Friday, 27 January 2012

Selina Campbell

Inspired by a tweet the other night, I thought I'd do a post about one of my favourite jewellery designers Selina Campbell, to be honest I'm not sure really why I haven't before but anyway..

Selina is an amazing designer and Silversmith who makes and designs beautiful contemporary jewellery. All pieces are limited and small batch production, making each piece unique and original. Her pieces 'aspire to capture the spontaneous layered patterns of nature by constructing single silver floral components to produce intriguing contemporary forms.'

Although I love all of her work my favourites tend to be her oxidised silver pieces. My first piece was a present a few years ago and is usually part of my regular day to day wardrobe. I love the simplicity of the necklace and it hangs really nicely on. I've tried to capture it in the photos but I also love the way the oxidisation is wearing away, a sure sign of a well loved piece.

As a wedding gift Rob wanted to buy me something special to wear on the day. A neck piece was a given and in going for something simple yet a bit different, Selina seemed like an obvious choice. Visiting her studio at the Manchester Craft and Design Center with hints of my dress, I just knew this oxidised piece with Freshwater Pearls would be absolutely perfect. 

The dark oxidised colour worked amazingly with our colour theme and contrasted perfectly with the pale blue of my dress, whilst the pearl details tied in with the the beading detail over my bodice.

Discussing how I'd like to wear the piece, Selina offered to shorten the chain with an additional link, adding a length so I could wear it longer after if desired. To this she added a pearl which not only made the piece unique worked out perfectly with the dress, adding a beautiful detail to the back which everybody on the day admired hugely.

The back detail was also picked out wonderfully on this amazing art work created for us and  my family by an incredibly talented friend following the big day. You can see more of that here.

It has become another regular favourite of mine, obviously holding something very special and it is wearing well! It worked out so perfectly and I cannot thank her enough! I am so in awe of her beautiful creations so I thought I'd share a few of my favourites.

I'm not a big ring wearer but every time we visit her studio I cannot help but admire these creations. These below, from the same collection as my necklaces, are just absolutely stunning, but I have also just discovered her newer collection, which are just as amazing in form and I think are an interesting take on the classic 'dimond' ring.

I've also seen on her website she offers the opportunity to make your own wedding rings, 'helping you form, solder and finish the rings, adding any chosen finish you desire'. I think this is such a lovely idea.. for anyone who isn't yet married!

Probably a bit more me though I shall be coveting these beautiful necklaces.

I especially love this longer piece  with the shapes extracted and forming part of the chain.

Selina also has a blog which you can read and follow here. I certainly look forward to hearing about her work and new creations. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

découpage wallpaper

Sorting through some magazines recently I came across these beautiful three-dimensional découpage wallpaper backgrounds for an accessory feature. Being inspired to have a go at creating some art works in a similar approach it also reminded me of some gorgeous handmade wallpaper by Claire Coles which I had seen a while ago and had absolutely fascinated me. 

Claire’s couture wallpapers transform walls into individual works of art. Fragments of hand-sourced vintage wallpaper, layered and intricately embroidered with silks and leather to create a range of patterns and scenes. I think her Midnight Garden is probably my favourite creation, but I love the combination of découpage and embroidery in all of her pieces.

In my search to rediscover Claire's work, I also came across these other beatiful pieces, which I thought I'd share...

This three-dimensional paper by Hanna Nyman is pretty special. I love how only selected elements have been brought out of the paper, almost as origami formed out of the paper. I also discovered these beautiful origami forms created out of fabric, which would make an interesting wall covering.

Kim Robertson's Embroidered Black Blossom Wallpaper I saw on Rockett St George's amazing website is no longer available but is a great example of how these beautiful creations can also work on a smaller scale, hung as a piece of art.

Moving slightly away from découpage but I just had to share this stunning handstiched wallpaper by Kaylee Hibbert, with its wonderful textures, being very thematic with my recent Lace posts.

And last but not least, moving slightly more of course I thought I'd to end with this fun floral take on wallpaper, which I thought was lovely and bright and a great way of displaying flowers.

I'm feeling very inspired and really motivated to get back into some collage and layering, just maybe not quite on a wallpaper scale...!

Friday, 20 January 2012

textures de dentelle

All this talking about lace has reminded me about our trip to France last year and the wonderful lace like architectural details I discovered and photographed with the view to inspire my designs and paper cuts. I fell in love with the soft chalky like textures and the beautiful shapes formed out of the intricate craftwork. Obvserving closely there are some wonderful patterns to draw inspiration from and I am already plotting some interesting lace inspired invitations as I write.... watch this space!




I've also discovered Rollip as a great source for giving my images that vintage look. I'm really pleased with the effects, try it out...

