Monday, 12 May 2014

Kilt Pins, Plaid Brooch and Cufflinks

A few of the Kilt Pins I've recently been making.

A Plaid Brooch and a wee pair of Cufflinks too.

 Anchor Kilt Pin
Designed for someone in the Merchant Navy.

 Thistle and Shamrock Plaid Brooch with the initials C and G

 Lambton Worm Kilt Pin with Sapphire Eye
Based on the legendery creature that arose from the River Wear and was slain by Sir John Lambton.

 Murdoch Family Crest Kilt Pin

 Italy and Scotland Cufflinks

 Sword Kilt Pin with initials and Aquamarine

Thistle and Shamrock 2014 Kilt Pin

I've now opened an online shop! Hooray! As well as being able to buy kilt pins online you can now buy my jewellery too :) Having a bit of a soft launch to make sure it's working properly so click here to have a sneaky peek.

Still a lot more products to be added and extra photos of the ones available already, but please go check it out, any comments are greatly appreciated, thank you!


Friday, 18 April 2014

10 mins before band...

Oh what a beautiful day! Just cycled up the road from my workshop and now I'm sitting by my window in my flat overlooking sunny Dundee and the Tay...meant to be getting drum music ready to give to the kids at pipe band practice soon but thought I'd grab 10 minutes to write this as I've just done what I've done so many times and written a blog post in my thought I'd better get it down quick!

I write a lot of blog posts in my head, I used to do the same with diary entries.  I kept a journal style diary when I was a young teenager (the best time of life to do this I'd say!), stories of so many first times and happy memories, I'm glad I wrote them down!

It's not always the actual stories though, but seeing the pages and reading the words can jog the brain into new memories. I've always liked memories, and I've always been pretty good at remembering things from my childhood and how I felt as a child and growing up...I think it's important as an adult to remember these feelings and experiences, it's a thing none of us should ever lose.  But then as I started to grow up I wrote less often and used photographs instead, I have a couple of excellent photo albums (yes real photos!!) from my student days, all organised, and even a few VHS tapes of our silly times!

But now it's all online! It's what I love about the internet and social media, especially in my line of work, I feel so integrated with my work and everything I do feeds into inspiring what I'll make next, which then feeds out again into memory joggers of what I was doing/how I was feeling at the time. I record so much of my work, what inspires me or makes me happy on facebook or instagram that now it's like my diary.  A lot of people would say social media is an edited version of ourselves but of course it is, we edit ourselves as people for different situations all the time, always have done! A negative feeling might slip through on my personal facebook page now and again, maybe even on instagram, but the positive stuff is what I want to remember, I'll learn from the negatives.

Can't really remember the point I was trying to make, and I need to go and get ready now, but anyway I think it was something about I should write in this blog more :) I used to write a bit more personal stuff but I feel the last wee while has all been photos of kilt pins, mind you that is this and this is that anyway. I think it's just the sunshine making me feel all contemplatey (no time to find the correct word or sentence structure there)

Here's a photo of my lovely view :) .....must dash!

Friday, 31 January 2014

Last of the 2013 Kilt Pins

Well, I guess it's Happy New Year....wee bit late but there we go! Thought I'd share a selection of some of the bespoke Kilt Pins I worked on before Christmas with you before rambling on about what else I've been up to, so here you go!

Celtic Spanner 

Doon Pearl Kilt Pins
Outlines of the Rivers Ayr and Doon with the customers Doon Pearl halved.

Mustang Cobra Kilt Pin and Cufflinks
Silver and resin, inspired by the Mustang Cobra and the customers initials: CAM.

New Zealand Fern Kilt Pin, Brooch and Cufflinks
Fern done three ways!

New Zealand Kilt Pin with Koru

Twit Twoo!

Maori Tattoo Kilt Pin
Designed to match the clients tattoo.

Polynesian Turtle Kilt Pin

Bit of a theme running through a few of those designs, just coincidence! Isn't it strange how things turn out?  

Every now and then I get the chance to make things in other metals too! Below is an 18ct Gold pendant, made with the customers own chain and diamond.

