Lovely New Things

Katie Holloway

Katie Holloway

29 October 2012

I just received a letter from one of our readers, telling us about a new technique she had tried, and the results, which were really lovely. This got me thinking about jewellery making; what a versatile craft it is! I love crafting, and I spend a huge chunk of my spare time knitting, sewing, baking, beading, and just generally making things!

The beauty of making jewellery is that you can combine all of your other crafting skills to create unique pieces. I'm not sure there's any other discipline that allows you to knit with wire, melt glass, sew delicate beads and squish polymer clay all in one project! And what a project THAT would be! 

Most pieces of jewellery don't take that long to make, require a minimum of equipment and space, and can be made using lovely things from your stash. Which, of course, means that you can easily get out a few things that would look nice together and play around until you come up with something beautiful. There is always something new to try.

I don't think anybody could possibly get bored with jewellery making, because as soon as you've mastered one technique, material or tool, there will be something else clamouring for your attention. We can keep revisiting all of our favourite techniques, materials and tools, too, but we can vary them in countless ways and never make the same thing twice! There are always lovely new things just waiting around the corner to be made! 

Metal Clay Guild

Sian Hamilton

Sian Hamilton

25 October 2012

If you are a metal clay fan and have missed the recent news there is now a new Guild on the block. Here's what they have to say:

The Metal Clay Guild (previously the Art Clay Guild UK) embraces all metal clay artists whatever their level of skill.

The newly named Metal Clay Guild now encompasses all types of metal clay - silver, gold and base metals such as bronze and copper. The Guild is based in the UK, and welcomes members from anywhere in the world to promote the sharing of skills and knowledge of this exciting and fast expanding range of materials.

For more information, to sign up for the online newsletter or to join the Guild visit the website www.metalclayguild.co.uk. For the up-to-the-minute news visit the Guild's Facebook Page www.facebook.com/metalclayguild and sign up for the online newsletter.

So head on down to their new website if you are interested in becoming a member. Membership starts from £20 a year, for an individual person based in the UK.

Bridesmaids' Jewellery

Katie Holloway

Katie Holloway

23 October 2012

Now, I determined that I wouldn't be one of those brides who lets wedding planning consumer her whole existence. However, I think I've failed. The thing is, there's just so darned much to get done, especially when you only have six months to plan it all in! (We're now down to under five months!) 

But, when it comes to crafts and jewellery making in particular, the two passions (dare I say, obsessions?) come together in a beautiful way. For example, the lovely people at Cookson Gold (www.cooksongold.com) sent me some gorgeous bits and pieces to have a play around with. Here are some of the things they sent:

Cookson Goodies

I, of course, decided that it would be a great idea to make all my own jewellery for my wedding, including a necklace, bracelet and earrings for both me and all three of my bridesmaids! And, oh yes, there's more, and... I decided to make my own tiara! But this you definitely cannot see until after the big day!

With time ticking away I decided it was definitely time to get started, and with these lovely goodies from Cookson Gold I decided to make some bracelets for my bridesmaids. I love these Shamballa-style beads as they are just SO sparkly, but I wanted to do something different with them, so I decided to use one as a clasp! 

So, here is what I came up with! It's a simple spiral, with white/silver Miyuki seed beads as the core and iridescent pink Miyuki delicas on the outside. Do let me know what you think, either on the forum, or on Facebook (do follow us on Facebook if you don't already! Just search 'making jewellery').

 Bridesmaids Bracelet

What's Going On

Sian Hamilton

Sian Hamilton

23 October 2012

Hello! It's my first blog post for the new website and I'm really excited to see this gorgeous new site up and running for the craft titles of GMC. I think it's a great thing to have them all together as many crafts cross over these days and if you are like me then you do more than one yourself.

 My first love is always jewellery and as I'm a jeweller as well as the Editor of MJ that is pretty obvious! But you may not know I love to sew, paint watercolours, take photos and much more, much to the chagrin of my long suffering husband who has to deal with half finished projects all around the house - due to lack of time, but not enthusiasm!

