New Postcard Collages

I’ve just completed another collection of Postcard Collages. They are the size of an old fashioned postcard and the base of each is constructed from two halves of contrasting old postcards. Layers of old and new elements, painted, drawn on and stitched have been added, with the occasional old found pin. You can see them at my shop or a selection to follow


New Collages

New postcard collages are available from Clare Hillerby Studio / Shop. They are a special edition of the collage / cards I’ve been making for awhile now. But have more painted elements and stitch and ready to be framed. The collages are postcard sized mounted on snow white board, are £17 each + postage and can be viewed at the shop, or get in touch for more details.

Our Northern Quarter

One of the things that pulled me to Manchester was the Northern Quarter, it has such a great creative atmosphere. A year after I arrived here I managed to move my studio to Manchester Craft + Design Centre in the heart of the Northern Quarter, 5 years further on, I still love the Northern Quarter, and of course have my own studio / shop.

There are a few things going on here at the moment that make it worth a visit . . .

Bee in the City continues until 23 September, over a 100 bees decorated by various artists are situated all around the city. We have a large and a few baby bees at the Craft Centre and you can pick up a trail map here too.

Heritage Open Weekend continues this weekend, 13 to 16 September. An annual festival allowing people to visit places that are often hidden or to find out more about our history. MCDC will be joining in this Saturday 15 September with free tours and a ceramic workshop, and of course all of our studios will be open as usual.

Our next exhibition will also be open on Saturday, A Journey Home, it launches this Thursday and continues until 17 November. It is the first UK solo show by Eunmi Kim, her ceramics explore what it means to be Korean and traditional Korean art and is part of Asia Triennial Manchester. I have been following Eunmi’s preparations over on Instagram, her work is beautiful and I can’t wait for this!

You can really make a day of this area as there are so many nice shops and cafes to choose from, and restaurants and bars for a little later on. One of my favourite cafes is Fig + Sparrow on Oldham Road, I love the interior as much as the food.

Whenever I’m in need of a florist, there are two that I always support, Northern Flower on Tib Street (opposite MCDC and next door to Sugar Junction, a very popular cafe) as well as Flourish at the Market Street (shopping high street) end of Tib Street, they both always have such an great interesting choice.

Back on Oldham Street, near Fig & Sparrow, there are plenty of vintage clothes, record and book shops. Oldham Road leads north from Piccadilly Gardens, the city centre and the Northern Quarter leads on to Piccadilly train station, so it’s an easy walking distance.

Around the corner is a shop most makers at MCDC couldn’t live without, Fred Aldous as it supplies so much for our making lives

But while you’re wandering around the Northern Quarter remember, look up and look down, look around, there are so many works of street art everywhere, painted bees of course, things from last years Cities of Hope and changing pieces, just keep wandering!

And if you’re looking at this one then look left to find, another bee, and MCDC!

Hope to see you soon!

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

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 . . .

Collage commission . . . Part one

A couple of weeks ago I was presented with a beautiful bundle of family treasures. I often create collages for people with their own collected ephemera, to archive them in a way that they can appreciate every day. 

So I’ve already mocked up the collage for the customer and sent them an image so the customer can make any changes they wish before I secure and mount it up. So that’s the weekends job! I often create the mock up with photocopied versions so I can comfortably cut and work into those papers, until I get the ok!! 

I’m really looking forward to finishing this one. (I will share if I can!)

March Meet The Maker 2017

So I took part in #MarchMeetTheMaker on Instagram again this year and I thought I’d share a selection here . . .

Can’t live without . . .

My riveting tool.

Apart from my family, my fella, the support of customers and admirers, my hands, my daydreaming , etc etc! Thought I’d keep this one basic! I do love that tool and have been using it for 20 years now!
I discovered recently I have an ancestor, in one census he was a riveters helper, in the next a riveter, yes!

Me. . .

… this is me! At my bench. A place I love to be.

Favourite to make . . .

New things! Shouldn’t be showing this really as I haven’t got far with it at all. Currently playing with stone setting, which has been on my list for years, some of these stones I’ve had since I was studying! My vision is greater than the results so far, so much more to do. Eek!!

