Living in a London flat does not lend itself to creativity. You can’t normally hang things on the walls, there isn’t the space for big canvases and the close neighbours mean the jewellery hammers have to stay silent. But having reached the edge of the creativity cliff, I needed an outlet. London Jewellery School; enter stage left.
Deep in the heart of Hatton Gardens (London’s jewellery quarter) the London Jewellery School runs short courses & diploma courses in everything jewellery related; from silver to beads. I highly recommend their classes – the Soldering Masterclass did wonders for my technique, but since all I needed was the space and the tools I decided to rent one of their benches for the day.
So I had eight hours stretching ahead of me, and nothing but silver and solder to fill it. I knew that I wanted to make stacker rings but that was about as far as I got. So I made a cup of tea and just started sawing.
For the entire day I didn’t stop. There was no plan or any sort of method, if something didn’t work I either turned it into something else or just scrapped it and moved on. While I waited for one thing in the pickle (don’t ask, its a jewellery thing), I started on another. There was not a single other thought in my head, I was just wrapped up in the joy of creating.
It was the most pure form of mindfulness that I have experienced since coming to London. Every sort of thought or worry was blocked out as I tried to avoid burning my eyebrows off. And the nice thing is that as well as mental peace and equilibrium, I also got the pretty rings in the picture above to wear everyday as a reminder.
It costs £30 to rent a bench from 10am to 5pm (they let me stay a little later!) and the price includes tea and biscuits & my materials were around £30.
One of my favourite New York museums is the Museum of Art and Design (or MAD for those in the know). When I was here a few years ago they has a phenomenal exhibition called Radical Knitting and Subversive Lace – a kooky enough memory to search out this museum again. Turns out in the intervening years MAD has moved into the fancy new building above.
I was lucky enough to be there while a jewellery exhibition was on. Now, bear in mind that not many of these were meant to be warn; I guess they are more a convenient format for some art. So, here are three of my favourites:
This is Golden Wings (part of the Clockwork Love series) by Frank Tjepkema. I think I like it because of the link to clockwork; it turns a frivolous but pretty piece of jewellery (after all, jewellery is nothing if not frivolous and pretty*) into something with a hidden functional meaning.
This is a series of broaches called String of Pearls with a Gold Clasp by Kim Buck. Its a clever use of negative space, telling you all that you need to know by taking the object away. I also find it entertaining that no one could ever wear this and get the full story, it would just be an abstract square with some indentations.
Necklace for National Mourning II by Edward Lane McCartney below I found surprising. I instantly dismissed it as I walked past as a silly thing, just an oversized and not even that pretty necklace (the diameter was about the size of me). But since my whanau were taking their sweet time looking around, I had cause to take a second look. Turns out it was entirely made up of small army men, tanks and planes painted gun metal grey. Actually quite cool.
* To buy some frivolous but pretty of your own just click here!
A few days ago I was so overjoyed by sun returning to London that I thought I would share some of my happiness. So… here comes the runawaykiwi competition to win one of my beautiful sterling silver necklaces!
It is now snowing again, but the competition continues. To enter just ‘like’ my Facebook page and comment on this status with the place you always wanted to travel to.
Because after all, jewellery is way better then sunshine.