Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas is coming..

So anyone who nips over to my Etsy shop from now until Jan 1st 2012 will receive a sterling silver freebie (pair of studs, pendant etc...Handmade one off to go with your purchase) Either click on this link Or click on my shop window just down the right hand side of my blog.

For Overseas customers, placing your order before the end of the week should guarantee Christmas delivery. UK customers can place orders up until 18th Dec to ensure Xmas delivery :)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Its been a while...

Since I last posted. I moved a few weeks ago and am starting a new job soon so It's taken me away from a lot of my Internet stuff...Pretty stressful time with a lot going on but I'm getting settled now. Where I live now is only temporary...For a year, well 10 months now and because it's only temporary, I decided not to move my old telephone number/land line and Internet connection to the new place. Most people call my mobile anyway. One thing I can't get used to though is having a dongle! Its pretty fast but I have to choose my time of day for it to be that way and for someone who has had the Internet in my home for the past 10 years, and super fast wireless broadband for 5 of those years, its hard (I know there are worse things in life and what did we do before the Internet...I cant remember anymore!)

 I made my first Etsy sale this week..This ring to be exact I also sold 2 of the full sterling silver fidget rings off etsy, for etsy prices which I don't normally do...Them prices are just reserved for Etsy but I'm not really one to pass up on making jewellery for someone who really wants it (or the money) My main collection(under my name) is still a work in progress....
I'm taking my time over it. I'll explain why. New Designers in July was a great experience and I met some great people and got some interest in my jewellery from the general public, but no one from the industry picked up on it. In all honestly, I don't blame them really. Considering my years of experience, my collection was naive, didn't fit well together and maybe even seemed rushed. BUT, thank god for New Designers because It opened my eyes to what I should be doing..What I should have done for my graduation project and what I should have presented at ND. I think the problem was that I had just done 5 years of non stop jewellery/silversmithing/designing studying and by the time I got to the last few months of my last year at uni, to put it bluntly, my mind was knackered (I should also mention that I worked for most of my studies and didn't move to Sheffield to study my degree, instead I did a 140 mile round trip daily to study at Hallam) Anyway, What I'm working on now is well designed, carefully thought out and something I'm very proud of. I think I can say that after all these years...I'm not blowing my own trumpet, I just believe in what I'm working on...Its huge though so I will have to pull it back a bit, but I'm very happy with it. I'll be having a website professionally constructed for me next summer and will work my butt off to launch it/myself in the industry properly. So maybe its a good thing that I can move away from my graduation stuff...Something fresh and new instead.

On a non jewellery note....Its almost Christmas! I've been buying some Philosophy skincare products tonight, even though I probably shouldn't...2 big sets which I'll split up for a few of the females in my family...Will be keeping a few for myself though! They have some gorgeous seasonal boxed collections

Can tell Christmas is coming(well, in 5/6 weeks) cos I'm talking about box sets!
Anyway, Its getting late so will leave it there...Bye for now :) x

PS: Thank you to all who spend their time reading my posts x

Monday, 26 September 2011

More pieces..

Hi, Just thought I would include a few more images from Fireopal & Tilly

Thursday, 22 September 2011

New Shop....

 Hi there
I realised the other day that I haven't posted on here for a month...Warm and sunny August (well some days!) seems like a long time ago now that it's becoming autumnal. I have opened an Etsy shop though, Well I've had it since last year but as I had my last year at uni to finish, I knew It would be around late summer before I got around to setting it up properly. It's called 'Fireopal & Tilly' and is a (or will be) large commercial range of pieces that I hope will be seen as desirable. Its very affordable and I've tried to create the range so that it can be worn in a mix and match sort of fashion. Here are a few images

 I will include the shop link at the end for anyone who would like to have a look :) (That means I hope you will) It's only been open for a few days and already has some 'admirers' on different pieces and the shop itself which I'm really happy about. There are 10 pieces in there at the moment and I'm trying to add around 2-3 listings every day or so.You will notice in the shop that the gold ring from the previous post has been listed. As this was a free re-design and my design (I also asked the lady I made it for if she had any objections, she didn't) I decided to include it in my shop as I have had a lot of interest in it. Just wanted to mention that incase anyone was wondering.
Oh, another thing is that I started my teacher training course...I'm really loving it and have also been told that because I'm actually on the course, I don't have to wait until it's finished to start applying for teaching jobs..My tutor told me that as soon as a teaching job comes up within the design area, I should go for it! And that is what I'll do...Its quite exciting.
Anyway, here's the shop link   bye for now  PS: I always appreciate comments so please feel free x

