Catching up for Christmas! Well, not quite but…getting ready to

Well, it seems the year is rolling on and we are well and truly into Autumn and people are starting to plan for Christmas!

I didn’t manage to get a blog post in for September as the two week Devon Open Studios event, despite being much quieter than in previous years, was still very much ‘full on’ experience that took up almost all my energy for the month! Having said that, it was really a fabulous time and wonderful to be working alongside the other 5 members of our artist group. This year, for the first time, I also led some workshops for members of the public. Three participants created beautiful earrings and at a separate session three more made a bangle each. All of them were complete beginners to jewellery making but had a variety of experience of making. Both groups left with very presentable and totally different pieces of jewellery having learnt the skills that they needed to make the designs that they had chosen. I really do enjoy facilitating other people’s creative ideas and I like to enable people to make what they want wherever possible rather than offering a very prescriptive experience. It is far more enjoyable for everyone and it seems to have become my USP for workshops as I now have several bookings leading up to Christmas. Later this week I’m even ‘going mobile’ taking my kit to the home of the lady who has booked me to provide a jewellery experience for her group of friends whilst they have their annual get together. Obviously, all these activities are carried out with the appropriate Risk Assessments and following the most recent Covid 19 regulations. Please do message me if you would like more information or to book.

So, what else have I been up to since my last post? I finished the engagement ring that I was working on through the summer and am waiting to hear from Paul when he has popped the question- don’t worry, I will be doing a ‘reveal’ here and on social media when it is safe for me to make the announcement! Oh, and I’ve just completed an interview and been preparing photos for an exciting feature that will be out in December so, there are a couple of exciting things for you to look out for in the next couple of months…

A taster image from the interview- Deco Cable Necklace

Following the Devon Open Studios, I have been working on several new commissions and orders as well as researching online selling and other business development. For the past few years, I have been signed up on various small business community platforms. There are so many and I am not entirely sure that I have found a perfect fit for what I do and how I want to operate my business but the one thing that is consistent across them all is that you have to separate working ‘on’ your business and ‘in’ your business. As this is now my full-time job, it has become very apparent that I have a huge amount of catching up to do!  Advice is clear that breaking down the working week should identify a greater proportion of time needed to be ‘working on’. I will have to be stricter with myself – the call of the workbench is strong but now even more than ever, artists and makers are having to find new ways to get our work seen and out there. I will however always do my best to find new ways to create face to face opportunities, as I really do believe that buying and selling handmade craft is a very ‘hands on’ experience and choosing jewellery is especially so.

Back at the end of September I enrolled on an evening class to practise some of the techniques and skills that I don’t get to use very often. It’s been a really refreshing experience for me to have time to make some pieces for myself, exploring and having fun alongside other learners. It has also been really lovely to return to where it all started for me over 10 years ago and I still can’t quite believe that here I am now actually working as a jeweller but what I can say is, ‘It’s good to be here’ and ‘I wouldn’t want it any other way!’

Silver and Gold Floral Necklet made when I first started making Silver Jewellery at ACL classes

Hoping that we all get to enjoy a few more crisp, dry autumnal days before I next write.

Take care.
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