This week I'm well into jewellery mode, working on getting to grips with copper clay. It's similar stuff to silver clay but a whole bunch cheaper, which is one of the reasons I'm trying it, but I've also signed up for a workshop at the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery at the end of November that is being run by Wanaree Tanner. Wanaree is a super talented young lady who's work I greatly admire. You can see her work here: www.jade-orchid.com

The workshop is about making bezels using copper clay; so that's why I thought I'd better get a little copper work in before I go. I've not used this clay before, but having started with it last Friday my first thought is that I rather like it! So I'm creating a few flat discs to do a test firing in my kiln so I can see how it fires before making anything big that could get ruined during firing. I'm looking forward to developing colour finishes on the clay pieces, as copper is great at creating really gorgeous colours when heated to a particular temperature. It takes a bit of experimenting but that's what learning is all about.

I hope you have a great creative week and I'll post up some photos of my copper work next week when they are fired. 

Into the Web

Katie Holloway

Katie Holloway

10 October 2012

Hello all!

With the launch of the new Making Jewellery website, as part of the Craft Institute, I've been thinking about the effect that the Internet has upon jewellery making, and crafts in general.

There's hardly a person around these days who's not a blogger, tweeter, facebooker or tumbler. While these words might have raised some concerned looks five years ago, today they are liberally sprinkled through conversations and we think nothing of them.

Where before we would have had to loiter outside craft shops in the hopes of bumping into other like-minded individuals, now we can all gather together in one happy place to discuss all things bejewelled! (Oh, and that reminds me, DO join our forum!) We can easily chatter away to friends across the globe and spark all kinds of inspiration and glean top tips galore.

But, does this mean that there has been a decline in people actually meeting up over a real cup of tea? Are real-life craft groups diminishing? I don't think so, actually. I still 'do lunch' (when I can) with my friends, and I certainly still go to a craft group regularly, but these days I can arrange things over the Internet, and so perhaps meet up with more friends than I otherwise might.

With all things Internet-based growing and growing, we could easily spend hours clicking through pretend farms and 'growing' e-crops in the name of entertainment. But, on the other hand, we have fantastic online jewellery shops offering next-day delivery; there are forums to meet with other jewellery makers and galleries for viewing others' projects.

No, with the steady rise of all things digital, I think that crafting and making jewellery will flourish all the more. It doesn't matter if you read your copy of Making Jewellery on paper or on an iPad, the content is the same, and with all things so accessible, I hope that you will be inspired all the more. I hope you enjoy this new website as much as we've enjoyed putting the content together for it!

Katie x

Meet the Team

Katie Holloway

Katie Holloway

8 October 2012

Welcome to the new Making Jewellery  website! We thought we would start with a 'meet the team' blog post so you can meet us, the team behind your favourite magazine!



Sian:

Sian Web

Who are you and what is your role?

I am Sian Hamilton the Editor of Making Jewellery magazine. My role is to come up with the themes and ideas for the magazine, commission all the project designers, control the budget and work with writers and magazine staff to make sure the magazine gets done on time and looks great! So really I'm the big controller! A job I love.

Have you always been in this industry and how did you get here? 

I've always been creative, so anything to do with hands on making stuff worked for me. I've spent my career in the design field, designing everything from pottery, greetings cards, wedding dresses and of course jewellery. I spent 8 years working for a pottery called Moorcroft in Stoke-on-Trent, where I learnt to illustrate with watercolours, creating the patterns for the pots they sell, the most expensive design I ever did retailed at £12,000. I'm currently a jeweller and make mostly individual commissions and wedding jewellery alongside my editing job, which is freelance.

What inspires you?

Really good design is the best inspiration that could be beautiful architecture both modern and classic, a great shaped chair or a perfect rose! I take my inspiration from almost everything, which can be time consuming as I'm always stopping to take a picture of something I've seen but having the modern convenience of a camera phone now makes that much easier.

If someone gave you £1,000 right now what would you spend it on?

As long as I'm allowed to be frivolous then I'm a handbag fiend, so it would have to be a Gucci or Prada handbag.

 

Claire:

Claire Web

Who are you and what is your role?

My name is Claire Stevens and I am the designer on Making Jewellery. It is my job to make sure you receive a fabulous issue of MJ every month. Once the editorial team has put the projects and the articles together for the issue it's then left to me to layout the pages. I love doing this as my creative side can flourish. 

Have you always been in this industry and how did you get here?