So things have been busy in the workshop so far this year, and not too cold. (think that still might be to come....although so long as there's snow to ski on I'm happy!)

Been working on some wood and silver kilt pins with my workshop buddy Louise, something I've been wanting to get started on for a while so that feels great! She's been making an excellent selection of 'Man Pins' too, kilt pins/brooches from hardwoods...they are so beautiful! There's been a few photos from the workshop been posted on Instagram, follow @islayspalding and @louisecforbes for a peek at what's going on.

As well as some interesting Kilt Pin commissions, I'm working on an unusual engagement ring, getting to play with more metals by making platinum and palladium weddings rings, making bits and pieces of my new jewellery collection and finishing up a great big silver belt buckle!

Also got an interesting side project on the go creating some illustrations for an ebook, something a bit different! I love drawing so it's been fun but it made me realise it's been a while since I drew 'real' things, that aren't kilt pins and pieces of jewellery of course, looking forward to seeing it all come together, I'll let you know when it does! Meanwhile here's a sneaky peek - 
Time to stop procrastinating and head out in the rain, doing some big solders in the workshop this afternoon and got a cushion sale to visit later before band practice......have a good one!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Fairbairn-Sykes Kilt Pin

The Fairbairn-Sykes Kilt Pin is now available to buy!
Please have a look at my website for ordering details and delivery times.

The design is based on the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife, more commonly known as the Royal Marines Commando Dagger as it features in their insignia. The knife was made famous in World War II when issued to the British Commandos, the Airborn Forces, SAS and many other units, especially for the Normandy Landings in June 1944. (wikipedia)

The Kilt Pin is cast from solid Sterling Silver and each one is stamped with it's own edition number.  It measure 95mm in length and has an oxidised black handle and a brush finished blade.  The pin is made from a strong, silver coloured base metal and his hinged at the top with a rollover catch.  The Kilt Pin is hallmarked in Edinburgh and comes in a presentation box with a certificate of authenticity.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Kilt Pins, Brooches and Cufflinks

It seems that these three things have become my specialty of late!  Over the past couple of years my practice has taken a slightly different direction than what I originally intended, commissioned items are now mostly what I make. I do enjoy it, I really enjoy it! But I sometimes I feel the artist inside me misses exploring my own ideas rather than someone else's. (according to the little red wiggly line 'else's' isn't a word....well I don't know what else to say there so that's that.)

Plan to remedy that though, I should have a bit more free time soon as I'm leaving the OTC after 12 years, my other part of life as an Army Drum Major (again, never part of the plan..isn't it strange how life turns out) is coming to an end. I'm a bit sad, but mostly happy, and I've just spent an amazing couple of weeks in Moscow with them parading up and down Red Square so I feel satisfied with what I've done and ready to go.

So the plan is to turn some of the drawing I do into real life things! I've had money put aside for a print making session for ages now, it's something I've never done, but always fancied, and I'm terrible at making time for these things!! So, Tuesday nights (and the occasional weekend throughout the academic year, plus a week winter camp and 2 week annual camp) will now be drawing time! Yay! Pens and pencils, see you next Tuesday!

In the meantime, here is a selection of some of the commissioned pieces I've been making over the past, well 10 months really, not been too good at updating the ol' blog of late...preferring the quickness of Instagram really to fire up photos of work in progress and inspiration, so please follow me there if you use it, you'll find me @islayspalding. Also I'm better at pictures than words. :) Enjoy!

 Aberfeldy Mod Kilt Pin and Brooch
Designed as retirement presents for two committee members and to celebrate the Aberfeldy Mod's 90th Anniversary.  The kilt pin has a cut out of Loch Tay and the pipe score for 'The Atholl Highlanders'.  The brooch features the Lawers Range hill line and the suns rays, taken from the Royal National Mod's emblem, the overall shape is based on a ClĂ rsach.

 Bali Kilt Pin
Outline of Bali merging into an etching of a cycle route down Scotland and notches representing the date.

 Bird of Pray Kilt Pin
Date notches and hillscapes, roller printed feather texture.

 Borseth Crest Kilt Pin

 DLD Kilt Pin
The initials DLD with a thistle set into a notched frame.