Monday, 9 January 2012

Lost in Lace

A real source of inspiration for me at the moment is Lace. I love the intricate detailing and the patterns and spaces created as part of the fabric. So when I heard about the Lost in Lace Exhibition at the Gas Hall, Birmingham which saw the interpretation of Lace on an Architectural scale I was desperate to go. Fortunately we were invited down for a wonderful little gathering over the festive period by our friends and so an opportunity to visit the exhibition was too good to be missed.

From an architectural point of view I was hugely interested in the curator's challenge of 'how to shape the perception of the potentially radical relationship between the structure of lace networks and architectural space? Questioning the ways in which we move through space and the nature of boundaries and thresholds' 

'Through a series of dramatic and ambitious new site-sensitive installations, the works in the exhibition play with ideas around the holes, spaces, boundaries and structures that lace creates. Through changing its scale, to create large and small installations, the artists draw attention to these different qualities.'

Walking into the exhibition we were confronted with large scale, theatrical and visually spectacular work challenging the perceptions of lace.

Each wonderful site-specific installation works with the bare fabric of the building in its own way. From the intricate to the monumental, the contemporary works on show encouraged us to renegotiate and wander round and through the mysterious new environments created by each of the artists, exploring the physical environments and the blurred boundaries that emerged. Each art work had adjacent a small sample piece  to be handled, which was a delightful way to experience the works in even more detail, from a very sensory aspect.

I really loved the Italian definition of lace, where it is sometimes described as being like 'stitches in the air', which seemed very fitting for the works on display. All of the work was truly amazing but here are a few of my favourites.

Jardin de lit, lit de jardin, by Annie Bascoul, 'evokes the erotic poetry of Béroalde de Verville, whose text is on the ground underneath the bed. White and gold are the colours of light, beauty and ambiguity'.

Annie uses the traditional needlepoint lace of Alençon, which is largely inspired by the drawings of plants and gardens and flowers. I was drawn to the beautiful words and sentences which were twisted out of wire and laid, layered beneath the bed creating their own wonderful forms through a lace type structure.

Lace the Final frontier, by Michael Brennand-Wood, is inspired by the diagrammatic, schematic linear designs that a lace maker worked from. His intention through the piece is to 'construct 'a ‘military lace’ emblematic of conflict and the annexing of resources and territory. Imagery for the roundels is drawn from three sources; lace, weaponry, and the Rorschach test. The visual field of the work echoes the instructional, pricked, diagrammatic papers on which bobbin laces are constructed – in this case a fusion of Islamic and Western geometry'.

I loved the overall simplicity in this piece and the intricate complexities up close in detail. As an Art Student I was really influenced by the Futurism movement, it's geometric forms and relationships to technology, represented through layering and collage. This piece really took me back to the feelings I'd discovered in a lot of those works.

One piece which was truly beautiful for its simple complexities was, A thin line between space and matter, by Tamar Frank. This beautiful hyperbolic-paraboloid piece was set inside a blacked-out box inspired by the buildings open-work ornamental iron arches. The only light in the box cleverly lit each thread forming the art work, which dynamically changed in appearance as you walked around the structure. I could have spent hours in there.

In Percieds, Katharina Hinsberg transfer images using a pouncing technique, traditionally used to transfer pattern from paper to cloth by means of pricked holes. The ‘pounce’, a fine powder, was rubbed through leaving a pattern of dots on the cloth. The dots have been drilled through the wall of the exhibition, creating beautiful subtle imagery. The fascination of this piece is in it's appearance from many view points. From a distance the arrangement of these holes look almost floral, reminding me of the petals of a rose.

'Perceids, written with a ‘c’, so as to conjure the association with the French word for drilling,‘percer’. Perceids also stands for the meteor showers in the Perseus constellation, connecting the work to an antique concept which sees stars as holes in the membrane of the sky'. It was interesting to see how the light beyond the work effected the visual appearence.

No Reverse - Lace by Ai Matsumoto. Was an intricately visually stunning piece made of silicone impressions of Lace cloth. 'As the cloth is removed to reveal a new surface layer, the imprint of its memory suggests a loss of the time and labour involved in its making'.

After the Dream, by Chiharu Shiota, takes from the techniques in Lace making to form a beautiful mass of intricately woven black strings.

A dense world of wonderful layers which you can't help but want to touch and climb inside of. I particually liked the fixing details of the piece back to the wall.

Last but not least was probably my most favourite, Lacing Space (detail) by Piper Shepard concentrates on a Point de Gaze style lace from the collection of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery. Piper has 'developed a textile that reflects the compositions of the architecture in the Gas Hall exhibition space, its columns, arches, and lines, with those of the Point de Gaze lace. Interest lies in the connections between textiles and architecture and cloth’s ability to provide shelter, protection, to decorate and ornament space'.


This piece really appeals to the paper cutting enthusiast inside of me and has really inspired me to do some sketching using my own lace resources for some potential pieces of my own.

The exhibition is on until the 19 February 2012,  Admission Free. If you get the chance to go I'd highly recommend it!

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