Workspace . . .

We have pretty small workspaces at the craft centre to give room for shop area, so it has to be well organised to make the most of it and i have to say it does work perfectly, it’s my favourite studio of all the studios I’ve had.

Organised . . .

A bit of the organisation I mentioned above. I (conveniently!) love drawers, boxes, tins!

Inspiration . . .

History / People / Stories

Old buildings & Details

Found things

Paper Books & Documents

Non precious becoming precious

Beautiful mysteries


Sketchbook . . .

I don’t get much time to work in a sketchbook these days but since I graduated I’ve maintained a collection of soft back a4 with cartridge paper (same paper as I roll print with). They’re a mix of workings out, off cuts, repeated drawn shapes, scribbles and lots of designs I’ve scribbled onto the nearest bit of file paper then masking taped into the book!

Work clothes . . .

I can wear whatever I want for work. It’s often grey with stripes or holes, as long as it’s warm, I’ve had lots of studios over time and they have all been cold, some really cold!

 Brand image. . .

My logo which is simply my name handwritten and a rather large pile of postcards with their lovely layered old edges, which isn’t technically my branding, but it is very relevant!

Where . . .

For the last year and a half I have been making and selling from my lovely studio / shop upstairs at Manchester Craft & Design Centre, and it is perfect, I really feel my years of being a jeweller makes sense working in this way.

How it’s made . . .

I do plenty roll printing, everything gets roll printed with cartridge paper to give a warm texture referring to the postcards and the paper with these unique prints are then used in my collages.

Feedback . . .

I spent many years in a studio making and sending my work out with no feedback and it took me a while to pick up courage to take my work to fairs, I was not confident in my work for years. Now I find myself in a studio that’s also a shop. We all get to hear, quite a lot! I am developing a thick skin! Some don’t say anything, that’s fine. Some make comments that are really useful or interesting, and some are . . . ! I also get such treats like people coming with a box of perfect ephemera they want to give me, amazing! And some are gorgeous people like the couple who recently bought a necklace and then came back the next day and left with a collage, (My favourite too!) and I’m so chuffed it now lives with them in their lovely home in Germany. They even took the time to send me this photo of it amongst some lovely intriguing other works. Thank you! This kindness keeps me (us?) going. Our work doesn’t end when you wrap it up for someone, it starts its journey.

You’re invited!

MCDC Christmas Event

We launch Christmas at MCDC on Saturday 19th November and we would love you all to come along!

We will then be open 7 days a week until Christmas, our last day is Christmas Eve when we close at 3pm

MCDC Christmas Event

Saturday 19th November 2016

Live festive music between 2 – 5 pm (we are open 10 – 5.30pm)


You can follow me on:

Instagram @clarehillerby 

Facebook @clarehillerbyjewellery 

Twitter @clarehillerby

. . . for new pieces being created for my studio / shop along the way to Christmas #inmycabinets 


“Ideas travel, and HAND.01, a packable, refillable, paper-topped modular table from emergent British design studio HAND and paper pioneers G.F Smith, has been designed to ensure that inspiration is captured wherever it strikes. 

Manchester Craft & Design Centre has joined forces with HAND Srudio to capture the creativity of the Centre’s Resident Makers and other creatives from across Manchester, and to celebrate craft, collaboration and the heritage of MCDC. 

A total of 49 artists have used HAND.01 to create 49 customised pieces of work which, when collated, will form a large mural representing an iconic section of MCDC.”


08.09.16 – 30.10.16


March meet the maker

Last month I took part in the #marchmeetthemaker challenge over on Instagram. It was open to any creative business that wanted to take part, a subject was set for every day of the month. I thought I would share the project in full here . . .

Day 1 | Brand Image . . .

img_2143I created my own handwritten logo a couple of years ago to reflect my interest and use of old handwriting. Then when I moved to my own studio / shop last September it was given a fresh look by having it laser cut in wood. I originally wanted to paint it but it looked right left alone along with my shop branding. I have old wood furniture against a pale grey wall inside.

