20th Business Birthday Competition

So I ran my first competition with those who sign up to my mailing list and expanded to my followers on social media. To celebrate my 20th year in business I wanted to see items people have bought or have been gifted with my work over the years, with their memories of where and when they came to their new owners. It was amazing to see what went where and as many of my pieces are one off pieces, and are always made with love, it meant a lot to see them still loved and worn with love . . .

. . . images of your work I have purchased (or had bought for me) over the last few years. I saw your work many years ago at ECA, when I was just applying to study art/had just started studying at Duncan of Jordanstone and have (slowly) collected pieces when I can ever since.

My mum bought me one of your collages for me just before Christmas. My boyfriend and I had just moved into a new house in Edinburgh  and our ‘collage’ of artworks in the living room had a blank space on one side which was unbalanced. Your square framed collage was obviously destined to fit in it!

. . . Jenna, Edinburgh

(images also included a bangle and earrings) . . . The bangle was my first purchase (along with some slender earrings of the same style sadly lost) . . . I’m pretty sure I bought them at the old Chelsea Craft Fair, 2000 or 2001?

The others I purchased from the US by writing to you. The earrings and necklace are worn at least 5 times a week! They’re my “go to” pieces!

Congrats on 20 productive years!!

. . . Laura, USA

(left) . . . My favourite gift in recent memory was this beautiful pair of earrings, featuring vintage ephemera, as a writer and collector of correspondence I love that these century-old sentiments have been forever preserved and entrusted to my care, as Emily Dickenson said, “a letter always seemed to me like immortality . . . “

. . . Amy, Texas, USA (Instagram: texashydrangea)

(right) . . . Clare, these are some of your earrings I have had for about 15 years, from the Crafts Council shop. One pair was a gift from a lovely friend and I always think of her when I wear them. Congratulations on 20 years of making beautiful things!

. . . Barbara, London (Instagram: barbaragunterjones)

(left) . . . Beautiful mother of pearl earrings and necklace (thank you!). The earrings were chosen by my lovely son for Christmas. A total surprise. I love them. He chose very well. I then bought the matching pendant from Clare to complete the set.

. . . (Instagram: mainly.monochrome)

(right) . . . These are my favourite earrings which I think I must have bought when you first graduated? I may have bought them in Salts Mill, Bradford. I very rarely wear dangly earrings these days, but these are the exception. I bought the pendant last summer as I spotted that the map showed my birthplace. They are currently accompanying me during my sojourn in South Africa. I love your work, especially the pieces with lettering. When I am back in Manchester in the Spring I will come over to your studio and be tempted further. Congrats on 20 years of beautiful making.

. . . Sue, Manchester (Instagram: mrsfromgirton)

(holey ovals + postcard circle tops) . . . These fabulous large pair of earrings I bought from Contemporary Applied Arts in London about 9 years ago. I love them because of the large oxidised oval with pierced holes.

(bottom left / double holey oval tops + postcard ovals) . . . This pair was also from CAA from their exhibition “Studio Space” which was around ten years ago. I purchased a brooch and three pairs of earrings, but this pair is special because my husband also loved them and bought them for my birthday. They are a very clever design as the two top pierced ovals move.

(long strips) . . . Another pair from CAA, from the same period, around nine years ago. I love the fact they are very mismatched. They also, I think. have a Japanese feel to them. The top pierced ovals being in white silver with the oxidised silver elements, make them very unique. I love them!!

(top right and below) . . . This amazing pair were bought from the New Ashgate Gallery, again long ago. 10 years? They are very big and therefore dramatic. I love the fact that the writing is so beautiful and I love the blue pencil on the right one. Also, the gold bar at the top is unusual and fabulous. (Above) is the amazing back of them – a map. A real piece of artwork!!

(top left) . . . This pair of earrings was purchased from Flow gallery, around fiver years ago. They were part of a collection by Clare for an exhibition based on writing and text in different disciplines. They are again a favourite because they are big and dramatic and very wearable.

(bottom with feather) . . . This wonderful and much loved large brooch was bought from Clare in 2005, at the sorely missed Chelsea Crafts Fair in London. It was love at first sight. I got over excited and bought three brooches and two pairs of earrings from her. This piece I have worn many times. I love the three ovals which offset the one square section. The two cream ovals with text balance the orange stamp in the square section and the other oval with the brown and cream feather. I happen anyway to love brown and orange, and the cream colour unifies the whole piece. It is special because I remember Clare telling me at the time that her mother loves feathers.

(left / middle) . . . This very unusual brooch was posted to me by Clare after she sent me photos in about 2006. I really like the very simple cream square section of faint text, balancing the small square with the dark green stamp featuring a lady strolling along. The added oxidised silver sections just complete the whole piece and make it into a wearable object of art. It’s a small painting.

(right / second down) . . . This brooch again arrived in the post from Clare in about 2006. I love the simplicity of it, as it seemingly relies on the colours of the stamps to form the design. Because it is made up of just slices of stamps, it makes an abstract pattern. I love the variations of the greens. I’ve always liked the various tones of the same colour in a design or object. It’s bold, but also very easy to wear.

(top left) . . . This amazing large brooch I bought from the Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery in 2015. Again, love at first sight. Sections of wood rulers plus oxidised silver elements with a stamp and text on top of an oval Perspex base with a text background. It’s simply wearable art. I’m mad about it, wear it tons, and it’s always admired and commented on by people. Like all Clare’s work. it is beautifully made with such attention to detail. The back of the brooch is pure magic, a landscape with an oxidised silver ribbon fixed on for the pin attachment – with a CH!! Adorable.

(bottom left) . . . This brooch was posted to me from Clare in about 2006, again after her sending me photos. Another very bold piece, and again a complete piece of art. I really like the large oxidised silver square framing the cream section with bold text, with the white silver offset section leaning against it. Why is the stamp cut off on one side? It is a mystery – like so much of Clare’s work. It is all just so inventive and completely unique.

. . . (5 brooches + 5 earrings selected from a huge collection of my work!) Vivien, London

20 years as a Jeweller

Clare Hillerby Jewellery is 20 years old! What! I graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1997, followed by a year as Artist in Residence at ECA. I was then granted a Start Up Award from the Scottish Arts Council to set up my business in Edinburgh, where I lived and worked for about 18 years. These are pieces made for my Degree Show, based on handwriting from the start, using papers, etching, roll printing and enamelling.