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Re-design Commission

Hi...Here is the re-design commission I mentioned. I changed the white diamond for a champagne diamond and re-sized the ring to an M.
 Before pictures are the previous post. The customer was really happy with her new ring and put it on immediately (a good sign I think) She liked it so much that she asked me to make her a slightly smaller ring to complement  this one using the original white diamond. So, If she's happy, I'm happy :)
This is just a quick post. Ive been at work today...Tomorrow and Friday will be spent in the workshop working on another new range..The complete opposite to what I have been doing! I will post this weekend. Bye for now :) x

Monday, 8 August 2011

New Commissions & Teacher Training

Hey There
I thought I would write a new post seen as I haven't for a while. I've been so busy since New Designers that I haven't seemed to have had the time, although I probably have..More like I keep forgetting :)
I was excited to see people have followed my blog...Just wanted to say hello and thank you, It's nice to know my blog/posts aren't just falling into obscurity.
As I type I am waiting to hear back from my local college about a tutor/teacher training course I want to go on. Now I have finished my degree, I'm free to do this. It was always the plan when I started 5 years ago. I was going to leave it for a few years because by the time we wrapped up at New Designers I was completely mentally drained..I really didn't think I could spend another year in education but I was thinking that while I am still in 'academic mode' I really should get it done. It's going to be 6 years of my life, and a few people have said 'well you could have been a doctor by now' My reply? Errr well yes, but don't you need doctor brains for that too! ......Just spoken to college, they're emailing me an application so I can enrol asap..Apparently almost all places are gone...Better get my skates on!
Another thing I wanted to mention is that I'm working on a few commissions, re-designing to be exact. I've done quite a bit of this kind of work and I really love it...I just love taking someones tired, old piece of jewellery (quite often hated piece of jewellery ie old engagement/wedding ring) and transforming it..I've had tears of joy before! Now that really is a good feeling(not the tears really but the fact you've made someone THAT happy) The thing is though, when I first started my jewellery/silversmithing education at college and the early times at uni, I would quite often just forget to take before and after pictures..In them manic days of the tightest deadlines and huge workloads, I just wanted to get the job done and get the money! So my portfolio is a bit lacking in the re-design department, so I've taken 5 re-designs on for free...Here's one of them

Scuffed, dented and looking very sorry for itself. The 3.5mm diamond had so much bezel pushed over, it looked 2mm (a big difference especially for a diamond I think...It deserves to be displayed in its full magnificence) The customer wanted it modern, fresh and wearable. The ring is in pieces now, the designs done..I'm on to it. I will post the picture as soon as its finished.
Right, better go now and get that application filled out.
Louise x :)

Friday, 8 July 2011

Back Home.....

I'm back home now after 10 brilliant days in London. The first week at New Designers had been really great. I  met some lovely people and had a lot of interest in my work, which is always great. After we packed up on the Saturday I went and stayed with my other brother and sister in law for 3 days...It was a really nice wind down from the past 3 years, finished by seeing Take That at Wembley(Amazing!!!) on the Tuesday night. The only downside was that I missed my train home at Kings Cross due to the 45 minute tube journey there talking 1hr 10 minutes (yes I know the exact minutes, and it was painful to watch the time ticking by!) I had to literally beg the ticket guy at Kings Cross to let me catch the next train home using my original ticket (could have charged me whatever if not!) I had to go through my entire tube journey, explaining all the delays until he eventually allowed me to catch the next train, and the next train only for which I had 6 minutes to get to! It was so stressful, and because I live a little over 200 miles away, they could have charged me £100 to get home. I should be grateful, but the train I got on was only half full all the way home, so where was the harm in allowing me to get on it without all the fuss it caused....It's just mean spirited really, but hey, thats the way it can work in the UK. Anyway, apart from that it was a great 10 days. I'm now working on my first collection as a professional jewellery designer (Get me! I'm a pro designer now! :) The rest of summer is going to be very busy...I have to get collections for 2 galleries ready by the beginning of August and a full, commercial range ready by mid August. This will consist of around 50 pieces of jewellery...Wearable, fun and tactile, but not found on the high street, if you see what I mean. Right, better get back to it....Bye for now x

Friday, 1 July 2011

New Designers and Price list of Work on Display

Hi there
All is going great at New Designers. I have met some fantastic people and seen some amazing work...and still with 2 more days left! I have had some really wonderful feedback on my jewellery (at the Sheffield Hallam stand...Top floor, very far right corner) and a few enquiries on prices, so I will leave a price list at the end of this post for all pieces that are currently on display at New Designers. If you want a commission at this very moment in time, my turnaround will only be between 2-3 weeks, or if anyone really wants a piece to take home there and then, i will be doing that from Saturday afternoon for the last few hours of New Designers.
i will be posting pictures of us there later next week and I will list my fave designers from the event(if there's enough room on my blog!)

