Sunday, 30 October 2011

In Honour of Jewellery and Gemstones

" It's always darkest before Dawn"
This photo was taken just after I had competed my apprenticeship when I was still deciding whether to choose jewellery as a career or not when I realized it had already chosen me.

Author unknown                                                           
Tis a gift to be simple
'tis a gift to be free
Tis a gift to come down
where you want to be,
And if you find yourself
in a place just right,
twill be in a valley
of love and delight!
The above poem best describes how I feel about being a jeweller and how I have found my valley of love an delight in my workshop and behind my workbench.

I decided to research what famous people have been quoted saying throughout time about jewellery, gemstones and creativity. I hope you enjoy reading through these quotes I certainly found some gems among them....

" The earth is like a beautiful bride who needs no manmade jewels to heighten her loveliness." Kahlil Gibran

If wisdom and diamonds grew on the same tree we could soon tell how much men loved wisdom" Lemuel K. Washburn, is the Bible worth reading and Other Essays, 1911
Star Sapphire
"Morning that first sapphire dome of glow" Ck Williams
These gems have life in them; their colours speak, say what words fail of" George Elliot
Boulder Opal in the rough
"As though pure white snow flashed and sparkled with the color of bright ruddy wine, and was overcome by it's radiance" Author unknown; about Opal
" The hues of the Opal, the light of the diamond are not to be seen if the eye is to near" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now the melancholy God protect thee, and the tailor make thy garments of changeable taffeta, for thy mind is Opal" William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
Black Opal
 "Mysterious Opals contain the wonders of the skies-sparkling rainbows, fireworks, and lightning, shifting and moving in their depths" Author unknown
Australian Opal
 " When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in the contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure" Peter Marshall

"A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a witty person, but a pebble in the hands of a fool" Author Unknown

 "My crown is in my heart, not in my head,
Nor decked with diamonds and Indian stones,
Nor to be seen, my crown is called contentement,
A crown it is, that seldom kings enjoy"  William Shakespeare

  "In the age of acorns, before the time of the Ceres, a single barley-corn  had been of more value to mankind than all the diamonds in the mines of India" Henry Brooke

" Perhaps time's definition of coal is the diamond" Kalil Gibran

"Proverbs are diamond gems gathered in the diamond districts of the mind" William R. Alger

"All art is autobiographical, the pearl is the autobiography of the oyster" Federico Fellini

"In diving to the bottom of pleasure we bring up more gravel than pearls" Honore de Balzac

" The jeweler allows me to wear the sapphire blue lake on my finger, the emerald green leaves around my neck, and take the citrine sunset with me wherever I go. Jewellery has become my daytime link with nature in an office with no windows. And if I have to work late, there's nothing like diamond stars and a pearl full moon against an onyx sky" Astrid Alauda, "Office with no windows"
 "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creativity maladjusted" Martin Luther king

"Creativity is not the finding of a thing but the making something of it after it has been found" James Russell Lowell

Monday, 24 October 2011

jane - thinking about wings and things

I have been thinking for some time about the pods of trees that, though relatively heavy, are evolved to travel as far as possible on currents of air, and about leaves, and wings. All of this was started by wanting to make earrings that are light, but have planes that can move and form different profiles, almost in the way of shadow puppets.

An early result of this line of thought was a ring made just in time for our 56 rings exhibition.

My father has for years been photographing, amongst other things, insects in flight. These pictures are fascinating, revealing the aerobatics they perform and the way their wings flex. They are irresistible as an inspiration.

I also want to use translucent stone beads with colours that bring to mind the leaves of some of the different proteas that grow in the Cape.

I like the way the leaves are arranged, and the way they are attached to the stems.

 Then I was invited to design some jewellery that makes much of little, and it struck me that all the things I had been thinking about had evolved specially to do exactly that. In the case of the seeds and wings, a large  surface area of sufficient strength that weighs as little as possible is needed, whereas plants need a large area to collect light, while not using too much energy to grow.

These strands of thought have become irretrievably tangled as I ponder, but the result is a seemingly endless range of possibities - now I just need to start distilling my ideas and trying them out.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

African goldsmiths

Gold of Africa Barbier-Mueller Museum
As the resident goldsmith at the Gold of Africa
Barbier-Mueller Museum
, I have an incredible resource
at my fingertips.

    The museum's permanent collection of African gold
artifacts from 18th and 19th century Mali and Ghana,
is utterly inspiring from a design and manufacturing point of view.
    The Ashanti goldsmith used techniques such as
granulation, chasing, repousse and of course,
lost wax casting. Take a look at the fine detail achieved
in this lost wax cast bead.

Jewellery pieces like this and the rings pictured
below bear testament to the extraordinary skill
of the African goldsmith.

The Ashanti were masters at working gold and
continue to inspire today.

    Pop in to the museum and visit the collection,
enjoy an aromatic coffee in the leafy courtyard or
watch the goldsmith at work. 

workshop interior

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Adi adventures to London

I recently had the amazing opportunity to step away from my workbench and out of Cape Town to spend time with my family in London as well as Ireland.

Great to change ones reality from time to time.

When I am in Cape Town I tend to get sucked into the universe of my workshop and exist happily amongst my tools,thoughts & lots of little things.

But adventure came knocking and I set off to my sister in Bethnal Green where I was greeted with a view on  a canal & park.
A magical city backdrop indeed.

Since I went on an extended visit and had to do some preparation for the 56 rings exhibition, I set out on a quest to find a workshop to do some work from.
After viewing a few places I connected with Vicky Forrester of Flux Studios and immediately knew it was the right spot for me.

Vicky Forrester


Flux Studios is located in Vanguard Court,  a cobbled yard in Camberwell, among several other creative studios.
                                                                  Alex Yule: Flux member
They offer jewellery making courses & classes,studio access for members to do their own work and organise events and exhibitions.

I enjoyed the comfortable & friendly atmosphere at Flux Studios and felt very at home working there. 
I hope there will be another opportunity to connect in future!
Claire Hart: Flux member

my bench at Flux Studios

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

56 rings came to town

 All of a sudden the planning, plotting and making was done and the Fine Ounce girls 
 stepped out in style to reveal their collection of 56 rings! 
Seven goldsmiths each made 8 rings, reflecting their unique style and different inspirations.

'Welcome to Cake Town' by Adeline Joubert
Mike Cope, a jeweller extrodinaire in his own right, conveyed insights into the agonies and ecstasies involved in the transformation of metal into wearable objects of adornment and jewellery, with his opening speech.

Vineyard ring by Jane Mcllleron

Lotus ring by Giselle Petty

The opening night was hosted at The Gold of Africa Barbier-Mueller Museum, creating the perfect setting for those passionate about rings & jewellery to connect and indulge the magic of these unique handcrafted pieces on display.  

Opal bird by Adi Cloete 
Ring by Frieda Luhl

'home sweet home' by Adi Cloete

Water ring by Jane Mcllleron
Ring by Heidi Liebenberg

Locket rings by Giselle Petty


                   Good news for those that missed out on the opening night:

The 56 rings exhibition is showing at 30 Roodebloem Rd, Woodstock untill 16 Oct!!!
Mon - Fri: 9h00- 16h00 and Sat & Sun:10h00- 14h00