Toni Mayner - Lightwoods House - 1

Kicked off the week of 16th January with an exhibition of work by one of my colleagues, Toni Mayner, who brings her fine-jewellery skills to the most unlikely of materials, in this case found fragments of wallpaper taken from the rather lovely Lightwoods House - which is about ten minutes' walk from my house and from Toni's house!

Toni Mayner - Lightwoods House - 4

The wallpaper was revealed when the house was being refurbished after many years of neglect and the work Toni has made is quite delightful.

Toni Mayner - Lightwoods House - 1
Toni Mayner - Lightwoods House - 1

The BA students have been working on another of their exciting one-day projects, this time using sheets of paper to make large-scale wearable objects...

Paper Wearable Project - 2

Paper Wearable Project - 3

Paper Wearable Project - 5

Made in the Middle at Rugby Art Gallery - 2

The Craftspace "Made in the Middle" exhibition is in the last venue, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum - it seems like only moments ago it opened in Coventry! I went along for the opening, which was great... really well-attended and nice to catch up with the other makers in the show. The exhibition looks great in the space and if you haven't seen it yet, this is the last chance.

Made in the Middle at Rugby Art Gallery - 1

I'm still very pleased with the collection of my work in this show:

Made in the Middle at Rugby Art Gallery - 5

One of the advantages of being part of a big university is that there are opportunities and events to which I have access and which I would never get to be a part of in a smaller place. This week I had the pleasure of listening to the wonderful Professor AC Grayling speaking.

City Talks - Professor AC Grayling

He was speaking about what "brexit" means for the UK and how it can be stopped. It was a most encouraging talk and I'm glad to know that he is convinced that the UK will remain part of the EU, either immediately or in the longer term.

It doesn't look like it here, but I am pleased to report that the lecture theatre was well-filled! Grayling is an engaging speaker, witty, focused, effortless... my favourite comment of the night was almost an aside, "Theresa May is not the brightest button in the box". Enough said.

We had a new gem-dealer in the School this week, Maria Gross, who enticed the students with displays of stones which can only be described as "luscious"! She called the plates, "Gemstone salads".

Maria Gross - 1

Maria Gross - 2

As someone with an almost synaesthesic urge to taste gemstones when I'm working with them, I very much appreciate this form of display!

Weekend concerts this weekend... all Elliott Carter, performed by the BCMG and associates. Last night was a lecture-recital of his "Epigrams", a marvellously concise set of pieces for piano trio. It was great to hear these explained to us by the players in advance of the full performance tonight.

Elliott Carter - Epigrams - Lecture 1

More on the performance next blog.

I've been working on something rather unusual. In a meeting two weeks ago, I was doing my usual of subconsciously doodling on my notepad...

The Zoe Challenge - WIP - 1

I have reams and reams of this kind of (almost) "automatic drawing" in all of my notebooks. I can actually remember doing this kind of thing when I was a kid - probably still at primary school (and I'd love to find some of those, which I clearly remember drawing on the back of sheets of vinyl wallpaper).

A couple of months ago, Drew Markou suggested that I should do something with these drawings and this last week, Zoe Roberston was overcome with enthusiasm for the same idea, so much so that I decided to accept her "challenge" and actually turn this drawing - the one which enthused her - into a piece of jewellery. The very next page shows me starting to work things out...

The Zoe Challenge - WIP - 2

No found objects. No narrative. Can I cope with this new "pure" process of creating jewellery?

What has been really interesting for me has been turning the original drawing into something much more three-dimensional. There are hints of dimensionality in the drawing, but nothing explicit. Needless to say, much use has been made of CAD in developing the idea and I've now got it into production in silver and stainless-steel:

The Zoe Challenge - WIP - 3

The unexpected bonus is that I had to make two shapes to create the layered effect I was after, completely failing to notice that this would give me the leftovers with which to make a second, related piece!

There will be more...

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