New Studio in Walton on Thames

Mostly, this year I’ve been bruised, tired and covered in paint. After finishing a lot of long overdue decorating and DIY jobs at home by about mid July decided I never wanted to see a paintbrush again. I was looking forward to getting back to designing some new jewellery pieces, planning the new season and generally spending a lot more time working with my bum on a chair and not standing precariously on a ladder.

Then, one day I spotted that a unit in a location I’d always wanted to work became available. Only a few minutes from home, with gorgeous river view, it’s somewhere I walk past with my dog, Socks, most days and had often thought how it would make a great little studio.

The following week, I was in back with a paintbrush in hand, and paint in hair, on glasses and let’s face it,  I probably ate some.  The space had been used as an office and it needed brightening, adding some workspace, storage etc.

The ‘Before’
The ‘After’ – there’s even a comfy seat for his majesty.

I’m so pleased to have much more space to work and the best thing is, you can visit! I’ve set aside an area to showcase lots of finished jewellery pieces too so come and say hello. The studio is located on the towpath, next to The Anglers pub, and sandwiched between two other wonderful creatives, Hannah Martin Flowers and Creative Native. There is also the Riverhouse Barn Arts centre right behind who have a great community cafe and pretty courtyard.

It wasn’t going to stay tidy for long!

I’m looking forward to showing you what the river inspires.

Sophie

 

 

Spring Collection

I’ve taken 1000s of photographs of birds. I’ll never tire of the colours, textures and patterns of their gorgeous feathers.  Making a collection featuring just a handful of them was quite a task, though I think this is something I may have to come back to in the future! For now, here are 14 new pieces based on 6 species of beautiful bird – some you’ll know, some a little more obscure.

I have my own little feathery shadow in the form of an African Grey so I’d be in big trouble if I didn’t include this popular parrot species. Not the most complex of feather patterns, but the light grey with the flash of red on the tail is iconic of this cheeky bird and this pendant and earrings are a stylish and subtle way for grey enthusiasts to wear a little nod to their feathery friends without looking like a full on ‘crazy bird person.’

You’ll be forgiven if you’re not familiar with the Lady Amherst’s Pheasant but when you see the stunning feathers you’ll know why I had to photograph them. The deep teal, navy and white feathers edged with black are somewhere between bird and mermaid. The complexity of this pattern lent itself to much bigger pieces so everything has been scaled up with this design.

There are many different species of spectacular Macaw and a collection could be created on these parrots alone. This pendant and earrings are based on the Green Winged Macaw, which is mainly red across the head and body but with these vibrant green and blue feathers in the wings.

The Reeves Pheasant is native to China, and named after the British naturalist who brought the bird to Europe, however their amazing feathers I liken to Moroccan floor tiles! The black, copper, red, white and bronze tones in the image have been given a metallic finish by printing the photograph onto acetate rather than paper, allowing the silver to shine through. Again, the complexity of this pattern meant it was much better used in large statement pieces.

When I first posed the question ‘What is your favourite bird’ to people, several said the Lilac Breasted Roller. Yes, this small bird does have some lilac on it’s breast but it also has feathers in pink, light and dark blue, white, black, green and brown. A bit greedy if you ask me.

One of the most loved and recognisable birds of them all – the Toco Toucan. Simple but striking feather colours in black, white and orange with that slightly bonkers electric blue eyeshadow. Beautiful.

See the whole ‘Patterns of the Bird World’ collection on Etsy here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art Shed moves on

I’m sitting here writing this on my last day manning The Art Shed. I joined this group of artists just over two years ago and it feels like it’s been a second home for my little business. It’s the day before we pack everything up and move on to other things. I’ve had a little while to get used to the  idea, but wandering around here on my last shift, it feels very sad.

It’s been a quiet day with a handful of very enthusiastic human visitors and one dog (always a highlight!) Our human visitors (and probably the dog too) are all very sad we are closing and have been such wonderful supporters of all the artists that have made up the Art Shed during the time it’s been open, even helping us win Muddy Stilettos awards year after year. I guess someone else can have a turn next time!!