Day 2 | You . . .

 Something I never do is take photos of myself, this was definitely the biggest challenge of the project! Taken in my studio / shop.

Day 3 | Workspace . . .

This is the jewellery making side of my workspace at the back of my shop, which continues across the back wall and then behind into a long simple bench area I created for making cards and collages, (or doing admin). All of my work is made in the studio, and it’s the perfect space, have great light and fab windows either side of me, one with the best view of the craft centre.

Day 4 | Tools . . .

 A selection of basic everyday tools. I’ve managed to buy most of my tools through much appreciated awards I’ve received over my career. There are still many tools on the wish list!

Day 5 | Can’t live without . . .

My awesome mum and my amazing fella firstly and mostly . . . then work wise it would be coffee before I start making to make me human, paper and pens, or a mountain of notebooks, my diary and a selection of inky black pens and pencil to write, make notes, lists and record thoughts.

Day 6 | Raw materials . . .


The first image is of a silver order I had just received. I make everything from scratch using silver sheet, wire and tube, and gold tube for the rivets. Postcards are next, Manchester is really good for vintage fairs which I go to as often as I can (I have the man in my life interested in vintage now and we are a good ephemera hunting team!). I also use old stamps and linen maps. I (we!) also hunt for old wooden rulers. I started buying rulers back in Edinburgh, they add a very warm and friendly feel to my work. Lastly here are a sample of the semi-precious beads I scatter through my collection. Always good quality and a great addition of colour and texture.

Day 7 | How & Why . . .

How & Why was a tricky one to answer in an image, and simply, so I opted to show the days work in process instead!

Why? I need some new simple every day wear earrings to suit some recently made necklaces.

How? I’ve prepared the hooks and stems, crazy how long such little things take. I lay out the ideas next to me at the bench on clean white paper, to stop me being distracted, which kind of works! I want to use semi-precious beads in them to link with the necklaces but give colour and interest on their own.

Day 8 | Where . . .

My walk from Piccadilly Gardens in central Manchester to the Craft Centre, is about 7 minutes across Thomas Street and up Oak Street in the Northern Quarter, then upstairs to my studio / shop.

Day 9 | Goals . . .

To get my cabinets stocked up! Now that I have more space with the new shop, and also to try and keep up with what is being designed in my head, its hard to keep up! It is a constant shifting to accommodate the unexpected order or deadline, then back to my schedule, adding in some random ideas as the inspiration takes me, if I leave it until I have time, sometimes I loose the inspiration for it. I also would like to open an online shop at some point this year.

Day 10 | Favourite small business . .

There are so many great makers, and too many jewellers I love, so for this I chose 3 differenet disciplines . . .

Lizzie Stewart illustration

Ness Donnelly stitched drawings

Cathy Cullis embroidery

Day 11 | Post run . . .

Day 12 | First ever sale . . .

A bangle from my Degree Show which I sold at New Designers to a very lovely French lady, I will never forget it!

Day 13 | Feedback . . .

One reason I wanted a shop at the Craft Centre was so I can meet the people who like my work and buy from me, it’s the best way to progress. I have a lot of conversations about my work, the display and, I didn’t expect so many conversations with guys about these old pegs I use for hanging pendants. Random, but I do love these little old things!

Day 14 | Creative friends . . .

Plenty here at my making home, Manchester Craft & Design Centre.

Day 15 | Inspiration . . .

My inspirations board above my workbench . . .

Day 16 | Time to relax . . .

If I’m at home, I’m learning to cook, because it’s just time I did! I’m not a natural, I end up adding creativity to things, which I think are genius at the time, but end up in disaster quite often!

If I’m out, and not at vintage fairs, I’m a bit of a wanderer and love exploring the city and adding to my collection of photos of derelict, urban textures, ghost walls, road markings and graffiti.

Day 17 | Photography . . .

Day 18 | Shelfie . . .

My shelves at home are a combination of handmade, vintage collections, and books.