A big thank you to everyone for taking the time to look at my work x

Jewellery Price List:

Contrast Lariat with one 2mm white lab diamond- £120

Erosion Brooch, silver plated with sterling silver granulation and one 2mm white lab diamond- £90

Contrast Rings with one 2mm champagne lab diamond(set of two)-£110

Chunky Erosion necklace, silver plated with sterling silver granulation and one 2mm champagne lab diamond set in 9ct gold-£70

Erosion Earrings, all sterling silver with one 2mm champagne diamond in each-£45 pair (these are a matching pair with slight differences)

Sterling Silver and 9ct gold granulation ring with a 1ct white lab diamond, coupled with a single band and gold and silver granulation-£250 pair of rings. note= This pair can be made completely in sterling silver for £170

As with all my jewellery, it can be custom made completely to your own requirements..No job is too big or small.

*Prices may be subject to change after New Designers*

Thank you for your interest, I'm very grateful for all your support. Louise x

Monday, 20 June 2011

Graduation Work And Beyond

Hey, pictured below are images of my graduation work. This is on display right now as part of the Creative Spark Exhibition (see post below) Some of these pieces will also be at New Designers in London at the very end of June. Right now I'm working on a collection all based on my graduation work. For the most part I won't be recreating any of the pieces exactly but I am making a series of 'pod pendants' on tan leather cord and a variety of silk coloured cord. Smaller 'oozing' brooches with matching wire/torque style necklaces with earrings to complement all of the work mentioned. I will also be adding one off rings (like the diamond ring) in the most popular sizes...I will be more than happy to remake any one off design though. Anyway, Here are the pictures....
                                                                    Contrast Lariat
                                                                     Erosion Brooch

                                                                Contrast Layer Rings
                                                                Contrast Necklace
                                                                    Exhibition shots

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Creative Spark now on...

Creative Spark exhibition is now on. The Metalwork and Jewellery exhibition can be found on the third floor of the Sheaf Building at Sheffield Hallam University(just across the road from Sheffield train station) It runs from 11th - 25th June...Opening hours are 10am - 4pm (you can find fashion, product design and furniture there too)

 The Private view on Friday was great and everyones work looked amazing! Can't quite believe its finally finished...

Here are a few photos from the exhibition....I don't want to post images that includes other peoples work..The reason being is the exhibition has only just started and I'm sure other students will want to post their work themselves on their own blogs/sites, so just a little preview

Creative Spark

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Taking my own professional photos??..

I'm not that best photographer in the world...The best ones I have ever taken have happened either by mistake, or when i wasn't trying, so I'm not loving the fact that I am going to have to start taking pictures of my jewellery myself....I would love to have a professional photographer on tap anytime I wanted but that wouldn't be such a financially smart move just as I embark on a new business. So, I pushed aside my Cybershot(great for everyday life- terrible for shiny, sparkly jewels!) and bought a new camera..It is soooo much better at capturing the jewellery in the way I want to present it.....

This is a later addition I'm working on this week to add to my collection at my degree show..The bezel isn't quite finished yet...It's gold and silver with a 1 carat lab created diamond, oh and the hand isn't mine..I don't have such smooth, mark free hands after making jewellery for 5/6 years!
As for the shots....It's still early days :)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

A Glimpse of Graduation work...

Just a little preview of a lariat I have made....This will be displayed in my degree show cabinet along with another necklace, a brooch, and lots of rings!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

New Designers Here I Come!

Well actually, I have my degree show first which is exciting but New Designers will be an amazing opportunity to show what I can do and maybe gain some recognition. I spoke with one of my tutors yesterday after going in to pick up my final work that had been assessed the previous week....I wasn't told my final grade, not sure anyone was but we all have a pretty good idea of what overall degree grade we have. I also know which pieces will probably be going to ND and I am pretty pleased as I think they represent the kind of designer I am at this moment in my life. All I know at this time is that I've passed my degree and that me and my work are going to be set free into the world this summer! :)

I will post images soon.....My work involves a lot of what I specialise in...Lots of granulation...Flush set diamonds...Reticulated silver...chunky pieces, delicate pieces...9 and 18ct gold, sterling silver...silver plated gilding and brass and delft casting. Im going to book myself in with the photographer next week/early week after to finish off my photographs so I can get my press packs sorted for ND....I'm sooo excited!