Who’s who at Design@HEART 2019

Just two days to go!

10am-4pm at Headingley HEART Centre, Bennett Road, Headingley, Leeds LS6 3HN

Here’s a round up of our artists and craftspeople.  We have some old favourites but plenty of new stalls too.  We hope to see you there!

 

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Inkylinky by Liz Samways

I’m a Leeds-based jeweller and printmaker, working primarily in silver and copper which is etched & engraved using techniques commonly found in printmaking. My work is inspired by the landscape, as viewed on a flat plane through the train window and aerial views, and is influenced by English landscape painters, printmakers, & surface-pattern designers, as well as my background in garden design. I love the textures, mark-making and unpredictability of the printmaking techniques I use, which I also translate into my jewellery and metal pictures to make pieces which will never be identical.

Where appropriate, I like to add colour using traditional materials – patination recipes, vitreous enamels, and sepia ink. Exploring the chemistry of these processes in itself provides inspiration which means life is never dull!

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Carbon Art by Ceri Wood

I am a Horsforth-based artist specialising in pencil-drawn bespoke maps and landscapes of the local area.

I have always loved monochrome art and the striking effects that can be achieved from simple media such as pen and pencil.

Pencil has always been my favourite medium and I have recently diversified from drawing landscapes to creating personalised maps of people’s favourite locations. The maps developed from wanting to create mementos that represent special places, but in a unique way that differs from anything else.

Commissions so far have ranged from counties to countries and have celebrated occasions such as births, engagements and weddings. It’s always exciting to find out what location I’m going to draw next, and my geography is improving with each commission!

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TM Vintage Leeds

I started TMVintageLeeds back in 2016 from a love of old cameras, I am really a huge photography fan and it seems that a lot of old cameras become neglected and unused. I took this thought as an opportunity to turn them into something that I love and that other people can use and love too!
The box brownies have a lovely form and are so aesthetically pleasing to me that I thought they would make beautiful lamps.  This initially started out with me making them for friends and relatives, morphed into the small craft business today. I love providing things at a reasonable cost so others can love them as much as I do.  This is more therapy for myself rather than a business and I love working with beautiful items….and then I found more things that I love that are neglected, forgotten about or simply just unloved.

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THE Creative S P A C E

I create individual handmade books, blank ones with beautiful covers and creative ones with my poems or quotes in.  Books are touchable art, and I enjoy making stand-alone pieces, which are functional as beautiful notebooks, sketchbooks or journals. I embellish covers with machine and hand embroidery.

I use recycled paper and reuse packaging and my aim is to recycle completely once my current materials are used up, making my own ribbon and reusing paper from junk mail for the covers. Each book is hand sewn and finished.

A lifetime’s love of words, books, paper and making is now converted into a business. I also sell cards of my own designs.  As an art student I was told I couldn’t draw, so I made instead (sewing, dressmaking, embroidery, jewellery, anything craft-based) and I bring these skills to my books.

I teach mindfulness and creativity workshops and incorporate a loving and attentive approach to everything I create.

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Creation Crafts

Lampshades using beautiful japanese papers

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Goss Bag by Annie Lawson

I am a cartoonist who has progressed into ‘cartooning in wool’. My knitted phone cases are flip-top design and are sturdy, being each one knitted by myself. There are also ‘key slugs’ to keep bunches of keys in, and knitted bumblebees that have not use other than embellishment. I have also recently added fabric holdalls to the sturdy bag range. My drawn cartoons also feature, in the form of greeting cards printed at home on elephant dung paper. I love making useful things that are beautiful and often humorous. ‘Keep it Material’ is my motto – I keep to a small phone! My studio is with East Street Arts in Leeds.

 

 

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Sarah Dunton

I am a potter, printmaker, painter, illustrator and gardener. I originally trained as a fine artist at Leeds University, and since then I have continually worked as a painter and maker. I gain my inspiration from the natural world – plants and birds – and I also love to make images of people at peace and enjoying their gardens. This inspiration is a thread running through all the media in which I work. I learned to make pots at the Swarthmore Centre and now make these at home in my studio, hand-building my pots, so no two are the same. They tend to be decorated with birds and leaves. I have made many pieces to commission, including illustrations for the health service. pots for wedding presents, and paintings as gifts.

