Sunday, 26 February 2012

Baby Keepsake – Birth Celebration Necklace

I had a lovely custom jewellery order to complete last week. I was sent a selection of baby keepsakes, presumably that had been kept within the baby box and I was asked to make a birth celebration necklace with some of the items.

The necklace design I produced was this; a rectangular shaped pendant with the baby items encapsulated within resin and a little bit of glitter. The baby items that were used included a ‘love and kisses’ label from the baby's first coat, a piece of purple ribbon from the baby's blanket, a strip of card from her birth announcement card and sequins from her first Christmas.

Baby Keepsake Jewellery
Now that was the finished pendant but here is the original design that I sent to the customer before making the pendant. Can anyone spot the deliberate mistake? Ok, perhaps not deliberate but nobody is perfect!

Baby Keepsake Design

She loved the pendant and what a great way of not only preserving those baby keepsakes but also providing a wearable piece of jewellery for the little girl when she is older.

Mick

Friday, 17 February 2012

Hello Mr Snowman

Now where do I start? Well, I was awake at a very early hour this morning with my head swimming with jewellery related thoughts. And whilst I waited for my family to awake I thought I would write my weekly blog post and this is what I ended up with....a poem? Or is it a verse? Not sure really because I did fail my English O-Level the first time around.

So here goes, this was inspired by our Mr Snowman who sadly melted away recently.

Hello Mr Snowman standing tall and proud
You look mighty handsome with snow all around
With your bottle top eyes and carrot for your nose
But don’t you get cold not wearing many clothes?

Snowman

And as the snow around you started to melt away
You just kept on going to see another day
I apologise for removing your scarf, hat and gloves
But staying warm in winter is one of my loves.

Melted Snowman

Bye Bye Mr Snowman and please come again
And for next time a new carrot I will try to obtain
When the snow falls again and sticks to the floor
We will see your face smiling back at us once more.

Thanks for reading!

Mick

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Unusual custom made jewellery requests

I have been really busy since Christmas with custom requests for my jewellery that sometimes I don’t know how I am managing to fit it all in! Some of it may be due to the run-up to Valentines’ day, with the usual love heart sweet pendant requests and some probably because word-of-mouth is spreading.

Amongst the requests I have had a few unusual jewellery designs. I love making every single one of my pendants but when a custom jewellery order comes along for something a little bit different, I find it exciting and sometimes challenging!

The first pendants I am going to show off are these resin pendants that contain Silver Birch tree bark. These are extremely important for the family who asked for them because the bark was taken from a tree with great sentimental value.

Silver Birch tree bark pendants

The second pendant contains the world’s smallest rubber duck, along with a miniature dice (to represent the birth day), and is bordered by two locks of hair.

Rubber duck, dice and hair pendant

The next piece of memorial jewellery was interesting to make; the pendant contains the ashes from a much loved pet and I was asked to make it gothic looking.

Memorial jewellery for ashes

Finally a keyring containing salad! I have incorporated miniature slices of cucumber, tomatoes, egg, onion, lettuce and even celery into the charm.

Salad keyring

...great for those watching their weight or if you are just fond of salad! The salad keyring has given me inspiration for a new range of unusual jewellery so watch this space!

Mick

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Featured Artist - Equine photography by Hoof Behind the Lens

The really nice thing about making custom jewellery for people is that I often meet some lovely people that I may not otherwise have met. This happened last year when I was asked to make some horse hair jewellery for Nell Best who lives in Cumbria. Nell is an equine photographer and travels the area and beyond taking beautiful photographs of peoples horses. She started her equine photography business ‘Hoof Behind the Lens’ last year at the age of 16 and it is going from strength to strength.

I asked Nell if she could do a little interview that I could share with you and thankfully she agreed. All the photos below were taken and kindly given to me by Nell.

Firstly can you tell us a little about yourself?

Right, Hoof Behind The Lens is an equine photography business based in Kendal, Cumbria and owned by Nell Best. I am an equine photographer and I take photos of horses out at shows, at home with their owners and also offer photography for horses that are for sale, so that owners have photos that will best show off their horses to potential buyers. I offer prints of the photos that I take, in various sizes, both normal and poster sizes and can mount photos if required. I cover the areas in and around Cumbria but am willing to travel if there is a demand for it.

Equine Photography

Whatever kind of shoot I do, I strive to create beautiful photos that owners will be able to treasure forever.

I can be found on Facebook at Hoof behind the Lens on Facebook or Search for Hoof Behind The Lens - Equine Photography.

Horse Photography Cumbria

You take beautiful photographs of horses, how did you come to learn your art?

Thank you. Well I've been at it for a while really, I started taking photos of my horse Bella when I got her in May 2010, just on a little compact camera, and took more and more, but I got frustrated that I couldn't be that creative with a compact camera, and couldn't get the quality of photographs I was aiming for. Then in December 2010 a friend of my Dad's had a Canon DSLR camera he had owned for a couple of months but not used, and he said he saw my talent from the photos and asked me if I would like it. So since then really I've just kept at it, taking photos daily, mostly of my very patient horse (and model!), Bella.

Equine Photography Cumbria

I then set up Hoof Behind The Lens in March 2011, really as something to take my mind off things as I had recently lost my Grandma, and it grew from there, with more and more people wanting photo-shoots. So it's just endless practice really that's got me where I am now, and I still have a long way to go!

Hoof Behind the Lens

What inspires you?

I'm inspired by horses in general really, just the way they move, interact with both people and other horses, and just generally everything about them. I think they're stunning creatures, and I strive to create photos that reflect that. There's not really a main human figure that inspires me, there are many Equine Photographers that I look up to, including Tim Flach and Bob Langrish, but I am mainly inspired by the beauty of the equine species itself.

Horse photographer

What's your favourite photograph you have taken and why?

You know what, I really couldn't pick. I do have a few that I really love, nearly all of those are of my own horse but really, I love all the photos that I take, and am just as excited about the ones I've taken and love already, as the ones I haven't even taken yet, because I want to take better photos each time.

Hoof Behind the Lens - Dog Photo

Do you have any tips for anyone starting a photography business?

I'd say just practice really, keep on taking photos, never stop, and always look critically at your work and try to see what you could do better - then do it! Start doing shoots for friends and family, and start up a website and/or Facebook page as they're great publicity, and get the word out about your business. I started from nothing not even a year ago now, and now I've got a successful little business at the age of 16, just by getting out there, taking as many photos as I could and getting the word out that I'm different. Also, never ever give up! It's a hard business because everyone nowadays has a camera, but keep at it and you can only improve!

Horse Photo - Bella

What is my favourite photograph?

Well that is an easy one for me but I am biased! Nell posted this photo onto my Facebook page last week. It is a photograph she too of the pendant I made for her last year and it is awesome!

Horsehair Jewellery

Oh and this one!

Horsehair pendant

Nell has definitely got a photographic talent and business awareness that will see her good for the future and is definitely someone to look out for. She is also already a great role model and inspiration for any young person who wishes to start a business.

Thank you again Nell for letting me share your equine photography story so far....

Mick