I was very excited last Saturday to host my first ever open house! I have been making jewellery for a couple of years now and have built up quite a good collection of pieces so I thought I would take the opportunity to showcase them to my family and friends so they could see what I have been up to.
It was quite a nerve-wracking experience to open up my home, especially as I encouraged guests to invite their own family and friends along as well. Once we got into the swing of it though the afternoon was a massive success! Almost 50 people attended to view my work and join me for champagne and canapés (prepared by my lovely friend Jane, who is just in the process of setting up her own catering business). I opened up my workshop so that the guests could view where the jewellery is made, although it was far cleaner than usual!
I think the most exciting thing was the orders I received for custom pieces. It was great to have people view my work and my style and request either different colours for existing pieces or completely new designs, which I can then incorporate into my main collection. I also loved hearing about the people my jewellery would be going to, whether it was a treat for themselves or a gift for a loved one, it really brought the jewellery to life for me. The knowledge that real people would be wearing something I made and had put time and energy and love into made me really happy!
The beautiful weather was on my side as well and I thoroughly enjoyed the sunny, busy afternoon. I hope all the guests did too. And of course, we didn’t let anyone leave without a goody bag!
I can’t wait for the next one…
The last few weeks have been a bit all over the place but I’m excited that my studio is now finished! I have benches and storage all in place and have slowly been acquiring equipment. Now just to unpack all those boxes…
I’ve also been working on the final collection for the diploma. I continued with my Art Deco/Nouveau peacock theme but I changed my designs several times before I settled on the final one. I decided to go quite simple and stick to the geometric shapes and straight lines and then introduce curves using wire which I used to create chain links for the necklace and bracelet. I added colour to the collection using cubic zirconia and epoxy enamel. I really liked the colour pops and am pleased I added them. I find when I’m designing I usually start with a colour scheme and go from there so it’s quite important to me to include this in my work.
Last night was the exhibition where several of the diploma students showed their final collections and the certificates were presented. We all passed! Our family and friends were also invited and it was great for them to come and see what we have been working on. I really enjoyed seeing what the other students had made, especially the ones in the other group. Everybody had totally different themes and all the work was really individual. Even the way they were displayed really varied from person to person.
I made my diploma collection with metal clay but I found it quite limiting for what shapes I could produce. I attempted to create my own templates to cut round but found the clay dragged when I tried to cut it so it was pulled out of shape. The other problem was that you have to work fast as it dries out really quickly and then you have to contend with cracks as well. This meant that sticking to more simple shapes which I already had cutters for seemed like my only option. I am considering experimenting with wax carving again. I found the class interesting and wax lends itself to creating quite organic, free-flowing shapes. Because it doesn’t dry out in the same way you have a lot longer to work on it and sculpt the shape you want.
I really enjoyed doing the diploma and it has given me a wide range of skills. I’m looking forward to branching out on my own now and developing designs which don’t have to conform to a brief!
Jewellery enthusiast embarking on an exciting new adventure to set up my own business.