20 November 2013

November Events

This weekend you can find me and my shiny jewellery at 'Sparkle' which is a wonderful Christmas shopping type event of Contemporary Craft and Gourmet food gifts. It is held in the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington, SW London. A beautiful old converted Church. 

Sparkle is open on Friday 22nd 6 - 8.30 pm
Sat 23rd & Sun 24th 10 am - 5 pm

The following weekend, I will be out and about again. This time the Teddington Artists have invited me to take my jewellery along to their 'Christmas Fair', where you will find my work amongst that of fine artists and photographers. I am really delighted to be asked. 

Saturday 30th
10 am - 5.30 pm

Mince pies and mulled wine.

Those lovely folk at Country Living Magazine, persuaded me to Open the studio to the public to tie in with the article they wrote about me in the December issue. I can't promise snow, but the pastry on my mum's mice pies is exceptionally good!

9 November 2013


One of the big inspirations for some of my work was the most amazing trip I made into the Arctic Circle. I had always wanted to see the Northern lights, and on my 40th birthday I was lucky enough to take a trip to the very North of Finland to see if I could spot them.

The jewellery that I designed following that beautiful and inspiring trip has recently been included in an exhibition in The Fenwick Gallery in Northumberland. The exhibition is called Aurora. It's difficult to convey how excited I feel about being included in the exhibition. I feel it's perfect that my Arctic inspired jewellery has found a place among along side other beautiful objects celebrating something as magical as the Northern Lights.

This is me at -28 degrees. It was so amazingly cold that you could feel the ice crystals form up your nose as you were breathing. 

That particular day I was searching for a twig that I could cast in silver. It is an extreme environment there, but some varieties of flora and fauna thrive. I picked a small birch twig that was emerging from the snow and ice. I wrapped it in tissue and carried it back to the UK for it to be small batch cast for me to use. Every time I see that twig I am transported back to that day.

While I was there as well, as spending every night hunting the Northern Lights, I also drove my own team of Huskies, went ice fishing, travelled by skidoo right out to the Russian border through the wilderness where wolves run wild, and forged my way through thick virgin snow on snow shoes; pausing to look at the dips in the snow where the reindeer had rested and peering eagerly at tracks of small arctic mammals.

It is that day and having all the animal tracks pointed out to me that led me to produce my arctic hare pieces. It was the lolloping footprints that inspired me as I didn't actually see one! 

Of course, this blog post would not be complete without some pictures of the lights. I didn't manage to take any good one! But fellow traveller Stephen Worrall took these...

"The snow fell like dust and sparked like glitter"

We stayed at Nellim Wilderness Hotel which really was just on the edge of the wilderness. The husband and wife who run it are amazing. You are treated as an individual - our snowshoeing was just with the owner and his friend, our dog sledding was with just one other guest on her own sledge plus the dog handlers on theirs. I really cannot recommend the place enough if you are an outdoor type who really wants to experience the Arctic. They also have a facebook page where they post the amazing pictures of the Northern lights.

This winter is the 'Solar Maximum.' The Northern lights are caused by solar flares from the sun, and the cosmic dust moving across Earth's atmosphere. We are in twelve year high period of the sun's activity, so the Aurora will be at their best this season. Go in February, if you go now you might get the lights, but not necessarily the snow. You need to be there in the snow! 

1 November 2013

A proliferation of jewellers. Report from The Festival of Crafts.

Life, and a two week half term for the kids, have meant that Charlotte Bezzant Jewellery has slowed right down over the last fortnight. To be honest, I was a little done in with the frantic prep for The Festival of Crafts, and a rest was just what the doctor ordered. The kids are only off two more days, and I am now desperate to get back to my work bench.

Here is a shot of my little bit of the Festival of Crafts. My stand is made up of junk shop finds, painted a unifying shade of cream, and a dressmakers stand that I rescued from outside a manufacturers in the West End when I used to work in the Fashion Industry. (Quite an eyebrow raiser as I took it home on the tube in rush hour.)

I had a great show. As a stay at home mum, who designs and makes jewellery while the kids are at school or in bed, I sometimes say 'I don't get out much'. (The school run doesn't count.) So for me being around adults, and such a creative bunch of adults, as well as the crowds that streamed through the doors, was a great buzz in itself.

It was wonderful to get so many lovely comments about my work. It was great to meet people who found and followed my work on the internet, and of course it was nice to know that some of it was heading off to new homes. I make things that I would like to wear myself, and it is a relief and delight that other people share my taste.

The Farnham Maltings is a wonderful venue. Quite a higgle piggle of different rooms on different levels. I was really pleased with the room that I was in. It wasn't one of the biggest ones, but that meant it had a lovely cosy atmosphere. As well as ceramacists, a sculptor, a woodcutter, a photographer, mixed media artist and more - there were four jewellers in my room. 

I must admit I felt a little intimidated to find I was next to Chris Boland, as his work is on a different level to mine; but I needn't have worried - he was such a nice guy, and he let me try his dramatic rings on. Check out his work here.

Also in the same room was Machi de Waard. Her pieces had beautiful clean lines. Machi says 'I make modernist pieces in silver and gold, sometimes using gemstones'. You can find her website here.

Next to her was Jane Tadrist. You will be able to see her work later this month at Desire in Winchester. Here is her snowflake brooch in silver with my favourite (and my signature) gems, aquamarine and moonstone. 

The great Hall was brimming with Jewellers, more than I can mention in this blog post. Everyone showing was carefully selected by a panel so they are all worthy of looking at if you love jewellery. Firstly Cathy Newell Price who will be very busy this weekend at The Country Living Christmas Fair. 

Helen Brice Her twinkly gemstones will also be on show at Sparkle in S W London, where I have a stand later this month.

Emily Thatcher who will be at LUSTRE and MADE Brighton in November. Liz Hancock who's studio is at the Farnham Maltings. Caroline Thompson Jewellery - Caroline will also be showing at Sparkle. Donna Collinson who takes her inspiration from the flotsom and jetsom of a British beach.

Jessica Hewitt who's floral collection is inspired by the linear forms found in nature. She also has her own gallery -  Adore Contemporary Boutique in Falmouth, which looks gorgeous. (The lucky thing!)

Lovely Claire Lowe who is one of my local jewellery buddies. Some of her jewellery includes tea set in resin. She is currently showing her contemporary Jewellery at Dazzle in the Oxo Tower.

Upstairs you could also find Chiara Bet a list of her stockists is here.

And in the cellar Emily Gliddon a Bristol Jeweller who also has her work in the lovely Made Just So in Bristol that stocks my work. I had a nice chat to her and admired her lovely work.

And now my bed is calling me, so I must apologise to all the other talented jewellers that were showing at The Festival of Crafts, and that I have not managed to mention. 

A really super, well organised event. It even had a tea trolley that came round to the makers which was so thoughtful as it is very difficult to leave your stand during opening hours. Special thanks also for the chocs and jelly babies that were brought round to keep us going, and keep us smiling. I hope you will have me again next year!