Tuesday, 31 March 2009

It's been a while since I last posted. I seem to have been busy with the mundane day to day operations, which keep a household ticking over but do nothing to nurture the creative vibe.
I've put this job off for a long time as it's not one I'm looking forward to doing.
Call it artistic temperament if you like, but I can only be really enthused about one medium at a time and at the moment I'm really enjoying silverwork.
The thing I'm working on at the moment is a stained glass panel for a little project in France.
Deep in the heart of Normandy is a work in progress that has been continuing for five years now.
The majority of the heavy work is done , it only remains to put in the insides before we can get to the exciting part....browsing the broccantes! If you say it quickly, it sounds like hardly any work at all.
This will be only the third stained glass window that I've made. The first one is above the front door of the house I'm living in, where it has been for about 15 years. Maybe I'm not the most prolific worker, once I get started it is a very enjoyable pastime which grows at an amazing rate.
The last piece I did was inspired by a 15th century panel I saw while visiting the Mont St Michel. Very simple geometric design based around diamonds and squares, don't you think that sometimes it's the simplest ideas that work best of all?

Friday, 20 March 2009

All hail Mother Nature, the most worthy of designers

Hello again,
well finally it feels like spring has arrived. With three days of warm sunshine behind us, I can see that now is the time to put together my new seasons collection.
The use of yellow and green enamel is almost subconscious as I follow the rhythm of nature.
My workshop is situated at the end of my garden and all through the winter months I barely thaw out between sessions there. But now I find that inspiration from the unfolding season is all around me.
The blues, greens and fresh colours of the garden and the sun giving everything a splash of gold.
The twitter of the birds as they are doing their thing. The voices of the children playing in the schoolyard. Lawnmowers. Dogs. The occasional police siren reminding me that I am still in the city.
Then the evening draws in and the setting sun casts its amber glow. That is my favourite part of all. Those are the colours that I will recreate.
And until this moment, I hadn't realised why I had felt the urge to put just those colours together.
The ring I made today was one of the simplest ones that I have made so far. Just a concave copper disc attached to a silver shank.
The top of the ring is coloured in the freshest leaf green, the colour of newly burst buds. The underneath of the disc is an opalescent blue. A pale sky blue which has a translucent quality allowing the copper base to glow where the light hits it....just the colour I was telling you about!

Maybe this is exactly the reason why I feel as if I've finally found my true medium in enamel. I love working with metal and gemstones, my magpie tendancies will always vie towards the bright and shiny, whether it be rubies , garnets, sapphires or the many jewel like colours which I can create with a kiln and a little powdered glass, marvelling at the beauty born of such humble origin.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

New Treasure

Last night my long suffering husband finally found time in his busy life to set a few rings for me. Maybe I should be doing this for myself, but he does it so well and much quicker than I could.
So now, after much cajoling and lots of cups of tea I have three brand new, shiny, sparkly rings in my sticky mitt, ever the magpie, the desire to hoard all the treasure that we make never leaves me.
Do other people suffer from this ?
I started selling (or should I say advertising as there's been no sales yet) my stuff on a great little website called etsy at the start of the new year. Even though there's been nothing sold as yet, it's very enlightening. The things that I am sure will be popular prove to be slow, you can never foretell these things, there is no accounting for taste...especially mine!!
Check me out on www.cheekylemur.etsy.com

Made my first wire collet today. It was not something I ever felt the need to do before today and it was surprisingly easy.
The collet I made was to fit a 4mm stone . I think this type of collet would suit a larger stone better as the holes between the wires are rather small at this scale.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

hello, I'm CheekyLemur. This is the first time that I've aired my thoughts publicly...not sure if blogging is gonna be something that comes easily to me.

Today has seen me in the shed, my own private sanctuary where I think and create. It's where magic happens. And on other days.....not.

The kiln was calling this morning, it had been a week since the last time. I had already cut out some little silver heart pendants, domed them and soldered little loops to the back. It's at this stage where I always reconsider whether I really want to enamel them. So smooth, shiny and perfect. There is always the chance that something unforeseen will happen during the enamel process and render them scrap.

No, I really wanted them opalescent white. They hang offset from one side of the heart, the colours now they are done shine subtly through the white as the light hits it, golden oranges and pinks. Reminiscent of a summer sunset.

Now I have to find a way for the camera to do justice to the colour. The best way I have found is to wait until midday and the warm sunlight streams through the window. I wonder how other people light their photos. Florescent strip is just too sterile and tungsten light too orangey.

Let me see if I can upload a couple of photos to show you what I have done.