Happily, this isn’t the end of the Art Shed, just of our time at The Medicine Garden. While I’ve grown hugely fond of this beautiful location, I’m excited to see where these changes take us. Please follow  The Art Shed on Facebook to hear where you might find us in the future.

Work by Oorla Morgan, Stephanie Wright, Pratima Kramer, Louisa Sullivan, Jojo Rowley, Sophie de Taranto, Claire Hardwick-Wilson, Sarah Simonds-Gooding, Joe Szabo and Naomi Beevers.

The Art Shed at The Medicine Garden

In January 2017, I joined a cooperative of 15 artists who together run The Art Shed at The Medicine Garden in Cobham, Surrey. The garden is a stunning location and perfect for such a group as there is much inspiration to be found in the grounds and surrounding countryside, which is reflected in many of the artists’ work.

There is a varied mix of work at The Art Shed, with disciplines including glasswork, photography, painting, sculpture, ceramics and textiles. Below are some of my favourite pieces.

Above : Naomi Beevers (mixed media), Joe Szabo (glass/ ceramics), Oorla Morgan (jewellery), Su Rogers (ceramics), Pratima Kramer (ceramics / mixed media), Terri Smart (ceramics), Louisa Sullivan (glass) Below: Jojo Rowley (ceramics)

The gallery is open from 10am, seven days a week, each day manned by an artist who displays their work here. You might even see some work in progress. Below: Photography by Sue Roche with ceramics and glass works by Jojo Rowley, Su Rogers and Louisa Sullivan.

Above : Linda Walsh (textiles),  Pratima Kramer,  Naomi Beevers, Stephanie Wright (ceramics),  Clare Hardwick Wilson (Painting / contemporary art) and Pratima Kramer, Jojo Rowley, Jo Mabbutt (Lace / Decorative Art ) Below: Oorla Morgan, Sophie de Taranto (Jewellery)

For more information on the Art Shed visit here. We hope to see you soon!

Above: Joe Szabo

 

 

Molesey Makers

molesey-makers-signMolesey Makers November Market,   12th November 16

Saturday was the third Molesey Makers event I’ve taken part in and it was another success, despite the rain! The pop up shop, held at Refresh Cafe in Molesey, brings together a variety of makers from Molesey and surrounding areas and gives them a chance to showcase their products to local shoppers.

molesey-makers-stallholdersThere is always a great mix of handmade items with stalls over two floors selling jewellery, accessories, cards, kids clothing, homewares as well as cakes, sauces and other edible goodies. The stalls are accompanied by a pop up tea room which makes it a more than just somewhere for a spot of shopping. It’s real community event with a great atmosphere, somewhere to catch up with friends and enjoy a cuppa with some vintage tunes playing in the background.

fairplay-clothing

Thanks so much to Charlotte and Ellie for having as all and putting on another great event. The next one will be part of Magical Molesey and held upstairs at Refresh (no tea room this time, but I hear there’s wine!) It starts at 5pm on Wednesday 7th December. Come along!

Some of the Molesey Makers and where to find them:

Juliet Turnbull – Juliet is a textile artist and makes a variety of beautiful items including wall hangings, jewellery and greetings cards.

Smiley Cat Arts – Original handmade crafts by local artist Jo Head. Prints, illustrations, family art and bespoke pieces.

Off the Hook – Handmade Crochet items including cosy scarves, gloves and blankets.

Do a little dance designs – Colourful kids clothing and accessories made from a mix of modern and vintage fabrics.

Ooh La Lily – Stationery items, gift tags, cards and other handmade pretty things!

Fairplay Clothing –  Handmade kids play clothes with a conscience.

Marg Dier Embroidery – Stunning jewellery pieces hand embroidered using precious silks, printed cottons, metal threads and vintage glass beads.

Amiya Sweet Vanilla  – Homemade cakes that taste as stunning as they they look. (I’ve done the research!)

And if you visited the Shutter Jewellery stall and wanted to see any of the items, the Etsy shop is here.