Silver and Sparkle

We missed Diana in 2016 and it seems so did our customers.  Unfortunately she was unable to do either of our Christmas fairs, but we’re hoping she’ll be back with us this year.  Here’s an article we wrote about Diana and her jewellery company Silver and Sparkle back in 2015.

Diana Lambert is the designer and maker behind Silver and Sparkle. She’s been in business for more than ten years, designing, primarily, sterling silver jewellery. She exhibits and sells her work through galleries across the UK, online, and at art and craft events and Country shows, mostly in the north of England.

“I had a 20 year career in IT, one of my final jobs being Head of IT for a major financial institution. I did some evening classes as a means of escaping the stress of my job, one of which was jewellery-making. Then I finally decided I wanted to get out of the corporate world, and start my own business. Deciding to give up my well-paid, secure ‘real’ job, and start up my own small business. It was very scary, but I wouldn’t go back in to the corporate world for anything.

“I tried various disciplines, but working in silver was what I found I enjoyed, and it was also something I can do in quite a small space (i.e. the spare room!) without huge amounts of equipment.

During the quieter Winter months after Christmas, I enjoy messing about with textiles as a break from silver.

“I use a variety of fairly traditional silver-smithing techniques – piercing, planishing, forming, texturing, soldering, polishing etc. I learnt the basic techniques at evening class and then the rest is pretty much self-taught, although each year I attend a week long residential Silversmithing course at West Dean College in West Sussex to hone my existing skills and learn new techniques

“I have a studio based at home. It’s just me doing everything so you have to be buyer, designer, maker, accountant, stock taker, web designer, administrator, market researcher etc all in one! The biggest challenge is finding the right market for your work and making any kind of sensible living!

What I enjoy most about my work is being my own boss and meeting customers at shows and events – it can be a be isolating working on your own for yourself, so it’s good to get out to meet not only customers, but fellow makers.”

Anita Carter

Back in November, one of our newcomers to Design@HEART really impressed us with her gorgeous work.  We are hoping she’ll be back again next year!

Anita Carter is a desiger and maker of copper artworks, producing beautiful intricate mini-sculptures under the name of Silvery Moon.

Here’s what she has to say about her work:

I am a designer and maker of copper artworks.

Influenced by my love of nature, each artwork is individually handmade in my home studio in Leeds.

Each design is sketched, drawn, then hand-cut and assembled using copper sheet, copper wire and vintage keys then finished with a patination and varnish.

Copper is an excellent, versatile medium to work with and offers endless design opportunities. Going forward it is my intention to produce larger showpieces, scenes encompassing a variety of animals.

I’ve been making artworks for two years now and sell my designs at events such as design-led craft fairs, county show and stately homes. Selling my work at such events is not only enjoyable as one meets like-minded designers offering a variety of unique handcrafted products but is also beneficial as people who appreciate quality and originality visit and purchase. I also handle an increasing number of commissions.

Previously I enjoyed a long career in advertising and marketing in London and Manchester eventually retiring from this to open a gallery in North Yorkshire showcasing the work of British designers. Poor health five years later led to a change in direction and meant having to work from home. I had always loved metal work art in sculpture and decorative pieces both in their form and feel so working with copper became a practical and attractive option.

After much research and experimentation, the design of copper artworks developed and evolved into what they are today with new designs always forming for the future.

 

Bethanie Yeong Papercuts

One of our most popular stalls last year was Behanie Yeong’s papercuts.  If you bought one of her beautifully intricate works of art or received one for Christmas, here’s a bit about Bethanie and her work:

Bethanie Yeong Papercuts is relatively new. Bethanie started operating as a business in April 2015, but she’s been working with paper since she was young.

“I have always cut things out of paper. I used to make stencils for printmaking and relief work, however my stencils became more and more intricate, they became a piece of artwork on their own. I studied Illustration at University, I have tried a large range of techniques and used a variety of materials. Papercutting was something I was able to do at home without spending a lot on the machine/materials needed.”

Papercutting

Bethanie starts a piece by making her designs digitally. She then prints them out on the reverse of the final piece, and starts cutting. She uses a very sharp scalpel and a cutting mat. It is a time consuming process, but the end results are unique pieces. They are finished off with custom made frames, which makes each one extra special.

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Bethanie works from home, in her spare-room studio. “All my mess is in the spare room, so it’s like a studio as I don’t think you can do anything else in there!”

After graduating from her degree in Illustration, Bethanie did an internship with acclaimed illustrator and papercutter Owen Gildersleeve. “His work is amazing and he has a lot of talent! I really enjoyed working with him, and it really helped me work out what I wanted to do. I realised I wanted to make small pieces for everyone to have in their homes, rather than making a large piece for an advertisement that would later be stored in a drawer and never seen again.”

Business Success

Bethanie has always wanted to have her own business, and she really enjoys it. Though like most artists, she finds the paperwork a bit of a chore! She has recently had a big breakthrough :

“I received a very large wholesale order where my papercut bikes will be displayed behind the check in desks of 236 hotels! It was hard to get through as they wanted them quite quickly, but it was amazing at the same time! I am not sure if I am allowed to say what the hotel chain is yet, but they will be all around the world, which I am still finding hard to comprehend.”

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The Future

The excitement of this hasn’t gone to Bethanie’s head though. She knows building a business takes time. “I wish to create expand my range of maps and designs and to sell in more independent shops. I currently also have a part time job while also managing my business. It would be amazing if I could just do my business full time, however I don’t think this will be in the near future.”

There may be a way to go for Bethanie’s business, but in meantime she still gets a thrill from the fact that people actually purchase her work and love it. “I am privileged to be able to make what I want and other people to like and even buy them.”