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Amy Jade Prints

I use traditional printing methods to create fine art prints and products. These are often inspired by folklore, mythology and natural history.

After graduating with a degree in Illustration and Animation from Loughborough University I moved back to Yorkshire where I continued to experiment with technique, materials and design.

My process starts with a pencil drawing, which is then transferred onto lino before carving and printing. This hands on process means every piece is unique.

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Badgers Garden

We used to have a naughty dog called Badger and if ever he didn’t come when called, we knew he would be eating the best raspberries from the canes. We started to make jam from those raspberries to gift to friends and family. As time past we grew more fruit and vegetables and that’s how we started.

Badger is no longer with us but we still grow produce in his garden that we use to turn into jams and chutneys. We have a wide selection of flavours to suit most tastes and we love to experiment with new ingredients.
Our spoon full of wonder is from garden to jar.

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Rogers Ink

Carolyn Hird-Rogers, the artist and designer behind Rogers Ink is inspired by the dramatic landscape of the Yorkshire countryside and a love of mid 20th century Scandinavian surface pattern design. The moods of the Dales and Moors are expressed in the mono-print technique used to create hand inked papers. These unique papers are cut and collaged to build large landscape images and smaller greeting cards. The windswept and hill top stands of trees, cow parsley and dandelions are stylised, digitally drawn, printed, hand cut and added to the landscapes. These digital drawings then find there way into strong coloured landscapes on small notecards, beautifully presented in boxed sets of eight.

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Silver Moon Glass

I am a Leeds based designer maker working in fused, leaded and copper foiled stained glass from my local studio. My background in 3D Design (BA Hons) and Fine Jewellery (City & Guilds) compliments my studies and work in the various glass techniques I use. Much of my work is influenced by a lifelong passion for wildlife and nature, inspiration comes from observing colour, light, form, pattern and texture. As a keen photographer, I often reference my own images of seascapes, landscapes and wildlife, before translating the subject into glass. Powders, frits, stained glass and traditional stained-glass painting are used, each texture and colour carefully chosen to compliment the subject and create a well-balanced finished piece.

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AJC Paper Art

I am a self taught paper cutter with a background in Design and Printmaking. When creating a new design I seek inspiration from contemporary surface and pattern design and combines this with a fascination for the detail in old botanical illustrations.
The depth in my 3 dimensional work is created by layering intricately cut sheets of paper, and depict woodland animals and birds in their natural habitat. I then emboss and curl the feathers to give the subject more body.
I am currently experimenting with LEDs to light some of my larger pieces, which adds an element of design to my work.

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Silver and Sparkle

I set up Silver and Sparkle in 2006. I work from my small studio in West Yorkshire, designing and making my own range of jewellery and other objects primarily, but not exclusively, in silver.

Whilst I am primarily self-taught, I undertook an initial course at the Yorkshire Craft Centre and each year I attend a week-long in-depth Silversmithing Courses at West Dean College in Sussex to refresh and hone my skills.

I particularly specialise in making hand-forged geometric-shaped links for pendants, necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

To compliment the silver I also use semi precious stones, freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals.

I do find it difficult to pin down where the inspiration for my designs comes from, but the many hours spent walking in the Yorkshire Dales and our local woodlands have a significant influence on my work.

I have exhibited several times at the annual British Craft Trade Fair and a number of exhibitions within Yorkshire. I currently sell my work at various Country Shows and Art, Craft & Design events, as well as through a number of galleries throughout the UK.

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Now Then Sunshine

I’m a hand-lettering artist who creates cards and wall art from original watercolour paintings. I use hand-drawn fonts to bring quotes, phrases and slogans to life: sometimes with a Yorkshire theme, often with positive, empowering messages, always to make people smile. I’ve also recently started using nature in my work, combining leaf illustrations with hand-lettered words.

