August finds me working on a couple of interesting commissions whilst also preparing for and counting down to the Devon Artist Network’s Open Studios; an event that runs between Saturday 8th September until Sunday 25th September (inclusive). I have loved this event for many years and am thrilled to announce that this will be my first year of taking part.
The forthcoming county-wide arts event, Devon Open Studios, is the largest showcase for artists in the county with 368 artists taking part in 151 locations and I will be exhibiting and making jewellery at Venue 103- the iMadDjinn Studio in Combeinteignhead alongside Annie Drew, Wildlife Artist and Angela Bennett, Ceramicist.
The iMadDjinn Studio (formerly known as the Madryn Gallery) here in the little village of Combeinteighead has been operating as a picture framing studio for over 30 years and we are very grateful to the new framer for hosting our event within the building’s ancient and historic walls.
You can download a brochure for the whole event at www.devonartistnetwork.co.uk/events/open-studios-2018
During the event, I will be working on current commissions as well as manufacturing and assembling new gallery pieces and really hope that you will come along and take advantage of the chance to meet with myself, Annie and Angela.
Last month, I received an interesting request to turn dust into something beautiful and a little easier to wear! A retired chemistry teacher had saved silver from all the experiments she had done with her students extracting silver from Silver Nitrate Solution. She had, over many years, collected about 55 grams of silver which I have been melting down, casting and flattening out through my rolling mill to make them into a usable state. It’s been rather a hot process due to the current heatwave we have been experiencing but I do believe you have to suffer for your art! The plan is to make two, hopefully three, ‘Twist’ bangles so that she can keep one as a permanent reminder of her teaching, gift one to her technician as a thank you and one to her step daughter as a keepsake when she marries later in the year.
A large part of the excitement I get creating commissions for people arises from the stories of how they have come about and the sentiments in which they are given. Commission pieces are always different as a result and that is why I love to take them on. Videos and images of the work in progress can be found on my Instagram page @charlottebiba and on CharlotteBibaBouchardJewellery on Facebook. Please do follow or like me to see new posts.
I am really hoping that this project may lead to some further opportunities to work collaboratively with the very talented Mim Brigham of Made by Mim because I absolutely love her glasswork. Her collection ‘Microscopic’, fuses together her passion of science and art and yes, it does seem I am attracting scientists at the moment!
Mim discovered an image of a blade of Marram Grass, carefully cut to one cell thick, stained and viewed through a microscope, whilst studying Biology many years ago. She was struck by its beauty then, and it remained in the back of her mind until she developed a body of work. Her use of different glass techniques produces beautiful sculptural discs that are freestanding and hung or incorporated into furniture and in our case, jewellery. I am working with her to make up some trial pieces that combine our skills and styling. Currently I am making up a bracelet featuring 5 small discs in very simple but contemporary round settings. We are both very particular about the need for them to be perfectly uniform and so there is no room for misalignment or over filing. Each individual piece will be linked together with handmade components to make a flexible bracelet. It’s currently a piece of work in progress that I can fit in between other jobs which is perfect as I am finding it very absorbing but intense on my eyes! Plans are also in the pipeline for pendants and earrings so…watch this space to find out how we are progressing!
Mim’s ‘Microscopic’ collection has won her multiple awards and has been published in the Design and Craft magazine, Cornwall Today and the Contemporary Glass Society magazine. Take a look at her website www.mbm-glass.com for more information.
So, on and up to the workshop now as there is lots to be done! However, I do look forward to welcoming you to the iMadDjinn Studio, Combeinteignhead, TQ12 4RA between 11am and 6pm on:
Saturday 8th, Sunday 9th, Monday 10th, Tuesday 11th, Friday 14th, Saturday 15th, Sunday 16th, Monday 17th, Tuesday 18th, Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd September.