Wednesday 1 October 2014

Birthday Blog

It's Islay Spalding Contemporary Jewellery Design's 6th birthday today! (and the actual me's 31st birthday tomorrow...eeek!) So I thought I'd better give you all a wee update of what's been going on.

First of all, big one ups and thanks to jewellery student Kendal Dewar and textile designer Jen Heilbronn for helping out in the workshop this summer. Kendal has been working with me on the Oddgon and Angular Collection, cutting, filing, wet&drying and helping form a collection of pieces which are now available to buy in the Tayberry Gallery. Whilst Jen has taken the Thritty Pings to a new level, turning 12 of my original drawings into 97 different colours and styles of brooches and over 200 different earrings......stay tuned for where to buy (the next task!)

Thritty Pings and Oddgons & Angulars

Another ongoing joint project has been with my workshop buddy Louise Forbes - the Man Pin! These are pins for men, designed to be worn on a lapel, or a kilt...but equally good on a bag or hat, or indeed a woman :) The first series is made from different combinations of four tropical hardwoods: Kambala, Padauk, Ovangkol and Bubinga, and blue, turquoise and lilac resins.  We're working on the rest of our first collection now and sorting some sexy looking backing boards for the pins to be displayed on.

Man Pins

We previewed all the above pieces at the recent Dundee Jewellery Trail, part of Scottish Jewellery Week, an event started this year and driven by the fantastic Kate Pickering. In two months the idea was conceived, planned and carried out, culminating in the Vanilla Ink End of Year Exhibition, '15 Years' an exhibition of 29 Scottish graduate jewellers works, a one day symposium hosted in collaboration with The Incorporation of Goldsmiths of presentations, panel talks, ‘Meet and Make’ networking lunch and, the Jewellery Trail! - a two day open studio event.  I'm looking forward to seeing and being part of making this week grow year by year...go Kate! And the rest of the Dundee Jewellery Massive!

The Workshop

I decided to do something special to mark the occasion so I spent the two days designing and making a kilt pin inspired by my friend Jamie Craig's photo of Dundee.  He takes brilliant photo's around Dundee along with a couple of his friends, you can find their work here - Bonnie Dundee Photography

I just need to get it hallmarked now though.....hallmarking's great and all but it sure is annoying that you can't just finish a piece properly in a weekend! Once hallmarked (waiting for my next batch of commissions to be ready for the same package) it will be available to buy in my online shop....that's right, my ONLINE SHOP! Whoop! There's finally some products in it...kinda the classics just now, some Biomorphs and a wee range of Ready to Wear Kilt Pins.  Got my friend Jody Mitchell, aka PixiJo, to help me out with some photo's of my jewellery on actual people, something I've not quite got round to doing before......thanks once again to the fabulous Jen and Kendal, thrust into my clothes and jewellery and made to stand around garages and doorways for a sunny and fun day!  Used some to make these promo images for the shop - otherwise known as From The Workshop - look out for them and give them a like and share on Facebook later today, would be mighty helpful :)

visit FROM THE WORKSHOP here >>>>

There's been some interesting commissions this summer too -

Silver Kilt Belt Buckle

Columbine Kilt Pin and Cufflinks

Charles Rennie Mackintosh inspired Kilt Pin with Initials

Edinburgh Skyline and Cat Tail Kilt Pin and Cufflinks with Date Notches

Hare Pendant with Diamond Eye

Bowls Bracelet

Granulated Platinum Engagement Ring with Diamonds and Pearl

Rod of Asclepius Lapel Pin with Ebony

Arran and Dundee Shooting Kilt Pin

Skull and Drumsticks Kilt Pin with Ruby and Diamond Eyes, Initials and Date Notches

The Four Friends

Got sucked into hills, islands, rocks, beaches, scenery and the beautiful beautiful stillness, wildness and emptiness of North Uist in July visiting friends. Just saw kilt pins and jewellery everywhere.....and the colours! An inspiring time.

Also been having a bit of fun over on Society6 recently, playing about turning Oddgon & Angular drawings into t-shirts, i-phone covers and all manner of things! 

The other exciting thing this summer has been playing with the Mackenzie Caledonian Pipe Band, we've had our best results in a long time this year getting 2nd in the Europeans and 5th in the Worlds and are now gearing up for a recording in November (don't worry, I'll tell you all where you can buy the CD ;) ) and a concert in the Gardyne Theatre in Dundee on February 27th next year.  Check us oot wi' all oor trophies :)

That's all for now, sorry about the massive blog, should really remember the little and often trick.... ah well.... to the workshop!