I’ve worked with many media but have always returned to watercolours for their bright colours, their ability to blend beautifully and splat chaotically. My wall art is printed on paper chosen specifically for how it makes the colours sing.

I’m a big believer in looking after our world. All my cards are printed on recycled stock with eco-friendly toner and card bags are made from corn starch. My wooden bauble Christmas cards were developed from my desire to make something that could be reused instead of thrown away – and they’ve become a real best-seller!

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Alice and Stars

I am a jewellery designer and maker working from my home studio in North Leeds.

I work primarily in sterling silver, using traditional silversmithing techniques, but I also love the visual contrast when using different metals together. I incorporate copper, brass and gold into some designs to add this contrast.

Many of my designs are inspired by the celestial, incorporating moons, stars, planets and ethereal gemstones, such as moonstone.
Others are inspired by the beauty in nature, and many include the blues and greens of sea and sky.

I love texturing the metals I use, with hammers, stamps and sanding tools. It’s interesting to play with the way the light reflects on the surface according to the different finishes.

I have recently added some enamel pieces to my collection, indulging my love of colour. These pieces are fun, fashionable and affordable. I like to experiment with Pantone colour trends, and this year has been all about “living coral” and “bachelor button” (blue). Expect a more rich bold colour palette for autumn/winter enamels, including cranberry, coffee, and deep galaxy blue.

Above all my jewellery is designed to make you feel good, whether wearing it, admiring it or giving it to someone as a gift. If this aim is achieved most of the time, I’m happy!

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Lucy Tomlinson Art

I am a self-taught artist, living in Rawdon, and surrounded by the beautiful Yorkshire Countryside, which is where I get most of my inspiration.

I predominantly work in watercolour, most commonly wildlife, hares, bees and flowers. I love to paint them in different colours to their natural state. I also have an addiction for Abstract Acrylic Pour Paintings. They are just fabulous to create, if a bit messy. Due to the process and the many ways or “pouring” each one is completely unique. My studio (kitchen and dining room) are full of them, either drying, waiting to be varnished or the finished item and I often post videos of the process on my Instagram site.

I decided to have some of my images printed by local companies to make notebooks and cards, since then I have branched out into phone cases, chopping boards, cushions and coasters.

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Charlotte Luisa

Charlotte Luisa was set up by, Charlotte, a lifelong fabric addict. Charlotte’s bags have a focus on colour and texture. New designs are thoroughly tested to make sure they not only look and feel beautiful but are useful too.

Each piece is designed and handmade in her studio at the historic A.W.Hainsworth Mill. Charlotte Luisa bags are made from carefully sourced materials and where possible, unloved and end of line fabrics which means they are sustainable, ethical and sweatshop free. Materials include vegan leather, leather rescued from the interiors industry, cottons and wools all in a gorgeous colours and patterns.

The range includes clutches, purses, laptop bags, cross body bags totes and new for this year, phone pouches. Many of the designs are limited edition and bespoke pieces.

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Wychbury Designs

I’m a textile artist based in Bingley and I make jewellery, accessories and artwork inspired by my love of sewing.

I use hand stitched embroidery, patchwork and visible mending techniqes to make tactile, wearable pieces designed to be useful as well as attractive. I love to work in miniature and often incorporate tiny pincushions into my brooches and rings.

I practice an almost compulsive adherance to the old adage “Waste not, want not” and use up even the tiniest scraps of cloth and never throw anything away.

I work mainly with recycled and gifted fabrics and I try to continue the stories of well loved textiles with my own stitches. I am a proud member of Airedale Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild and receive knowledge and stories in abundance from my fellow stitchers. I try to pass on a little of our shared belief that “Sewing Mends the Soul” though my pieces.

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Jenny O’Neil Jewellery

I use sterling silver sheet and wire, texture by hand and forge one off unique pieces of jewellery. I also use gold accents and gemstones to complete my pieces. A real mix of contemporary and artistan styles.

