Monday, 25 November 2013

Save Van Dyck's Self-Portrait for the nation

The National Portrait Gallery and the Art Fund are currently running a campaign to purchase this extraordinary self-portrait by Sir Anthony Van Dyck. 

The government has placed a temporary export bar on the work, as it has been sold to a private collector overseas and they have eight months to raise 12.5 million in order to keep this treasure for the nation. 

You can contribute to the fund here and find out more about the campaign in the video below.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Stop Motion Animation

I have started an evening course in stop motion animation. So far I am really enjoying it and am surprised that I haven't tried it before! I haven't really managed to animate anything on my own yet but I am saving up to buy dragonframe and a proper camera so that I can try to make my own film.

I have been watching a lot of stop motion films recently to try to work out what can be done and what I might like to attempt myself.

The Gravedigger's Tale, directed by Min Young Oh caught my eye. The gravedigger leads a solitary existence but her loneliness is soothed by a haunting melody that floats from the edge of the forest.She is serenaded by death and this is their story. The trailer is below:

You can find out more about the production designer Olivia Muggleton's work here. I think the use of light is exceptionally beautiful. I hope you enjoy the trailer!

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Cheapside Hoard at the Museum of London

The Museum of London has a fascinating new exhibition, which illuminates the discovery of a hoard of 16th and 17th century jewels and beautifully crafted pieces of jewellery. The hoard was found in the Cheapside area of London in the early twentieth century by builders and this is the first time that it has been displayed in its entirety since 1914. 

My favourite piece by far is this salamander brooch, made from Colombian emeralds and table cut diamonds set in gold with white enamel detailing:
It always fascinates me how jewellery techniques have barely changed even since Roman times and the skill used in creating the jewellery in the Cheapside Hoard is evident. 
Another element of the hoard's allure relates to why it was never reclaimed after being buried. It is possible that the craftsperson responsible for this exquisite work went to fight in the English civil wars and unfortunately didn't survive. Or was the hoard stolen and the thief apprehended before he/she could fence their score?
Whatever the reason, the importance of this hoard is clear. It is a time capsule of styles and techniques from four hundred years ago and the exhibition is well worth visiting. Enjoy!

New Autumn / Winter Designs 2013

Well, apologies for the extreme delay in blogging! I have finally finished my masters (in the History of Britain) and can now get back to a creating a few new jewellery designs for Autumn / Winter 2013. You can see a selection of my latest pieces now available at my etsy shop:

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Let it snow (in London)

I'm always amazed by how snow makes everything so very picturesque. It's certainly a nice excuse to try out my new camera!