Artist in the Spotlight: Lorraine Hitt from elsie.m jewellery

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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. Lorraine Hitt from elsie.m jewellery makes elegant pieces that are timeless. Visiting her stand at the pop up is a must for all jewellery lovers!

How would you describe your work in three words:

Simply, Stylish & Edgy.

Lorraine Hitt from Elsie M. Jewellery

 

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

Makes every piece unique & I get so much pleasure handcrafting my own designs.

 

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

My handcrafted silver & brass contemporary jewellery.

 

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

Seeing people wearing my designs. Constantly marketing my work.

 

 

Where do you get your inspiration?

Interior architecture, fashion, sculpture, anything with a simple form.

 

Artist in the Spotlight: Aurora Lombardo

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In the lead up to our Summer Pop-Up on the 10th of June, we asked our artists and makers a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. The artist and maker in the spotlight for this post is Aurora Lombardo – her pieces are timeless and elegant and are sure to add an Italian flair to the Pop-Up. This year Aurora was part of the Cambridge Creative Reactions event. This art and science related event has been associated with Pint of Science festival since 2015 . During the build up to Pint of Science, Aurora was one of around 50 local artists who created an artwork related to the scientific talks. She acutally used to be a biologist herself!

How would you describe your work in three words:

Colourful, vibrant, unique.

Aurora Lombardo Creative Reactions
“Inner Landscapes” necklace inspired by the way DNA is organised within the nucleus of the cells

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

I make, buy and love handmade! Handmade products for me are more than just an object: it’s the time, the attention, the effort, the love that goes into making each piece of work that makes them so special. Making things by hand is such a basic human fulfilment! When you make something, you leave a part of yourself in it; similarly, when you buy something handmade, not only are you going home with an unique object, but also with a piece of personal history.

As a mum, I also believe that teaching children the importance of making things by hand and exposing them to a wide variety of arts and crafts activities is very important to stimulate their creativity and imagination. And this is in fact the ethos behind the work I do through The Jazzy Jewelz Studio.

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

A range of sterling silver, dichroic glass & ceramic jewellery and accessories. I will also have a table all set up for drop-in jewellery making sessions.  There will be a  full menu of beaded items to make, from bracelets & necklaces to bag charms and colourful beaded suncatchers.  I’ll explain the method, provide the tools and be on hand should anyone require any help. The projects are suitable for children aged five and up, and grownups can join in too!

Aurora Lombardo earrings

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

Dichroic glass is a fantastic medium to work with: there’s always something new to learn: this type of glass can be very temperamental, but persistence brings great rewards!

I also love experimenting with new materials and techniques, pushing them to the limit to see whether something new can be achieved. Although experiments aren’t always going to yield amazing results, for me this remains the most exciting part of my work as a jewellery maker!

The worst part is using a polishing motor to give a high shine finish to my silver pieces: I hate that machine with a passion: it is scary, messy and I end up looking like a chimney sweep after using it!

 Where do you get your inspiration?

Most of my creations stem from workshop experimentation rather than from detailed planned drawings. Inspiration seems to strike from all sorts of places: an architectural feature, the textures and colours of the natural world, a landscape element, but a couple of emerging themes for me at the moment are science and biology.

 

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.

 

Artist in the Spotlight: Veronica Ellis from Nature’s Grace

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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 with a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. Veronica Ellis from Nature’s Grace is the artist in the spotlight for this post. Veronica will be at our event so be sure to come down to see her lovely work for yourself!

Describe your work in three words:

designer – prints – gift-ware

A selection of Veronica's work
A selection of Veronica’s work

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

It is important for me to touch and to make the things that have inspired me. There is a step before the making, that moment when an experience, a place, or a thought triggers the imagination. This is the time I pause and feel the experience which then flows through my hands as I make the object, create the image or write the words. When everything comes together, hand making is pure joy, and there is huge satisfaction in seeing a work completed.

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

I will be selling a range of my Nature’s Grace art prints and cards, along with designer gift-ware, including wood art, glass art, cushions, coasters and place mats. The range has been designed to transform homes with affordable stylish art. All the designs are original and created by me.

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

 The best part of making for me is the creative freedom to be inspired by anything and everything. Then there is the pleasure of seeing an image come to life. Often you begin with one thing and end with another. It is the little surprises and happy accidents that often create the best work. The worst thing for me is the freedom to be inspired by anything and everything! Yes, this both a blessing and a burden. So many ideas flow so quickly sometimes that I can’t keep up with the need to curate my work and make my products. So, I have become addicted to list making, and it keeps me on the straight and narrow…most days!

Where do you get your inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere, but the thing that fires my imagination the most is nature. My two favourite things are trees and the sea, but everything from microscopic details to sweeping landscapes inspire me. The meaning of objects and stories are also important to me. I have a keen interest in art history and have spent years absorbing the works of my creative heroes. I see their influence coming out in my work, not always intentionally, but it is there.

Artist in the spotlight: Katie Farrell from Mabel Fox

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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 with a few questions in order to gain an insight into their practices. Katie Farrell from Mabel Fox is the artist in the spotlight for this post. Katie’s enchanting lino cuts are a treat – they will be available to buy at the Pop-Up event so come and see them for yourself.

 

Describe your work in three words:

Enchanting – Scandinavian – Art

 KF image 1

Why is ‘handmade’ so important to you?

I think that owning a handmade item means more than something mass produced, it feels more personal and special. Every one of my prints will be slightly different as they are all hand burnished, I think their imperfections add to their charm.