Often inspired by nature you find a lot of leaf motives in my work and some using textures that I find from nature. You’ll also find a real mixture of statement pieces with more subtle pieces – something for everyone.

I source my gemstones from reputable dealers and love free form faceted stones which catch the light and have unique colourings. This often means I’ll never repeat a piece of jewellery with the same gemstones twice. I love the colour the gemstones bring to my pieces.

Wychbury Designs

We’re pleased to announce that  Paula Perrins of Wychbury Designs will be at Design@HEART again next week.  Here she is talking a little bit about what makes her tick:

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I’m a textile artist based in Bingley and I make jewellery, accessories and artwork inspired by my love of sewing.

I use hand stitched embroidery, patchwork and visible mending techniqes to make tactile, wearable pieces designed to be useful as well as attractive. I love to work in miniature and often incorporate tiny pincushions into my brooches and rings.

I practice an almost compulsive adherance to the old adage “Waste not, want not” and use up even the tiniest scraps of cloth and never throw anything away.

I work mainly with recycled and gifted fabrics and I try to continue the stories of well loved textiles with my own stitches. I am a proud member of Airedale Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild and receive knowledge and stories in abundance from my fellow stitchers. I try to pass on a little of our shared belief that “Sewing Mends the Soul” though my pieces.

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Charlotte Luisa

Charlotte Luisa was set up by, Charlotte, a lifelong fabric addict. Charlotte’s bags have a focus on colour and texture. New designs are thoroughly tested to make sure they not only look and feel beautiful but are useful too.

group of phone pouches

Each piece is designed and handmade in her studio at the historic A.W.Hainsworth Mill. Charlotte Luisa bags are made from carefully sourced materials and where possible, unloved and end of line fabrics which means they are sustainable, ethical and sweatshop free. Materials include vegan leather, leather rescued from the interiors industry, cottons and wools all in a gorgeous colours and patterns.

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The range includes clutches, purses, laptop bags, cross body bags totes and new for this year, phone pouches. Many of the designs are limited edition and bespoke pieces.

Charlotte Luisa will be at Design@HEART a week on Saturday 9th November.

Lucy Tomlinson Art

Like all our artists and designers,  Lucy Tomlinson is locally based, and takes her inspiration from our beautiful countryside.

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I am a self-taught artist, living in Rawdon, and surrounded by the beautiful Yorkshire Countryside, which is where I get most of my inspiration.

I predominantly work in watercolour, most commonly wildlife, hares, bees and flowers. I love to paint them in different colours to their natural state. I also have an addiction for Abstract Acrylic Pour Paintings. They are just fabulous to create, if a bit messy. Due to the process and the many ways or “pouring” each one is completely unique. My studio (kitchen and dining room) are full of them, either drying, waiting to be varnished or the finished item and I often post videos of the process on my Instagram site.

I decided to have some of my images printed by local companies to make notebooks and cards, since then I have branched out into phone cases, chopping boards, cushions and coasters.

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Rogers Ink

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Carolyn Hird-Rogers, the artist and designer behind Rogers Ink is inspired by the dramatic landscape of the Yorkshire countryside and a love of mid 20th century Scandinavian surface pattern design. The moods of the Dales and Moors are expressed in the mono-print technique used to create hand inked papers. These unique papers are cut and collaged to build large landscape images and smaller greeting cards. The windswept and hill top stands of trees, cow parsley and dandelions are stylised, digitally drawn, printed, hand cut and added to the landscapes. These digital drawings then find there way into strong coloured landscapes on small notecards, beautifully presented in boxed sets of eight.

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Heart of Glass

Sarah Wade of Garage Glass Studio is back this December with her charming fused glass products.  We asked her about her making process and how she got started.

My interest in fused glass developed from my interest in stained glass which I did as a hobby for a number of years. At one course I went on there was a kiln and we had a go at fusing glass. I was hooked, and ever since I have been fascinated with the things you can do with glass and a kiln.

