Tag Archives: lisa walker

Armour/Amore

Like many people I know I feel a bit unprotected, or just a bit wrong, if I forget to put on my metal of a morning. I prefer to assume people are staring at my earrings on the tube rather than the bit of avocado on my face from breakfast. If I could go full man in the iron mask for my commute I would(I wouldn’t, it would be very warm, but if I don’t mention Leonardo Di Caprio in some way I lose his sponsorship).

When speaking about the themes behind her work Jeweller Katerina Glyka has said ‘I decided to build a fortress to defend myself’ and some of her pieces definitely border upon weaponry.

Armour is defined as is a protective covering that is used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object or individual. Within contemporary jewellery making this often more visual than practical.

Yet jewellers whose work strays into the realm of self-defence reference the traditional notion of armoury quite intentionally. These articulated rings by Rokus London and Shahrzad Aliyari elegantly draw the eye and defend the finger.

Rokus-ring

Rokus London

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Shahrzad Aliyari

Chain mail making is a great lesson in perfecting soldering skills and a wonderful way to test your patience. I had a go at connecting a ring to a bracelet with chain mail and was grateful to be making a small panel rather than a full battle shirt.

LW-CHAIN MAIL

Lisa Walker

However it was still markedly less successful than this powerful yet understated use of chain mail by my New Zealand favourite Lisa Walker.

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Jane Bowler

London-based Jane Bowler makes super-fun geometric articulated and plated holographic pieces and takes them to another level with her bridal wear. Perfect for those who want to feel like a goddess going into battle on your special day.

jane bowler bridal

There are amazing collections of armour living at The Wallace Collection in London and The Royal Armouries in Leeds. The V&A also has some impressive pieces (don’t forget to pop into the jewellery gallery for a treat too) and there may be some lurking in a corner if you find yourself in any country houses.

When attacking any project its victory hinges on having the skills as well as a winning plan of attack. Shield yourself from disappointment and conquer a new technique on one of our courses.

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting.

 

 

 

From Junk to Jewels: a new trend for 2017

Eclecticism and extra-large jewellery peppered the catwalks of the collections for Spring/Summer 2017.

Could this be the long-awaited backlash against minimalism and the dainty?

These two trends really appeal to a hoarder- jeweller like me. I save all sorts of objects that I know will one day become something more than their original purpose. While the designers are reaching for lighters, ropes and bike chains, I favour LEGO, toy soldiers and sea glass. Bringing unconventional items into the mix can be a great way of introducing colour to metal work, presenting interesting challenges in setting or creating special findings to show them off.

 Vionnet

I recently discovered New Zealand contemporary jeweller Lisa Walker whose carefully-selected objects for neckpieces include children’s toys, pebbles, kitchen utensils and (in the most unwieldy case) a laptop suspended on a braided rope necklace. (As a wearer you may want to avoid going so big that you can’t leave the house – maybe stick to a Gameboy!) What’s interesting is that Walker is not averse to a more delicate piece of wire work. This contradiction left me feeling that it was the selection of the objects that was key rather than a consistent or conventional aesthetic. Items we select to keep close to us and statements made on gallery walls are not too far removed from each other.

Lisa Walker, 0+0=0 exhibition at Christchurch Art Gallery

So why not embrace your inner hoarder and make a statement? For courses that may help with utilising your found objects in your jewellery making, like Cold Connections, Mixed Media Jewellery, Introduction to Jewellery Making and Make Your Own Silver Findings visit our website or give us a call.

Treasure shouldn’t stay buried

One of my own favourite pieces is a melted LEGO police containment unit. This came from an idea that goes way back to when my brother (now a chef) put a LEGO car in the oven when we were children and it melted into a cool, wobbly but still defined, shape. (Disclaimer: not endorsing melting LEGO in your oven!) The police unit piece is threaded onto a cord from a haberdashery with simple copper wrap finding to secure. It is one of my most complemented necklaces. So it’s always worth keeping hold of broken bits and pieces or experiments for jewellery projects.

 

Hopefully helpful hints:

-See what you have, keep a bead box, keep your mistakes, keep objects and images that interest you or remind you of a particular trip or a time. In the past I have made paper beads by rolling up strips from a comic or the insides of envelopes and securing with pva glue (not a necklace to wear in the shower).

-Find interesting ways of connecting them, see what looks good together. At this stage I find interesting pieces of broken chain or failed experiments from other projects come in handy. Drawing ideas or making a mock up before constructing them can always help develop something more interesting and avoid mishaps with your precious treasures.

What has inspired your personal collection so far this year? Tell us what you have been making.

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting.