Friday, October 17, 2014

Welcome aboard

Well, since I've proven I can't be trusted to post entries here in anything under a geological time span, here is a short run down on me, my work, and where you will be able to find me.
I've been making jewellery since 1996. I studied metal working in an Adult Education programme with the wonderful Stephen Leuckel, now sadly deceased, on the far north coast of New South Wales, Australia, and continued to learn through hands-on experience in the years following. Just by chance Stephen suggested I incorporate brass into the first piece I ever designed and made, and that started my practice of combining different metals into my work. Generally I use a combination of sterling silver, brass and copper, but I also use yellow, rose and white gold upon request.
Originally my designs were mainly influenced by my studies and very short career in archaeology, and by my long-time addiction to fantasy literature. These aspects still pervade my work, and have been added to by other interests such as astronomy, physics, anime, the ocean, geology, Nintendo video games, mythology, folk tales, science fiction, the beautiful World Heritage National Park that I live in and, as may be obvious to some, my cat. Each piece I make is uniquely designed and entirely hand made, although with the passage of years it is inevitable that certain obvious themes, such as a chicken talking to a donkey or a cat landing on the moon, will appear in various forms.
I started doing markets in Sydney at the Balmain Markets in 1997, before moving to Glebe Markets where I had a stall for something like 12 years. A long time! After a bit of a break I started running a stall most months at the Old Bus Depot Market in Canberra. I like the market there a lot, but as it is a 700km round trip I don't get there every month. The dates when I will be at upcoming markets are updated when I arrange a stall and listed in the Market Dates section of this site.
I also, after some stubborn and unfounded reluctance (from my Luddite side), opened an online shop on Etsy in 2007. Etsy has a great community of artisans and collectors, and I have been lucky to have met some absolutely lovely people from all around the globe through it. There are links to my Etsy shop in the Where to Buy and Samples sections of this site, one showing work that is currently available on Etsy and one showing pieces that have been sold on Etsy previously. If all is going well there should be a panel to the right of this showing some of the current stock. Occasionally when I can't properly monitor the shop I put it on holiday mode, and then, unfortunately none of the links will show you anything other than the shop homepage informing visitors that I am on vacation. While this sounds like I am sunning myself on a tropical island this is, sadly, very unlikely to be the case; more likely I am off at a market somewhere.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Busy Bee

The last few months have been pretty busy, and though I haven't been as productive as this fine fellow working away at our weeping cherry tree, it feels like lots has been going on. Our very, very mild winter has well and truly ended, with spring on show everywhere with fine displays of blossoms and new leaf growth. Of course, there are aberrations to the pattern, with today being cold and cloudy and promising rain, which our newly blooming garden desperately needs.

One of the most enjoyable things which happened recently for me was receiving a beautiful hand-woven jacket from my lovely friend Lurdes in Portugal. Lurdes has been developing her weaving skills on an old loom, and the amount of talent, dedication and work involved staggers me. She often writes of her projects on her blog, which always gives a wonderful glimpse into her life and creative endeavours.

Here is a picture of the jacket, taken on a very windy winter day up at Sunset Rock at Wentworth Falls. I am going to make some buttons for it, hopefully very soon, though every time I plan to start something new crops up to delay me. Lurdes very kindly made the jacket green on my request, sourcing some fantastic old wool from around Lisbon, and I like to think of it as my Link jacket. The buttons I am planning are going to be triforces. I was very much looking forward to finding it in my Wind Waker postbox, but sadly the postie brought it up to my door instead.

Having just been at Canberra for a market recently, the next one for me isn't for another month or so, on Sunday October 20th.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Breaking news

I was scheduled to have my next stall at the Old Bus Depot Markets in Canberra tomorrow, 10th March, and I've been busily working away getting pieces made. However, due to a freak accident involving my car's windscreen, I don't have any means of travelling there. So my next market will be on the 14th April. In the interim I will be putting more pieces up on to my Etsy shop.
In other breaking news, I've replaced part of the roof of our house, finally put a roof over our entryway, grown an apparently rare and desirable passionfruit that has turned out to be a noxious weed that is plaguing Hawaii and New Zealand, failed to complete Master rankings in Nintendoland in Zelda, Pikmin and Metroid (despite diligent effort) and after years of printing out and cutting my own business cards have actually had some professionally printed. For the last item, it's a bit disappointing, as this was to be my first market with them... Just for the sake of getting them out into the world, here is what they look like:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hybrid homepage