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Warm glass or kiln-formed glass is the working of glass by heating it in a kiln. The processes used depend on the temperature reached and range from fusing and slumping to casting but doesn’t go much above 800 degrees centigrade. This differs from hot glass, where the artist works with molten glass with a temperature around 1000 degrees.

For the first few years my interest had to remain a hobby as I had a day job as an accountant, but four years ago I gave up that job and soon afterwards Garage Glass Studio was born. I have two small kilns in our garage and the glass is created there, hence the name.

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I did a City and Guilds level 3 in decorative glass course at night school, and I have been on a number of courses to learn specific techniques of glass making, but other than that I am self taught, adapting techniques I have learnt to create the images that I want to make, and learning how glass performs at different temperatures. I am particularly fascinated by the effects are created through the reactions between the chemicals in different glasses as they heat up.

 

Most of the inspiration for my work comes from the world around me, from the animals and plants that I see in the countryside in West Yorkshire. I love taking my wares to craft fairs and sharing it with people. It feels great when they look at your table and smile.

 

Everyone Loves Bags!

Sue Turrill of Nuthatch Designs will be back at Design@HEART this December with her beautiful tweed bags.  Here she is talking about her work:

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When I was a small child I would spend weeks in the summer with my two siblings staying with our Grandmother and her two sisters.  That was when I really started creating things, using embroidery, sewing and knitting.  I remember spending hours with my Great Aunt Mary embroidering daisies around the edges of tray cloths, and I loved it.  Even from a young age needlecraft for me has always been a way of relaxing whilst producing something unique and useful.

I’ve since wanted to combine traditional methods I’d learnt with modern ways of life.  Everyone has some sort of electronic device and it seemed the obvious choice to incorporate my designs with natural fabrics to produce unique covers and cases to protect them.  Shortly after starting my business a good friend of mine said “why don’t you make bags? Everyone loves bags?”.  So after a bit of thinking I decided to give bags a go as well.  She was right of course and I love making them too!

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Natural fabrics are important to me as they combine durability with practicality meaning they will last but can also be recycled into something new in time.  I love the tactile nature of wool and the properties it has for retaining shape and repelling dirt. I’m sure my love of natural fabrics is in part linked to my love of nature.  I’ve always been drawn to wildlife and the countryside so the imagery I create on the smaller purses represents this part of my life,and it’s also why my shop name is Nuthatch Designs – it’s just my favourite bird.

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Wherever possible I try to champion British manufactured natural fabrics, and design and handmake the bags and cases I sell.   I absolutely love the heritage wool fabric Harris Tweed which is only produced under licence in the Outer Hebrides and now includes many brighter modern colourways from upcoming young weavers. In themselves they are a thing of beauty and I feel very lucky to be able to use them.

Nuthatch Designs will be at Design@HEART on Saturday 8th December at the HEART Centre, Bennett Road, Leeds LS6 3HN 

 

 

 

 

Mei Tai, Bei Dai or Mei Dai? However you spell it, Tag Togs is the place to get them!

Amanda Green of Tag Togs is taking over the blog today to talk about her business making babywear and accessories.  

From a young age I have always sewn things, when I was very young I use to get any scraps of fabric from my mums sewing projects and cut and hand sew them into clothes for my Sindy and Barbie dolls. My mum and nan then taught me how to sew and I started making clothes for myself, I did sewing at school for GCSE and A’Level before it all got grouped in with other design things, I helped make clothes for the school theatre productions, and so it seemed like a natural progression to go to uni and do a textile based degree. The sewing stopped there, the degree I did was technology based with a lot of practical but no sewing. I picked sewing back up about 10 years later when I worked as a factory manager for a pillow and mattress protector manufacturer, the ladies who did all the sewing showed me how to make the products. Now I have moved onto babywear which is a bit more fiddly than making a mattress protector, but it is a lot of fun especially when I go fabric shopping, there is too much choice!

