Locket commission

A few months ago I received a lovely commission. The customer wanted a locket to give to his daughter on her wedding day that contained a photo of her mother. He wanted it to slid open rather than the traditional hinge design, to be decorated on the top, but not too fussy, to be white silver, to include something green, his daughters favourite colour and along the way we added the inscription on the reverse which included the date of the wedding.

After some discussion, designing and making samples, this way the final piece, with some work in progress. The design is now online for others to order to their preferences . . .

Collage Brooches

I’ve have just completed a new series of collage brooches. It’s been a few years since I’ve made any of my one off collage brooches, they need a lot more time to figure out and go through many versions before I can get making.

The initial idea was to work with layering of my materials, oxidised silver which I’ve reduced the larger sections to a grey finish to contrast with the upper smaller layers, larger pieces of ruler, settings in oval and irregular hexagons with a split of handwriting and image side of postcards, and then various elements, linear fragments, few brass elements which I liked the colour of with the greys and woods, and then hints of gold leaf highlights. And of course a scattering of gold tube rivets.

I took progress images along the way . . . and have added the results to my online shop

Birthday number 3

It’s my third birthday in the studio / shop at Manchester Craft and Design Centre and I still love it like it’s day one.

I am so appreciative of all the lovely customers I’ve had over those years and all the appreciation, feedback, encouragement and odd conversations, I’ve had a few good odd ones! It’s great to see how people react to the work and the unexpected ways that links them to it. It’s been great to develop collage commissions with people, assembling and archiving their treasured paper memories. And it’s been brilliant to make bespoke jewellery, tailored to people’s wants, tastes and budgets!

Thank you everyone who has stepped into my little space and enjoyed being there! Your support means I can keep doing what I was made to do! Thank you x

Scratching the Surface

Scratching the Surface is a group exhibition I’m taking part in at The Craft Centre and Design Gallery in Leeds. It starts this Saturday 17 March and continues until Saturday 23 June 2018.

The exhibition illustrates the diverse styles of individual makers from various disciplines, concentrating on surface texture and pattern.

Although my first instinct is not to create surface texture or pattern, my gathering of different material and treating the metal in varying ways, does result in a contrasting and detailed palette of contents.

For the show I have concentrated on a mix of metalwork with holes, organically pierced then roll printed which results in a raised texture around the holes, and as I love communication makes me think about Braille. I have included new pieces with my signature old postcards, which have their own unique patterns, and lots of warm smoothly textured and detailed fragments of old wooden ruler . . .

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.

Recent New Things

A little catch up with jewels that I’ve been creating over the last couple of months. Some are available from me at my Studio / Shop (just email for further details) or on my online shop where I am currently offering Free Delivery on purchases from now until Wednesday 20th December, which is the last purchasing date to ensure it arrives in time for Christmas.

Derelict pendants . . .

Contrasting metalwork fragments in black or white silver with a semi-precious bead for a spot of colour. Here with garnet, yellow opal and carnelian.

£80 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

Fragment Pendants . . .

Brand new pendants in black or white, featuring four larger contrasts of metalwork

£70 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

Four overlapping ovals necklace . . .

Two holey ovals and two plain ovals overlap and are secured at the tips with a gold rivet. Featured here with rough cut semi-precious labradorite beads and available in black or white

£110 (online) or Two ovals (one holey and one plain) on chain instead of beads £54 (at the Studio / Shop)

Paper Dot Pendants . . .

Maps and stamps contained in an oxidised silver setting and suspended on a long chain

£55 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

Tiny Ovals Studs . . .

Little ovals with paper texture are secured at the tips with gold tube rivets

£30 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

Three Large Elements Necklace . . .

A one-off special necklace created by combining an oval of old paper, an oval of old wooden ruler and a pierced, holey oval. All brought together with semi-precious apatite beads

£235 (online only)

Palette Brooch . . .

A little dish of mixed fragments, dot of ruler, dot of Mother of Pearl, linear strip, chevron oval and dots of gold

£130 (from studio/shop)

Mixed Fragment Studs . . .

A playful mix of chevron oval and bowl in oxidised silver, alongside an organic oval of gold

£120 (from Studio / Shop)

Holey Oval and MOP Studs . . .

Oxidised holey oval studs with an antique Mother of Pearl button stitched in place

£36 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

MOP Dot Studs . . .

Antique Mother of Pearl buttons on oxidised silver disks, stitched in place

£27 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

MOP and Holey Oval Earrings . . .

Long holey ovals suspended beneath studs of antique Mother of Pearl buttons on oxidised silver disks

£80 (from Studio / Shop)

Holey Ovals and Ruler Dot Earrings . . .

Holey ovals are suspended beneath circles of old wooden rulers

£80 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

Ruler Pendants . . .

Large and small dots, oval and raindrops in old wooden rulers, linked to long oxidised silver chains

£36 (available online and at the Studio / Shop)

The Great Northern in progress

We have been working away at MCDC to prepare for the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. I have been working on some new pieces and have been lucky enough to have some one to one stone setting teaching to add something new to my work, and I’m hooked!

GNCCF opens tonight with a special private view if you’d like to join us, or we will be open from tomorrow until Sunday (12 – 15 October)

. . . some of my work in progress, some finished pieces, and setting up our stand yesterday at Upper Campfield Market . . .

Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

Thirteen makers from Manchester Craft & Design Centre are busy creating new work for this years, 10th anniversary Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

The makers work in various disciplines and will be showcasing their jewellery, textiles, silversmithing, pewter, glass and leather on Stand 20. This is an important annual event for us and it is extra exciting to be part of the events 10th anniversary show

Come and visit us, and meet us, on Stand 20, and why not combine it with a visit to MCDC!

Wraps collection . . .

Wraps are something I have been making since graduating, they were the result of being inspired by handwriting, looking at the overlapping and interweaving lines drawn by the hand. Wraps were originally used in combination with the various other contrasting elements. Gradually they have developed into pieces on to their own, useful if you are wearing a necklace for instance with a wrap element along others, you may prefer to wear wrap studs for example, keeping it simple.

They remain an element amongst other contrasting elements, and they are also an established collection of their own comprising of nice weighty and tactile bangles which you may have spotted in my online shop already, there are also studs, necklaces, more recently brooches in the collection, and now I have a brand new hanging wrap earring that features a hand drawn silver lozenge top element. All are available in black or white sterling silver, and are now all available online . . .