more about it. It was really interesting to be able to get more information directly from Poppy, without this I wouldn’t have understood the thought behind the piece or the materials it was made from. It just goes to show how much value there can be in knowing the story behind an object.
Thank you to Poppy for my new necklace! I wonder who received mine?

Beyond Adornment at New Ashgate Gallery

Today I took my first trip to Farnham, Surrey. I went especially to see the last day of the Beyond Adornment exhibition at New Ashgate Gallery. This was the exhibition for which I had entered a necklace after an open call for submissions. It was great to finally see the gallery as it is such an established venue for craft and I had heard a lot about it. The building is lovely inside and out.


The Beyond Adornment exhibition was upstairs and my necklace was in a cabinet alongside the other open call submissions from Dani Crompton, Ruth Facey, Nina Gale, Poppy Porter, Rebecca Skeels, Chantal Walter, Elaine Ainslie, Claire Moore, Jaci Foster and Harriet Walford. I wonder which piece I’ll receive in the swap!

Beyond Adornment upstairs at the New Ashgate Gallery
Open call cabinet
The open call submissions cabinet.
My necklace on display! This is the ‘i agree’ side.
‘I disagree’ side.

It was good to go and see my work, having not really heard much since confirmation that I was in the exhibition. To see it in person was lovely as it made it real!