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I started my business after my first child in 2009, the company I worked for closed down, we made mattress protectors and pillows and I ran the business for the owner, once it had closed I decided to start my own business up doing the same thing. This has now progressed onto my babywear brand. I started making the baby carriers in 2013 when my second child was about 6 months old.

I originally went to uni and did a textile technology degree, this included spinning, weaving, CAD, dying and finishing and factory management, I think all these elements of my degree and experience in various companies have helped me to run my own business.
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I have a unit in Milnsbridge, Huddersfield which is great although not ideal, the unit is set out in small offices, I would ideally like one large room with all my sewing machines in together, I am looking at re-designing the layout of the unit which will mean knocking down walls, this is something I am putting off at the moment – the mess!!

The type of baby carrier I make is called a Mei Tai or Bei Dai or Mei Dai. It has a main panel which holds the baby and 2 shoulder straps and a waist strap which ties the carrier to the parent/carer. The carrier can be personalised with a patterned accent panel on the front and the back so this would then make it a completely reversible carrier. I also make baby bags or babywearing bags , and baby clothes which co-ordinate and match the carriers.

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I love being in control of my work hours, (to a certain degree), one of the reasons I wanted to have my own business was to be my own boss and enable me to spend time with my children and attend school events, which is not always possible when you work for someone else.

There’s some aspects of it though, that I’d happily hand over. I find the marketing difficult, I would love someone to come and do all of that bit for me. It can also be a bit lonely sometimes, especially when you need to bounce ideas off someone or ask for someones opinion.

I would like to get my babywear into a few more shops, currently I have some products in 2 local craft shops and would like to increase this and go a bit further afield.

Amanda will be at Design@HEART on this coming Saturday 9th June at Headingley HEART Centre, Bennett Road, Leeds LS6 3HN

I never intended this to be something for other people to see

Photographer Kelly Marsh takes over the blog this week, ahead of her first appearance at Design@HEART in June.

I’m a self-taught photographer. I never intended this to be something for other people to see. It’s always been something I have primarily done for myself.  But then it turned into a business!  I guess you could say that it really took off for me when I was joking about holding a gallery show for my birthday and then suddenly people were encouraging me and I ended up getting fully funded on Kickstarter to put on a show which I did in October.

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I take photos because it works as a kind of mindfulness meditation for me allowing me to refocus on the world rather than myself. I‘ve been diagnosed with acute anxiety and I find that when I take photos my mind is quietened and I am able to just enjoy what I am doing. This means that a lot of the time I can’t remember where I last put my phone but I can tell you the location (as far as I ever knew it) and what I was doing there for every photo I have ever taken.

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My workspace can be anywhere. If the weather is bad outside I will take pictures indoors, of my home or my clothes – whatever has caught my eye at the time. A lot of my photos and my inspiration is centred on nature. As an engineer I spent a lot of time learning about how nature has optimised itself to be strong and durable and I’m always fascinated about how this contrasts with how beautiful nature is at the same time. I also love a good steam train!

I think one of the things I love most about doing this is that I love finding common ground with people. Even if people don’t come and buy something they will often comment on my pictures, telling me which are their favourites or memories they have associated with what I have taken. Sometimes I get to learn a cool bit of history about Leeds or a cool place to go shoot too.

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The best bit of the whole process is the show. I’ll have an exhibition in HEART Centre at the time of the fair and its going to be 20 photos. It’s super stressful at the moment trying to plan out everything that I want to include and what I want to say but I know as soon as it goes up on the wall I’ll feel really happy to share my perspective with people.

My all time fan is my partner. He is always pushing me to share my photos and is my biggest supporter. If I am struggling with anything he is the one I turn to for advice. He does the framing for me, because I can’t get the prints in straight. He also bought a whole bunch of my photos and put them all round the house!

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There’s some projects that I would like to do that will require a lot of planning and a space to display them once they are done. I’d like to do a project focusing on mental health and highlighting the difference between how we feel and how we are perceived. I’d also like to do a set of photos around female beauty and what it means to be a woman but these will require me to get a lot of practice in photographing people. I’m hoping to start the planning and practice in the new year after I have finished my PhD. As for the business side of things- I’m hoping to have sold enough images that I could buy a wide angled or macro lens for my camera.

