10 February 2013

A few of my favorite things

When I'm not making, or blogging, I love to look at what other people are doing. Inspiration? Nosiness? I just love to dip into people's worlds and take a peek. With so many of us choosing to share what we do, and with lovely visual ways to do this on line, I like nothing better than to settle down with the i-pad, and peruse a blog. Pick the ones you love, and it's like having a beautiful magazine to flick through. 

I've always kept diaries, and for me blogging is just a modern way of doing that, but with the added bonus that you can instantly add gorgeous pictures.  The handwritten diaries of my youth were lacking in images, perhaps the occasional photograph from a great party glued in. They were also uncensored outpourings from the heart, something I no longer do, since this 'diary' can be read the world.

Today, I want to share some images and blog details (where available) of other peoples work, that delights and sometimes inspires me. As a visual person, I have strong ideas about what it is I like to look at, and if money were no boundry, I would definitely love to own something by every one of the makers mentioned here.

Clare Hillerby

A recent discovery for me. I have always been fascinated by old photographs and letters. They way Clare puts them together is just beautiful. She writes 'Old found handwriting is the inspiration and starting point for my work; discarded old postcards, as well as stamps, maps and photographs are collected, interesting areas are extracted then combined with new metalwork to create contemporary stories.' You can find her blog here

Hens Teeth

Screen printing, applique, embroidery, paint, buttons, fabulous characters rendered in free hand machine embroidery - what's not to love about Viv's charming and witty work? I wish I had treated myself to this big pin brooch, but Viv's work just gets snapped up as soon as she produces it. As a jewellery designer it is difficult to wear things other people have made, as I am always asked 'did you make that?' there's no chance people would ask me that if I was sporting one of these! Viv writes 'All my work is designed by myself and made using the collection of vintage fabrics, haberdashery and paper ephemera, that I have collected over the years. I am madly, truly, deeply, obsessed with my work! My mind rarely wanders from thoughts of drawing, designing, how I can collate imagery with the tactile and ultimately make into a decoratively desirable... handbag, clutch purse, needlecase, brooch or mixed media collage. All finished with hand embroidery and buttons, lots of them!' You can find Viv's blog here.

Zoe Arnold

I think I should use Zoe's words here, not mine 'Each piece having meanings to be unraveled, but never fully explained, and often inspired by her poetry which is presented with the work. Sentimental jewellery this is not, instead everyday emotion, or subtle memory are worked into items as much to display on a wall or table top as they are on the body. Art to be worn by the artist, writer, intellectual or collector of dreams. Zoe Arnold’s works revive the art of the jeweller, pieces which are created as a considered whole rather than to serve as a simple frame for a stone. Zoe Arnold’s evocative jewels are as much individual works of art as they are wearable sculpture, exploring the poetic and the macabre in the form of both illustrative and sometimes obscure treasures.' Amazing, and unfortunately, out of my price range. Zoe's website is here.

Eileen Gatt

I have mentioned Eileen's work here before. Many years ago Eileen was my teacher for one night a week for a year. Back then she was teaching me skills, I most definitely hadn't found my style. It was fifteen or more years later when I saw her stand at Goldsmith's Fair. I was struck by some similarities in icy palette, brushed finishes, imagery, but in some ways these were not surprising as I had been inspired by my trip to the Arctic, and she had been awarded a bursary many years ago to travel somewhere to the North, the land of ice and snow. I would love one of Eileen's necklaces. The internet is not overrun with images of Eileen's work, in fact her website has been redone to have less images than before. She must like it this way, and I hope she does not mind me including her work here. You can find her website here and sign up for a newsletter.

Janet Bolton

Dear Janet. I admired her work for years after seeing some in an exhibition in my 20's. A few years ago, I went to the amazing West Dean to study with her for four days, stitching pictures from fabric and found objects. It was lovely to spend time with such a lovely person, and to understand how long considered each little element, or splash of colour was for her. Our little attic studio was packed with Janet's work as inspiration, and I couldn't help, but come away with my own bit of Janet Bolton -'Between the Headlands' which sits proudly on my mantelpiece. Janet doesn't have much of a website, but what there is of it, you can see here.


  1. OOOh, Charlotte, what a treat! I am aware of some of these amazing makers, but Janet Bolton and Zoe Arnold are new to me. Sunday morning bloghopping bliss in store - thank you!

    It is funny - if I look at these artists as a group, I can see how they have gently influenced elements of your style in some ways, not in ANY sense of you copying, but just that your unique work carries some flavours of those who have inspired/taught you, or maybe it is the other way around, you are drawn to the work of others that embodies your own aesthetic? Maybe a bit of both? I am exactly the same, I can see that inspiration from particular teachers and artists have worked their way into how I see the world, and I think we all imaginatively explore the art we love and are drawn to, even if it is often completely subconscious? Like little eddies crisscrossing and widening in water to get poetic for a second! It is just as it should be and I love how we all bring our own vision and touch to some similar subjects and make them uniquely our own. And celebrate eachother's skills and vision. YES!

    These are seriously special makers, thanks for sharing the goodness. :) Bxx

    1. :-) There are definite similarities between Eileen's work and mine (although I am the poor relation to her talent) which I could feel embarrassed about, but as I mentioned I had created my style during a period when I had no knowledge of what she was making.

      To look at the two side by side you would think I had been looking to her work all that time. I do think the icy palette contributes to that. And I must give a nod to the fact that her work did problem solve for me how to attach some elements I was stuck on.

      When I saw her at Goldsmiths last year, she was the one stand that I would have loved to call my own, and who I would gladly have parted with a small fortune for one of her necklaces (if I had a small fortune to part with.)

      It's true, we see, we absorb, and we get influenced, even when we don't notice it ourselves.

      Glad you enjoyed. C x

  2. Charlotte, thank you so much for including hen's teeth in such a fabulous collection of makers. I am so very flattered. It makes me happy to think my little textile pieces bring you happiness.
    I am most grateful to you for sharing your love of these wonderful makers for us all to enjoy.

    1. Pleasure Viv. I found two Etsy pics of your needle cases from years ago in one of my old sketchbooks!!! Cx

  3. Charlotte,
    It was sheer joy watching your collection. It would be great if you post more like this. The designs are just awesome and so are the things included..