I have always been in design starting with a BA(Hons) degree in Graphic Design and Advertising. I then had a short spell with a reprographics company before joining GMC Publications a little over 10 years ago. I began working here on the Classified Ads for one of our sister titles The Dolls' House Magazine. As time progressed the editorial design of all GMC's titles came in house and I started on one of our wood titles The Router, I then moved onto Knitting magazine and have been here with the MJ team for what is now my sixth issue of the magazine. I work across both titles, which can sometimes be a little challenging, especially around print time, but I love it. The two magazines are quite different design-wise and it's great to have the opportunity to be working on both titles.

What inspires you?

What I see around me; I always find I'm looking at something that I think 'I can incorporate that into a design or layout'. And a recent trip to my fiancé's son's art exhibition. It was truly inspiring to see what the kids had been up to. Being the arty one they always ask me to help them with their art homework and I find that an inspiration in itself.

If someone gave you £1,000 right now what would you spend it on?

I love my skinny jeans and high heels so I wouldn't find it hard to lose £1000 very quickly. That would cheer my fiancé up has he already says I have too many pairs of shoes...

 

Katie:

Katie Web

 

Who are you and what is your role?

I'm Katie Wood, the Assistant Editor of Making Jewellery. I do a lot of the writing for the magazine, the 'house' pages, such as News, What's On, Designer Profile, Giveaways, Trends etc. I love finding the content for the magazine, and staying on top of what's new and what's hot in the world of jewellery.

Have you always been in this industry and how did you get here?

My background is in writing, as I studied English Literature with Creative Writing at university, and I had a book published when I was 18. I started making jewellery about the same time I started university, as my grandma got me into it. I have always loved crafts, and am ALWAYS making something or other, whether it's a knitted jumper or a giant, paper mache teacup hat! So, really, this is the perfect job for me, as I get to write for a living, and I'm also constantly surrounded by creative things!

What inspires you?

What inspires me the most is probably literature-so I loved our October issue this year! I'm very into fairytales, so anything involving princesses or unicorns really captures my imagination; especially sparkles! More often than not, what inspires me to write or make something is a phrase from a book, or a feeling I get from reading something emotive. Charlotte Bronte in Jane Eyre writes, "I'll tell you, if I can, the idea, the picture these words opened to my mind: yet it is difficult to express what I want to express." To me, that's what inspiration is-the need to express yourself because of something you have encountered.

If someone gave you £1,000 right now, what would you spend it on?

Realistically, I'd spend it on my upcoming wedding, or put it towards a deposit on a house. But in a world without bills, I'd go out and buy a new sewing machine (mine is SO broken), stacks of gorgeous fabric, a kilogram of gorgeous beads, some glitter, tons of knitting yarn and I'd book a fortnight off work and have a thoroughly lovely time! 

 

Sarah:

Sarah Web

 

Who are you and what is your role?

I am Sarah Doughty, the sub editor of Making Jewellery magazine. My role is to edit the text, making sure that it is clear and consistent and reads well for publication. The projects in the magazine are created by talented designers, and their aim is to inspire other readers to try out new techniques and ideas. I would like to think my role is to make sure the reader can follow the step by steps in the projects with ease and confidence.

Have you always been in this industry and how did you get here?

I have worked in publishing for many years, although my background has been in books rather than magazines. I started as an editor of illustrated children's books, which was a very good training ground editorially, as you need to explain tricky concepts in simple ways. For the last ten years I have been a freelance editor, working as a project manager, copyeditor, proofreader and occasional researcher in adult non-fiction and more recently, magazines. My job can cover any subject under the sun, but craft is such a popular area that I have learned a great deal about all sorts of different subjects and love all the exciting craft ideas.

What inspires you? 

I enjoy nature and love good literature. I am inspired by living near the sea, walking along the beach, and enjoy sailing a boat along the south coast. I am interested in photography and am inspired by beauty and colour. I also try and visit art exhibitions and craft fairs, and enjoy watching creativity at work. Working on the magazine has inspired me to make some jewellery and I am quite encouraged by the results so far!

If someone gave you £1,000 right now what would you spend it on?

I'd probably rent a beach hut with a fine view - an inspirational place to sub Making Jewellery magazine during the summer!

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