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Kelly will be at Design@HEART on Saturday 9th June.  She sells various different sized prints, framed or unframed and is also happy to take commissions based on a specific theme. Don’t forget to check out the exhibition of her full exhibition while you are in HEART.

 

 

“Probably the thing I enjoy most is playing” Liz Samways talks jewellery and printmaking

Liz Samways’ work will be familiar to those of you who’ve been coming to craft fairs at HEART for a while. A jeweller and print maker, her work reflects her love of landscape and the natural world.   We caught up with her to find out how she got started and her practice.

I’ve always wanted to be a jeweller, ever since visiting Camden Market in my teens and seeing all the jeweller types who had lifestyles which seemed very exotic. While I was doing my ‘real’ jobs it was always there in the background. When my youngest child had gone to nursery I thought I would give it a go professionally.

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Before then I had studies History of Art as my first degree, worked in industrical canteens, factories, Asprey on Bond Street, an Estate Agency, in sales and marketing for Royal Mail, and then retrained in horticulture and garden design and as an ESOL teacher. Quite a list!

To a certain extent I’m self taught, but I did evening classes at Leeds College of Art and Swarthmore with Roger Barnes, during the mid-nineties for jewellery, more recently weekend workshops for printmaking. There’s also been a lot of helpful friends offering technical advice and suggestions along the way.

My first makers’ fair was back in 2011. It was quite a landmark, taking my work out there to the public. Since then, there’s been many more memorable moments: getting my work accepted ito the Craft & Design Gallery in Leeds, where for years I had admired other people’s work, and later being invited to take part in their “Walk In The Park” exhibition. Driving over the hills from Skipton back to Leeds after my first “Art In The Pen” event, having met loads of enthusiastic customers, having fellow makers as good friends, and realising I had finally become the sort of person I’d seen at events when I went as a customer; and my first trade fair which was incredibly daunting, but with a lot of help and advice from other makers I managed it and did well.

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The most important consideration for me, when designing a piece of jewellery, is wearability! Will the piece stay the ‘right way up’ for instance, in the case of bangles or stud earrings, ….how will it wear over time? Will it feel comfortable on the body? Also, Will it look good up close and from a distance? Is it something I haven’t seen before? Can I see my customer (we should all have one in our mind’s eye) wearing it? And of course, very importantly, is it within my technical capabilities?!

I use engraving, etching and rolling to make the textures in the metals I use, then cut and solder to layer together. Although I do work things out in sketchbooks, I find a lot ends up as lists of words! (working out technical details and the order in which to work). I hardly ever sketch out a finished design which I work towards, it’s usually a more random process. Often I just have bits of cut up and textured metal around me and I play around putting shapes together till something looks good – I maintain that this is a legitimate design technique as I learnt it through my garden design training! To finish the piece and add the darkness I like, I use traditional patination techniques, selectively polished for contrast, and sealed with a wax.

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For the enamelling I use a small kiln and build up layers and layers of colour in various combinations, remembering to make notes as, although I use a lot of different colours, they come from a fairly limited and subtle palette so it’s easy to forget what I’ve used! I work in much the same way as I build layers of ink in prints, through overlapping, masking, and sometimes adding in other elements such as metal leaf or wire.

Probably the thing I enjoy most is playing around! The fact that inspiration is everywhere and I have a legitimate business reason for experimenting with shapes and textures, learning new techniques and meeting lots of other creative people.
The thing I’m not so keen on is juggling orders and the logistics of producing several pieces at the same time, though my experience working in various factories in my youth comes in surprisingly handy when planning my working processes.

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I started off because I’m a terrible magpie and I wanted to make things for myself. It was later that it developed into something I thought I could make a successful business out of. I love working in print and jewellery because there are so many ways they influence each other, and I constantly have ideas working both ways. I love the unpredictability of the surfaces involved in both processes.