Artist in the Spotlight: Sue Smith

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In the lead up to our Summer Pop-Up event on the 10th of June we asked our artists and makers a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. Sue Smith is the artist in the spotlight for this post. Sue creates beautiful watercolor sketches of Cambridge and the surrounding areas – come to our event and see how many you recognise!

Describe your work in three words:

Cambridge, watercolour, sketches

sue smith

 

 

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

Handmade means exactly that – made by hand with love care and attention. Something handmade is unique and contains something of the artist who created it.

 

What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?

Original artworks, prints, cards and postcards.

 

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?

Finishing something! And letting it go to someone who loves it too – this can also be the worst part!

Doing what you love, what could be better than that? There really isn’t a worst part unless you count paperwork!

 

Where do you get your inspiration?

From what I see on my travels. I always carry a sketchbook.

 

‘Handmade’ according to Avalon Jewellery

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Glass Bead Earrings by Honor from Avalon Jewellery

We are very happy to announce that Ronan and Honor from Avalon Jewellery are going to have a stall at our summer pop-up on June 10th. In the running up to the event, we are putting our sellers in the spotlight and asked them a few questions.

Ronan and Honor were one of the first to get on board and we are very excited about their new products. Keep an eye out on this website, as we will be uploading some of them the coming weeks and don’t miss out on a chance to try their jewellery on at our summer pop-up.

Just like the names of their beautiful, handcrafted pieces of jewellery, Honor’s answers to our questions read like poetry.

 

Describe your work in three words

Modern – English – Jewellery

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

‘Handmade’ is important to us because it makes us open up our imagination to the world and then use our creative skills to bring our ideas into being.

‘Handmade’ things need imagination, care, a willingness to experiment and sometimes fail, concentration, skill, stamina, patience, impatience, attention to detail, time and perhaps most importantly, love, but not necessarily in that order.

‘Handmade’, by its definition, means that human hands have been used to make something original and lovely with someone original and lovely in mind and what can be better than that?

What will you be selling at our Eclectic Mix pop up event on 10th June?

A range of jewellery made from precious metals and stones including bangles, earrings, pendants, necklaces and rings, some of which includes art glass.

 

What’s the best part of making what you do? And the worst?

The best part of making our jewellery is the collaboration between us. We love to marry materials which we like to think brings a unique quality to some of our jewellery, especially our sterling silver and art glass earrings and pendants. Ronan very much enjoys the complexities of working with precious metals and stones whilst I love working with art glass for its extraordinary colours and because the process needs skill but is clean and quick with endless possibilities.
As for the worst part, I can’t speak for Ronan, but for me, using a hot torch to make glass beads in the Summer heat makes life very difficult, and I have been known to sit with my feet in a bowl of iced water before now. Even Murano glassmakers close down in the hottest months. What happened to chilly British weather all year round? Maybe my shed could double up as a sauna (not a good look with protective eyewear) or maybe I just need to head for a landscape where I can watch icebergs float by. On second thoughts, shaping molten glass in the middle of a melting igloo may not be such a good idea. Heading shedwards shortly instead, and loving it.

 

You can find out more about Avalon Jewellery on their artist’s bio page, or have a look at Honor‘s and Ronan’s shop on our website. Don’t miss out on meeting them at the summer pop-up. They are a very inspiring and warmhearted couple and we feel blessed to have them in our team of sellers.

Guest post by Onur Pinar: Which colours look good together?

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Guest post by Onur Pinar: Which colours look good together?

 

Onur Pinar is a portrait photographer based in Cambridge that makes stunning portraits. Have a look at his website. He also keeps a blog where he shares some insight and tips on photography. The post below about colours is one of them.

Which colours look good together?

Which colours look good together? Life is colourful. We see colours every day in nature, we use them while choosing our outfit, painting our houses, are affected by them when buying products, looking at art, photographs, movies.

But which colours actually look good together?

The colour wheel

When white light is bent or refracted by a prism, or by water droplets to create a rainbow, it separates into a continuous gradation of colours. By making these colours into a circle, we get a colour wheel, which artists use as kind of map of the colour universe.

The first thing to notice is that the colour wheel can be sliced in half, separating warm and cool colours. Warm colours often remind us of energy and joy, while cool colours convey calmness and peace.

As we work our way in towards the centre of the wheel, we explore different tones of the same colour. (Any colour that is “greyed down” is considered a tone.) A mixture of tones can be used to convey complexity, subtlety, sophistication.

What the wheel misses is the addition of black and white:

Tints are colours with white added. Using a variety of tints often conveys a soft, youthful and soothing effect.
A shade is any colour with black added. Shades can be deep, powerful and mysterious.

It can be fun to play around with tones, tints and shades of the same colour. If you want to involve more colours, here are a few more ideas to match colours, based on the colour wheel.

Complementary colours are any two colours opposite each other on the wheel. (For example, blue and orange.) Such combinations create high contrast, so are best used when you want something to stand out. You might like to try one of the colours as the main background (or main part of your outfit) and add small accents of the other colour. You might also like to play around with different shades and tints of both of these colours.

Split complementary colours use three colours. The scheme takes one colour and matches it with the two colours adjacent to its complementary colour. (For example, blue, yellow-orange and red-orange.) This is often a nice scheme to use because there is a good contrast of colours, without the clash of the complementary colour.

Analogous colours are any three colours next to each other on the wheel. (For example, orange, yellow-orange, and yellow.) Try to focus on tints of analogous colours and avoid combining warm and cool colours in this scheme.

Triadic colours are any three colours that are equally apart on the colour wheel. For example, red, yellow and blue. The triadic scheme is high-contrast, but slightly more balanced than direct complementary colours. With this scheme, and schemes involving, even more, colours, it is best to let one colour dominate, and just have small accents of the other colours dotted around.

Choosing colours

You may already have a sense of the colours you want to use, depending on your mood, or the emotion you would like to convey. For example, you might pick bright colours if you’re feeling cheerful, or darker ones if you’re feeling sad. Or perhaps you might like to play around with the colour wheel or find inspiration in nature.

Most of all, when choosing colours, try not to overthink it. Just wear and surround yourself with the colours that you like.

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