After changing my internet service provider again I got tired of shifting my old website on to a new storage space, so I've combined most of the content of the old site with the poor, neglected blog for posting market dates to end up with this. It's a fair bit further into the 21st century than the old site, and I guess my archaic version of Dreamweaver which I used to create and maintain that can now finally rest in peace. All the coding and whatnot gets handled automatically, and though I lose a lot of control of what I can and can't do, it means everything works on modern browsers and mobile devices. Almost everything! For some reason the Mini Etsy widget thingy on the right of the page won't work on my PC, and none of the items in my Etsy shop appear. I'd blame Chrome for that, but the widget works using Chrome on a tablet, so who knows?
Another feature of this new setup which isn't perfect is my own fault. For the purposes of providing samples of the work, I've simply put links to current and older pieces on my Etsy shop. The blogger format doesn't really suit having multiple single pages of samples, and the changing nature of the Etsy links makes things a little more interesting. It also saves me some work! However, whenever I put the Etsy shop on vacation (which happens when I have a market stall to avoid the risk of selling a piece both in person and online), the links only lead to an announcement that my shop is temporarily closed. It's a pretty minor issue, though, and I hope anyone kind enough to click through at such times won't be too inconvenienced.
To mark the changeover to another new site, I've dug out a couple of images from the first website I set up for myself, many years ago. I seem to recall the site didn't work at all at first, since I hadn't uploaded any of the images to the server... and some kind person wrote to me telling me that nothing was visible. It also didn't cope well with different screen resolution sizes. But I enjoyed making it, and ended up knowing a reasonable amount about good old Dreamweaver 4. All fairly useless now of course, but there you go. One notable thing about the Home button image below: it was the very first piece of jewellery I ever made. Actually, the second when I think about it; the first was a plain silver ring, which was the task I had been given by my teacher to learn the basics of metalwork. But the dragon brooch was the first piece I designed and made under my own steam.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Still Life with Elephants

It's finally December and the end of the year has been the usual hectic runaround of trying to make jewellery for the Christmas markets. It's been three weeks since the last market, and I've been busy busy busy making things to keep my market stall suitably stocked for the Saturday/Sunday double whammy which is coming up this weekend. It's getting into late afternoon on Friday, and I've only just finished polishing. Here's a look at what three weeks of my life can look like:
Looks like more in real life! Maybe just because I can feel the time it took for each one...
The musical accompaniment for many of these came from Lily and King, a duo that I heard on the radio and subsequently purchased their album "Medication". I'm completely hooked!
OK, so another two markets this weekend (Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th) and then a final one for the year on Sunday 23rd at the Old Bus Depot Markets in Canberra. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bad habits

It's becoming an unbreakable habit of mine to leave posting my market dates until the very last moment... so in that tradition I'm happy to say that my next stall at the Old Bus Depot Market in Canberra is tomorrow, Sunday 21st October. To try and make myself seem a little less disorganised, though, here are the dates for the rest of the markets at which I will have a stall for the remainder of 2012:
Sunday 11 November
Sunday 18 November
Saturday 8 December
Sunday 9 December
Sunday 23 December
Busy times! And lots of driving...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

After the break

I've had a couple of months off from the markets, mainly to continue the endless work on our house. Things are moving along! ...but still have a long way to go. I haven't been completely lazy on the jewellery front, since I've had quite a few commissions to work on, and I've rather enjoyed the mix of different work.
One other thing I've really enjoyed is a new anime that started recently, titled Humanity Has Declined. Crunchyroll has it available for viewing here. I am enthralled by it. Its quirky, resigned and humorous attitude to the imminent extinction of humanity is simply wonderful. It's one of those things that I would love to have been a part of creating.
Anyway, my next market at the Old Bus Depot Markets in Canberra is on Sunday 19th August. I'll be dedicating much of the remaining time until then creating more jewellery, and no doubt seeds of inspiration will be provided by Humanity Has Declined.