Thursday, 14 August 2014

Jewellery designing

Well the summer holidays have been lots of lovely relaxing in cornwall and a bit of hanging out at our local outdoor swimming pool, but now the season has undoubtedly turned and it's time to crack on with work.
Today has been a lovely day sculpting and moulding bees to be made in silver and twiddling about with some jewellery designs I have been working on for a while, I thought I would share my studio and processes with you all.

My desk
and around it…..My day keeps being interrupted by my son and other enterprising children selling cucumbers and loom band….hence the green slug on the desk!
my loom band purchase!
Around my desk is an assortment of stitched bees (this bumble and the button done by my mum) and dead things!


I am lucky enough to share a studio space with not one but two talented jewellers. I have been throwing some ideas around with Damien Hackney for a while now and finally have started getting some stuff down on paper. The idea is that we will collaborate on the the production of the pieces as he is a fine metal worker, with the patience of a saint! I thought I had better have a go at some of the metal work before I started designing to get a better feel for it….. all I can say is "wow, what a lot of patience is needed"…all that polishing!!!!

I am currently sculpting some bees that I will then make a mold from, make them in silver and  then work with Damien incorporating them into the designs. I have also had a go today as making a mold from stitched bee fabric.

starting to sculpt
No legs!
handy cucumber display stand!

stitched bee.
See here for scribbles on paper, sources of inspiration, and some examples of Damiens work.
Below are the workings for a set of six pendants and my special skep necklace. I am also having loads of fun designing individually hand painted hexagonal boxes and embroidered bags for the one off items.


I have soooo many ideas queuing up waiting to be made but first things first. I am planning on using an assortment of metals, each one has  such different qualities and properties.
Watch this space, I will be documenting the process and then putting them on my new website.   Hooray for some rainy days and work getting done! 

Damien's lovely work.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Totem masks

I am now finally in a position to take orders for animal totem masks. I have been experimenting with some different techniques with craft felt, felted woollen cloth, needle felting and hand embroidery. These current patterns are from Oxeye Daisy but I am working on some new corvid/bird designs, a badger, a hare ooooh where to start!
Masks have long been the tools of transformation and storytelling..although it was often real animal parts that were use.
These are the current designs.
this particular fox is my own personal mask, he's well loved and well used!

You can see here in the detail picture all the different techniques applied. I find that needle felting helps sculpt the shape. Every inch is hand done in order to retain the lovely dense quality. Whiskers are made from silver or gold wire and occasionally other items such as beads are added. A plainer mask can take 4 hrs to make but on average it takes 5 hrs per mask!

if you are interested in ordering a mask please contact me via my website Atelier Bee

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Introducing the Yamana Jacket.

I am very excited to be able to add a new design to my website 'Atelier Bee'.  It is called the Yamana Jacket, a simple shape and lovely cut to create an elegant draped jacket.

 It's made from the most beautiful wool that has the feel of silk or smooth linen. Embroidered with gold bees and features a single red 'earth' bee.

The earth bee enables the energy, spirit and ideas to exit the cloth, so that nothing can get trapped and the magic can flow in and around the wearer.

My lovely model was Suzi Crockford of Dartmoor Drums and Rattles, you can find her here  and check out her blog:
She is wearing two of my Melissae skirts that I will be making soon. Flowing quantities of washed silk, embroidered with gold and silver bees.

Many thanks to Chagfood for the loan of their wagon and their flowers….still to come in another shoot!

hand stitched labels!
For more details of this product and to check out other go to Atelier Bee……
I am going to be making these jacket by commission and individual one-off's that I will put on the site. they will range in fabric and can be embroidered with almost any design…. :)

Monday, 30 June 2014

Sneaky peek at the reason for silence…….

So the reason it has been so quiet here in blog land is that I have been working on my new website! It's not quite finished yet and there are still lots of holes, garments that I am working on etc etc etc but I thought it time that I let you all have a sneak preview………..

Welcome to Atelier Bee! click on this link to take you there This is in equal measures exciting and terrifying. I am making, photographing and posting new works and info almost on a daily basis and certainly on a weekly one. It's hard to have it immediately filled as these are bespoke garments that take many hours of work and are often made to order.

