It is only three days until I fly to Chicago to help out at the SNAG Stand at SOFA. Obviously, I am hoping that lots of Crafthaus people who are there will stop by to say "hello" and introduce themselves to me, SNAG member or otherwise.

 


 

I've been at a bit of a loose end for the past few weeks. After finishing some items to wear at SOFA, I was waiting on getting the go-ahead for a collaborative project with my friend and colleague, photographer Simon Murphy (who took the picture of me looking smart which heads my profile), several young people who have been involved in violence in some way, and the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). We've now had a few meetings and it is now at the stage where we are working out exactly how the NSPCC will work with the project. My own reasons for getting them involved was to give a very excellent and important organisation some publicity, to ensure that the young people have the support they need when looking at their feelings around what could be distressing reminiscences, and to ensure that there is not even a whiff of exploitation. The end product of this show is going to be four pieces of jewellery, four photographs and four written narratives and will be presented initially as part of the "ENOUGH: Violence, Artists Speak Out" exhibition at the SCC in Pittsburgh late next summer.

More to follow!

 


 

Stephen Bottomley has his first retrospective at the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh opening on Tuesday 7th November. It should be an interesting show. Stephen is head of Jewellery and Silversmithing at Edinburgh College of Art and his work has a quiet, understated quality which belies the way in which he plays with materials, especially new and high-tech materials.

 

 

This brooch is made from black diamonds, enamel, aerospace "foam", gold and silver.

The catalogue can be viewed here.

 


 

I've mostly just been pottering about in the workshop, making up fairly straightforward sets of cufflinks - which suddenly seem to be very popular - and completing this commission for a woman who had survived a freak tornado!

 

Tornado Pendant - 5

 

I've also been revisiting the old "Spoon Skull" idea, using silver-plated junk shop spoons to make frivolous skull pendants. I've been combining these with the little silver antlers which I cast for the belt buckle last month:

 

Antlered Spoon Skull Pendant - 11

 

The antlers also found their way onto this... I have absolutely no idea what this is about, but it made me laugh:

 

Wooden Gemstone With Antlers Pendant - 3

 

The "gem" is made of African Blackwood and was carved for me by Lucie Veilleux in Canada. Somehow they just look right together!

When I left the workshop on Friday, another Spoon Skull with antlers was underway:

 

Second Antlered Spoon Skull - WIP - 2

 

I will end with the rash purchase I made from Marcia Lanyon, my stone-dealer, who also visited last week. What on earth am I to do with these HIDEOUS - but somehow compelling - Spongebob-style carvings in pink opal? 

 

Pink Opal Starfish

 

 

I couldn't resist them.

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