Last Saturday the exhibition ‘Enamel Today’ opened at 78 Derngate: The Charles Rennie Mackintosh House, Northampton. It is an exhibition of Enamel work by the members of the British Society of Enamellers. As a member of BSOE I am exhibiting some of my ‘Sand and Stone‘ collection.
This fantastic exhibition runs until July 1st and includes the work of over 20 enamel artists. The work includes stunning jewellery and some brilliant wall art and art objects. The work is spread between three parts of the gallery so if you visit make sure you see it all.
I made this pendant (below during the final year of my degree. It was a quick experiment I did using a left over piece of copper from something else I was working on. It turned out to be very successful and lead towards the designs of some of my final collection. However, the simplicity of this piece will always be one of the things about it that make it so successful.
I’ve kept this necklace for myself (sometimes you just can’t let something go) but I’ve had many compliments on it and decided to use this design as the basis for a new collection.
The shape is based on rocky coastlines. I have been using this idea to create necklace and earring sets; finding a way to efficiently cut the copper so there is no waste.
Each piece of copper is then coated with 2 layers of enamel. Many of these are different transparent colours on top of an opaque base. These pieces also have sand fired onto them making them tactile and evocative of the beach. On others I have used firescale or sprinkles of another colour to imitate the rock surfaces and the lichen growing on them.
One thing I love about enamelling (although it can also be the worst thing) is that each piece can be a surprise – sometimes the same technique can turn out different each time and the finest change in firing time etc can alter the colour. It makes each piece unique – like these three necklaces.
Another feature of these necklaces is that they can be worn at two different lengths. I have developed a fastening for my necklaces that is both attractive and versatile. I like my jewellery to work with various outfits with different necklines.
I’m really pleased with this collection – I wear a couple of these quite often myself as they work just as well with a t-shirt as a dress. These two colours have to be my personal favourites.
I’m really excited (and a bit nervous) to be running an Enamelling Workshop next month. As a favour I’ve recently been looking after the Firegems mosaic workshops and in return I am being allowed use of the studio for my own work.
As the spaces for my workshop have been filling up I’ve been stocking up on my enamelling materials and tools. It’s always exciting opening up parcels. Now I’ve got a decent range of enamel colours, decorative media and copper shapes – something for everyone hopefully.
During my time in the Firegems workshops I’ve also been developing a new range of necklace and earring sets. They are looking pretty good so far.
Hannah Duncan Contemporary Jewellery can now be seen at Mission Gallery, Swansea.
The showcase is made up of most of my degree work plus a few new smaller necklaces and earrings. It is going to be on display for the duration of the current exhibition being held there – Situation/Material/Ocean. My work sits well next to this exhibition as it is based on coastal landscapes.
Having grown up in Swansea, as well as regularly visiting the south-west coast of Scotland, I have developed a love for the coast. This work combines enamelled silver and copper with fold-forming techniques and tangles of threads. The contrasting shapes and tactile surfaces are also used to embody the coastal landscape. My jewellery is an attempt to capture the beauty of this landscape and also immerse the wearer in the atmosphere of the shoreline.
So, if you’re in Swansea why not drop into Mission Gallery and check out the current exhibition and my work in the craft area. And while you’re at it why not treat yourself to a necklace or pair of earrings.
This is my first time writing a blog post in over a year and it is also my first time posting on my blog at it’s new location on my website.
(If you followed my blog as it was before – hduncancreations.wordpress.com – please note that whilst it is still currently active I will no longer be posting on it. Instead you can continue to follow me here. Please subscribe.
You can also follow me on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HannahDuncanCreations)
A lot has happened since I wrote my last post – including me completing my degree. Therefore, today’s post will give you a brief overview of the highlights of my past year.
In March my classmates and I exhibited some of our work in De Koffie Pot, Hereford. Below is my display.
If you followed my blog before you may have noticed a considerable change in my work since the 2nd year of my degree. Over this past year I have developed a love for enameling – this photo shows the beginnings of my experiments with it as part of my work based on a coastal area of Scotland.
I developed my enameling skills and designs over the next few months to achieve my final outcomes for the degree show. The show was held at Hereford College of Arts in June.
After the stress of all my deadlines was over I was very excited to be able to take part in an enameling workshop run by Elizabeth Turrell.
Then at the end of June some of us packed up our degree work to take to London for New Designers. It was a bit manic but well worth it!
On July 22nd I finally graduated!
I had a less than perfect college experience, especially in this final year, but I am very proud to have completed my degree and particularly proud of the 1st I received for my dissertation ‘Identity Crisis: What is Contemporary Jewellery and How Do We Define it?’.
At the degree show I was awarded the opportunity to exhibit with the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen. The exhibition was held at the Town Hall in Chipping Campden in August. It was a great success and I received lovely feedback.
To top it all off, in October I found out I had been chosen as runner-up for the Guild of Enameller’s Bursary Award and because of this I now have an image of my work published in the current issue of Craft&Design magazine.
Before Christmas my class took part in a competition to design a range of jewellery for Henryka, a silver and amber jewellery shop based in Hereford.
I was one of the chosen winners! And now my Snowdrop designs are for sale in the Henryka shop. Of the snowdrop jewellery designed by me and made by Henryka, there are brooches, pendants and earrings. The pendants come in three sizes and the brooches in two.All of these pieces can be bought on the Henryka website: http://www.henryka.co.uk/catalogsearch/result/?q=snowdrops
I think it’s a case of now or never with this post! I finished this project quite a while ago now and another deadline has come and gone without me posting any finished pieces.
So here we go:In the end I made both objects and jewellery (there are two other pieces than these but I feel these are the most successful).I am really pleased with these but working out the best way to make them was hell! If I’d had the time I would have liked to make more varied ‘corridors’ with steeper curves and different lengths of edges. I was also planning on blackening the insides of some.This is one of the necklaces, however it’s actually inspired by the bricks of MIMA rather than corridors. It’s simple but effective and I rather like wearing it myself.
After a very stressful finish to this project I managed to scrape a first! Woo!
Anyway, I’m off to Paris for a few days. I will try to be less useless once I’m back and post some examples from my Metal Folds project which finished earlier this week and will hopefully have my results for it as soon as I’m home.
I decided not to use the optical illusion work as I prefer the subtlety of the previous work. However, I was still not sure exactly what I was making, at the time they were just art objects. I questioned myself on whether they needed to be something more. To work out if these little corridors could become jewellery I tried out some of my favourite paper pieces on chains as necklaces.The small ones are quite sweet, they could make interesting beads.I tried playing around with the positioning of the paper corridors on the chain, looking at how they might sit on the body. I felt that some of the pieces were a bit to large to be worn this way, they didn’t look quite right. Also, whilst they are in paper and therefore quite light, if I was to translate them into metal they may be a bit too heavy to be comfortable to wear. This one was particularly interesting with its steep curve and point. It works quite well as an asymmetrical neck piece. After doing this I definitely think that some of the smaller ‘corridors’ could work very well as metal neck pieces, however, I am still interested in making some of the larger ones into art objects which are meant to be held, looked at and looked through.
Just two days ago I was moving out of my student house in Hereford. It’s hard to believe my first year has finished!
Since returning home I have received a letter confirming my results. For my final project, the work below, I received 80! A very good 1st.
Obviously I am very pleased with my result but, although the project itself was very successful, I will admit I was a little disappointed that the actual final necklace wasn’t completely successful. You can see this below.
Having said that I still think elements of it are very effective and the initial design very clever.