Here you will find crazy and magical garments to well suited to the circus of life. I am making jackets and coats and even robes. I am currently working on an embroidered bee skirt design as well as a shamanic apron. You will find already some hand embroidered and needle felted animal masks. the current designs are very kindly based on a pattern by Oxe Eye Daisy but I am working on a new corvid design currently and am doodling a badger, oh and there's a wolf pic still to go up!

I am currently making these masks to order, Take a look at the site for further details.

The wolf, assorted felts, needle felting and hand embroidery with silver wire whiskers.
and watch this space for all sort of clothing and some jewellery! :)

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Life and death abounds

It's been a busy month so far, as my Grandmother used to say "May is the best month of the year!" I think she is probably right…..although it was birthday month too, Almost all of the oldest generation of my family where born in May!

Life is in abundance, my garden is springing forth into life, but sadly there seems to be dead baby birds, cold and lifeless, everywhere we go. I have also noticed a drop in the amount of birds in my garden this year :(

I celebrated Beltane with origami felt prayer swans! I was testing out a kit for a felt make friend of mine Yuli Somme. Check out her beautiful works here

The idea is that you make them, write your prayers or wishes in them and send them off down the river.
Hindsights a wonderful thing. A result of this trip was a fall, concussion and near death sickness! I should have wished for health and protection me thinks!

The upside of the trip was all these beautiful things! My son has taken these photos, the urge takes him from time to time and I encourage it. Suddenly he sees the world with new eyes and enjoys the beauty.

Bloody nose beetle


Blue Sky

Blossom…I think perhaps I should call this blog 'all the b's'

May merriment took place with an opportunity to dress up and hang out at a Game of Thrones party!
ok, so people aren't my son's forte..this was the best of a bad bunch…but he is 9!

Beautiful sculptural barnacle's as part of our seashore forage with the River Cottage gang at Charmouth beach. It was a beautiful day of seaweeds, shore plants, crabs, cockle's winkle's and sunshine.Culminating in a delicious feast, although I absolutely could not do the crab killing. Winkling out the curly little snail creatures was a task and a half and perhaps only made nice by the garlic butter dressing they where in?
Check them out here:
Big sky's and rock pool foraging….It made a delicious meal, all the better for being cooked by a chef!
Most of May though, has been taken up with recovering from concussion and organising a spectacular fundraising art auction for Proper Job our stalwart recycling and sustainability centre…….That is going to have to be a separate blog post, there is just too much excitement to put into here.
Gosh, I have been busy and we're only halfway through :)

Monday, 14 April 2014

Visions of loveliness.

It has been a busy and spring like time with some open studio time and table top sale. I am clearing the last of the children's jackets that I have spent years making under the Blow-pipe label. I have 10 more cut out which I will sew and then that is the very last of them. You will be able to find them here on friday!

This month is always a special one, we are usually guaranteed some warmth on our bones and this year it feels a long time in coming. I haven't had a Dartmoor winter get to me so much since I was a teenager here. Although it is one of my favourite times for light and colour, at times the heaviness become cloying and I find it hard to breathe. I yearn for the lightness of the sea.
 The bees are tired and hungry and also need the sun to warm their bodies, nourish their hives and relax the little muscles worn with the task of keeping warm.

Sunshine comes in many forms and especially my birthday. I was showered with visions of loveliness and warm golden love. My friends and family…..they know me well and are a superbly talented bunch! let me share with you some of it.
Golden gifts

I think this candle may be just too nice to burn!

A beautiful egg cup from my son and earrings made by my niece!
 A beautiful bouquet cake from my mother……and a portion of marzipan french fries, unfortunately I had already eaten most of them before I had got to the camera. I LOVE marzipan!

This amazing and very special drawing was done for me by the wonderfully talent Virginia Lee
you can see more of her work here

soooooooo beeautiful. I shall treasure it forever. x

Closely followed by this beautiful glass stag and birthday slug art on the window. I often wonder what they were thinking/doing? I shall have to ask!