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

Hand burnished, limited edition, lino cut prints of woodland and garden creatures, either framed or unframed. I will also have small versions of these prints, framed in simple white frames, great gifts! There will be greetings cards, bags and cushions featuring my prints, plus aprons and tea towels.

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

When I make a print with a new linocut design for the first time, seeing it in different colours is so exciting. Then to see the reaction from the person the print is named after, that is priceless. The worst part is mounting and framing the prints, bit laborious but worth it in the end.

Where do you get your inspiration?

After designing a linocut print for my newest niece’s christening– Evelyn Bunny – I was inspired to design a print for each of my children, nieces and nephews, for example; Daniel Fox, Connor Wolf, Edward Squirrel and Charlie Mouse. My style is influenced by Scandinavian Folk art.

Grey image KF 4

New Student Volunteers: Cecelia Wood

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Eclectic Mix Cambridge is very happy to welcome Cecelia Wood and Lauren Wilson to their team. They are both illustration students at the Cambridge School of Art and will be volunteering in the run up to the summer pop-up. They are also organising the student area at the event.
They are both very talented illustrators with a passion for making and will tell a little bit about themselves in these blog posts.

About me – Cecelia Wood

So far my time at the Cambridge School of Art has been a whirlwind, filled with lots of work, but so much fun and the chance to learn so much! My work is inspired by nature, its patterns, colours, shapes and textures, and I’ve loved exploring screen printing as a medium to combine these things. I will have framed screen print collages for sale at the pop-up event (take a sneaky peek at the image here).

Framed abstract screen print collage
Framed abstract screen print collages
Cecelia Wood Nature in the City 3D collage
3D Collage

I love layering, and finding the balance in an image: between simplicity and complexity and between abstraction and representation. My favourite material must be paper; it comes in so many forms. The touch and smell of a lovely piece of handmade paper holds so many possibilities for a project!
My work has been moving towards incorporating 3D elements. Recently I had an exciting trip to London as my 3D collage was shortlisted for the Batsford Illustration Prize. At the pop-up event, I’ll be selling framed versions of 3D paper collages, based on my drawings done on location at Cambridge Botanic Garden (see images below).

 

 

 

 

 


Lauren Wilson and I are excited to be presenting a diverse range of our own and our peers’ handmade products in the student area, direct from the workshops of the Cambridge School of Art, all at affordable prices. It’s going to be a great opportunity to engage with the thriving arts scene in Cambridge – as well as a lovely arty afternoon out! Hope to see you there on 10th June!
For more images of my work please see my website: https://ceceliawood.myportfolio.com

‘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.

Mandy Knapp at Creative Reactions

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Printmaker Mandy Knapp - Creative Reactions - Pint of Science

 

Printmaker Mandy Knapp was thrilled to be partnered with Dr Sander van der Linden for the Creative Reactions aspect of this years Pint of Science festival.

Every May, scientists and researchers are invited to deliver their talks at local pubs, which makes a lovely change from them just sharing the information with their colleagues in the lab or college. What an opportunity to tell the general public all about their research and passion!

Three years ago, Mandy Knapp and Karen Jinks set up the pilot for Creative Reactions, where artists were paired up with each of the speakers, and each artist made some work in response to their talk. It’s a fantastic opportunity for creatives to access science directly, and exciting for the scientists to collaborate and see how their work can be interpreted.

So this year Mandy has got the subject of Fake News to grapple with. Dr Sander will be using lots of medical metaphors in his talk, and Mandy has taken this on board with the work she has made. He talks about vaccinating the herd against Fake News, and Mandy has enjoyed exploring this concept, referencing Rene Magritte’s Treachery of Images. The resulting potent image features a pipette, which is a play on words, connecting to Magritte’s ‘ceci n’est pas une pipe.’ Her work called ‘The Treachery of Fake News’ will be for sale, along with some single dose vaccine cards.

You can book your free ticket here.

 

Printmaker Mandy Knapp - Creative Reactions - Pint of Science

What does ‘handmade’ mean for artist and printmaker Mandy Knapp?

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What does 'handmade' mean for artist and printmaker Mandy Knapp?

Mandy Knapp is an artist from South Cambs, and we have been asking her what ‘handmade’ means to her.

My own space

“I am very lucky to have a small print studio in my garden, so I can take myself off to my own space and make, without having the distraction of computers or mounting housework.

Cup of fruit tea in hand, and with music from my phone, I can shut myself off and get printing. I never seem to suffer from creative blocks. Because my time in the studio is often snatched and precious, I always use it constructively. As with many people, I have work and family commitments to juggle, which makes studio time very special.

 

 

Happy accidents

For me, the ‘hands on’ inky nature of printmaking is just delicious. When you are manipulating freshly made pigments, where the viscosity is never constant, using found textures to ink up and run through the press, you are never absolutely sure of how the print will turn out. With experience, you have of course a rough idea, but I really enjoy the happy accidents that occur along the way. The resulting work has a very much handmade, individual look that I want to convey. I’m not interested in producing multiples of a ‘perfect’ image. I like making bodies of work, but each piece is unique. I hope people like that, and feel they are taking away something individual that cannot be copied exactly.

Artists invest a lot of themselves in their handmade pieces. What a wonderful thing to own a representation of a particular artist/maker. Its such a personal thing, and we should not lose sight of this. Who wants ‘massed produced’ when you can spend the same amount of money on something with individual beauty?”

Mandy is helping us with social media and we feel very lucky to have her on board with Eclectic Mix Cambridge. She is always smiling and full of ideas. She will also sell some of work at our next pop-up event on June 10th.