Day 19 | Helper . . .

On Mondays I am extremely blessed with the help of the ultra lovely, friendly and happy Tamara. X

Day 20 | Sketchbook . . .

I generally design by playing with previously made but unused metalwork elements, sometimes along with card models. I fill a sketchbook in about a year or so with ideas and doodles of repeated shapes to warm up, and the occasional drawing of objects around me. If I’m lucky enough to have time!

Day 21 | Work clothes . . .

My second apron, made by my lovely mum, in denim with patterned fabrics around the edges and a hug pocket on the front (big enough for a hot water bottle in the deepest winter months!).

Day 22 | Best seller . . .

As most of my work is either one-off or limited edition, I cant really have a best seller, but, these studs are the first items I made using stamps and I always have them in stock in a nice selection of coloured stamps, maps and postcards. They are a good, or best friend!

Day 23 | Studio playlist . . .

On this day I was working on a brooch commission while listening to the radio. I get bored easily so I move between radio, silence, watching documentaries, or listening to my own music, though I have to be selective in a studio with visitors!

Day 24 | Milestone . . .

I moved to Manchester 4 years ago now with the hope that it was firstly a good idea, which it was. And also that I would get my own shop at Manchester Craft & Design Centre, which I have! I now need to make the most of having the shop and focus on some new goals.

This is an image taken from the current exhibition at the Craft Centre, Ceramics by Verity Howard.

Day 25 | Packaging . . .

Day 26 | Colour and Texture . . .

A sample of the stamps an their colours. Stamps, maps and beads give my work colour, and they are sitting here on white cartridge paper which I use to texture my silver by passing layers through the rolling mill. The paper comes out with lovely prints from the silver, and they are a perfect addition to my collages and cards.

Day 27 | Routine . . .

We open Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 5.30 pm, though as I have a helper I am at the studio Tuesday to Saturday. We can work outside of those hours too.

It takes me around an hour to get to work by bus and I love my route. I pass the Museum of Costume, the Whitworth, Manchester Museum and travel through Curry Mile and the universities to the centre of town.

Day 28 |  Organised . . .

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.

Gustave Flaubert.

Day 29 | In action . . .

Day 30 | Books or Blogs . . .

Books! Though I do have a few favourite blogs I regularly visit, I love books. Beautifully illustrated books, or books by illustrators. I love old map books, and I am a big  Nigel Peake fan.

Day 31 | Customers . . .

My fab view  from my workbench of my visitors.

Customers, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you. Without you I couldn’t continue my work, without my work, I would be nothing. Thank you X



Future Makers 2016


Every year Manchester Craft & Design Centre host an exhibition titled Future Makers to celebrate talented new makers who graduated the previous summer. Each studio can invite a maker they deem one to watch and I am very excited to have invited ceramicist, Josie Seymour-Jones who graduated from Hereford College of Arts. She will be the first Future Maker I have selected for my Studio/Shop, and I cant wait to see the work arriving next week. If you visited the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair last October, you may have seen her work there already. You are welcome to come and view Josie’s work (that she is busy making at the moment!) from its launch on Thursday 25th February (6pm to 8pm). There will be around 11 other Future Makers exhibited around the building.

Future Makers runs until Sunday 29th May 2016.


“I work in porcelain to create ceramics with subtle surface qualities

Treating the clay as a canvas, I approach the work as if it were a painting, building up layers of colour to create a pictorial composition

Observing traces and marks in the landscape, the pieces are made in a way which reflects the delicate nature of the porcelain

I am a graduate of Hereford College of Arts in Contemporary Design Crafts, and currently work from my hometown in north Wales”

Christmas at Studio 20a

Christmas decorations have been hung, shops are stocked with goodies, and we have officially launched our festive period at Manchester Craft & Design Centre! Plus from the 1st of December we will be open 7 days a week. Monday to Saturday from 10am until 5.30pm (as usual) but also Sundays from 11am until 5pm. There is also a new exhibition to see Exploring Wonderland, a celebration of 150 years of Alice in Wonderland. Hope you can join us!