 Fiddle Kilt Pin
Form inspired by the shapes found in the fiddle, date notches and a photo-etching of the score for 'Crossing the Minch'

 KJB Kilt Pin

 Lemonwood Kilt Pin

 LM Kilt Pin
The initials LM topped with a thistle head containing a garnet.

 Oak Leaf Kilt Pins
Two kilt pins made for a civil partnership, split by the River Don and containing a photo-etched oak leave design and notches representing the date.

 Old Man of Stor Kilt Pin
Hillscape of The Three Sisters on Skye running down the centre, topped off with layers of silver making the shape of the rock feature, The Old Man of Stor.

 Rose and Thistle Kilt Pin
A design inspired by the illustrations on the couples wedding stationary with the initials E and C wrapped round the stems.

 Dundee from Wormit Kilt Pin

 Thistle and Bee Kilt Pin and Cufflinks
The thistle and bee design is taken from the Ferguson Clan Crest.

Yin and Yang / Rhino and Swan Kilt Pin and Pendant
When sat together these pieces make a styalized yin and yang design and the co-orinates for the couples favourite viewpoint, etched into the silver, join up. The kilt pin is inspired by the horns of a rhino, and the pendant the neck of a swan. When together the notches represent the date of their owners wedding.

Thanks for reading/looking! And if this has inspired you please send your commission requests to love to hear your ideas!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

On a bus

I'm on a bus, going to Edinburgh to meet a few friends and pop in to the West End Craft Fair, and I was just thinking about all the things that get done and how we don't really know who does them. Like all the average folk that build roads, build buildings, bridges, ships, planes all the crazy things about the place! It never fails to amaze me that we manage to pull together as a team and make these things happen, whatever part you play in it. It got me thinking then about the folk who don't look around and wonder. I heard a story recently about a women who was trying to find a job, she'd been on job seekers allowance for years after losing her job, I can't remember exactly what she did, it was some sort of admin job, but she couldn't see past only being able to do exactly the same job so she finding it difficult to find a new one. The person working at the job centre asked of there was any other jobs she could do, anything she had experience or anything she wanted to do or try out. The women seemed stumped and said there was nothing else she could think of, nothing else she had ever even imagined doing, whether achievable or not, she just didn't have the imagination to see beyond what she knew already. Eventually she replied, asking the job centre employee what their job was like, saying it looked good as it was sitting down, she could perhaps do that? 
Perhaps we need more inspiration, more pride in what we do to inspire others to join in and contribute, let's shout about our achievements, however small or seemingly insignificant, what it goes towards to become a whole can be magnificent. I'd love to know who laid those bricks, who painted that wall, who planted those flowers, who cleaned that street, and of course who decided all these should be done in that way! Perhaps that information being out there would make people take a bit more responsibility and pride in their actions, and therefore inspire others to do the same. Salute the little people! Lots of little things go to make one big thing! We should thank the bin men, I'd love to see a notice board in the city centre with the faces of the people that had kept our streets tidy that day, perhaps it would be harder to drop litter when you knew who was picking it up? We should thank the tradesmen who build our infrastructure, I'd love to see a website where you could see the people involved, from the architects and planners to the person who painted the railings, perhaps it would be harder to vandalise if you knew who made it? 
I'm not saying this is solution to people finding jobs, I've just been watching too much Mad Men so everything's turning into advertising campaigns at the moment. And I realise it's a bit more difficult than just being inspired enough to get off your arse and broaden your horizons a bit, and in a lot of ways, the problem lies in the hands of people who won't ever take responsibility and are so beyond reality they probably don't even realise, or worse, they do but don't give a fuck because they're quite happy thank you and there's bigger things to worry about. 
Should probably sign off before I get ranty, plus I'm about to cross the Forth and want to look at the bridges. I just want everyone to be happy and nice to each other really, help each other out and make good things happen and things to be beautiful! Same old shit.  I'll try blog about some jewellery next time, I don't usually spew my thoughts out everywhere, I'm not particularly confident about constructing an argument or giving my views on things, but you know, bus journeys get samey. 

Guid bridge. Pity about the rain. #scotland