Katherine Lawrie Jewellery

Designer & Maker

Author: klawriejewellery (page 1 of 2)

Memorial Jewellery

Jewellery made in memory.

Jewellery has contained symbolism and has been part of the rituals in life for as far back as history has been recorded.

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Adornments and jewellery have been used to represent and remember those who have died.

The ancient Egyptians valued personal adornment highly. The deceased were adorned for their send off into the afterlife. The symbols within these adornments were equally important to those alive and in memory for those who had died. The rarer the gemstones and materials the better, as this was a sign of great wealth and success. Gemstones where carved to emulate symbolic forms like scarab beetles which conveyed renewal, regeneration and endurance of the soul. Snakes were used as a representation of spirit guardians and the spirit, and also a symbol of ever lasting love.

Memento Mori jewellery (16th-18th Century) was created to remind us of the inevitability of death. This often contained skulls, coffins and skeletons, and were often worn in remembrance. Also the wearing of such jewellery would be regarded as a kind of talisman and was worn as protection and a constant reminder.

This idea has been modernised in line with contemporary life. One can now have jewellery made containing your loved ones ashes, and even have their remains made into diamonds.

It is possible that a jewellery was comparable to a photograph in todays society. To commission a painting may well have been too costly where as a token piece of jewellery might have been a more achievable price.

In present times we think of the Victorians being most noted for their mourning jewellery. White enamel would represent a single person, black a wife or husband and the use of pearls in a piece of mourning jewellery represented the death of a child. Inscriptions were often included in these pieces of jewellery.  The mourning period during Victorians times had strict rules and etiquette. Both women and men wore mourning jewellery.

Different stages of mourning were represented by different colours. After a period of time the mourner could progress to colours other than black or white. The colours of Blue, Grey and Purple would have been reflected in the jewellery that was worn.

Often money was left in a will for the purpose of creating morning rings for specified list of mourners. Jewellery often contained a piece of the relatives hair.

I have had the honour of making several pieces of jewellery which were commissioned in memory of someone who had died.

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Turquoise is know as a stone of protection.

 

 

 

 

How us it ‘that time if year’ again already?

Wow, it’s December 2017 on Friday. I simply don’t know where this year has vanished. My life seems to be steered by work and life, and trying to keep both on an even keel. 

  
Thankfully, the boys are very good at looking after themselves, and Big G, aka Granny keeps an eye out and helps with lifts when I simply can’t be in two places at once. 

Chaos reins at this time of year in my studio, it’s never orderly, but it really does get in to one big mess as I try to keep on top of all the orders and commissions.

  
This time of year the exhibitions and sales seem to be all or nothing, next week I’m taking part in three different events, all helping to celebrate buying local, supporting small businesses, and opting to buy hand made unique gifts for Christmas. 

   
    
   
We don’t need to buy oodles of plastic, electronic or designer gear. Why not give your loved one a gift that no one else in the whole wide world has. All the while know that you are supporting a local business. That business is probably run buy someone who loves what they do, they love to create, it’s what they do best. However, the only way they can make that lifestyle choice work is if they actually sell their work. Artists and makers are very privileged to be able to earn a crust creating, but it’s tough. You have to be a Jack of all trades, and on a steep learning curve. Being a sales person, a business manager, a procurement officer and a creator all at once.

Just think though you are purchasing a one off gift, quite often for a very small price. You are saving resources, buying original designs and getting something really special.

  
  
  
I do hope to see you at one of my last events of this year. 

On reflection it’s been great for me, with so many new designs and potential new clients. I’m really looking forward to next year, and seeing where it takes me!

www.klawriejewellery.co.uk
https://folksy.com/shops/katherinelawriejewellery

Symbolism and Jewellery

People, very often, find there own symbolism and meaning for a piece of jewellery. Items of jewellery are predisposed to having sentimental values and memories attached to them. Jewellery is sometimes the only belonging people will keep as a keep sake if someone dies, or someone gives to another as a sign or love or affection.

I was inspired by a visit to The Pre-Raphaelite exhibition I visited a couple of years ago, and by participation in an exhibition which was names the Language of Flowers, with the Society Of Botanical Artists.
The Victorians created a secret language which could be used in art and jewellery to send a message.
An inclusion of a piece of turquoise in a piece of jewellery would mean ‘Forget-me-not’, rosemary would mean remember, Oak symbolises strength, Ivy represents fidelity and loyalty and adding an emerald to a work could symbolise hope.

At the start of this year I took some time out to create a new collection/body of work to celebrate British Wildlife. When I started researching I noticed two things. The first that people tend to have an be attracted to or have an affinity to different animals, whether its to do with a memory or experience or they simply just ‘like’ that particular animal. Secondly, animals have symbolism.
So, here is what I discovered and examples of my new work.

Deer: love, gentleness, kindness
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Raven: teacher, healer, protection, creation and knowledge
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Bee: immortality, rebirth, order, purity, secret wisdom, honesty
Owl: wisdom, truth and patience
Goose: guardian, inspiration and happiness

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Fox: the provider, feminine magic, diplomacy

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Wren: spirit, witchcraft

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Rabbit: safety, overcoming limiting beliefs, nurturing

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Seagull: carefree, versatility, freedom

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Squirrel: gathering, protection, trust

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Hare: fertility and sensuality

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Swallow: Love, care, affection, strength

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These pieces are on sale direct from my studio or at the Open house exhibitions I will be taking part in this summer
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How it all began……

People often ask when did I start making jewellery. I often answer when I was little.

Now you may think that little children can’t make jewellery, or indeed that they shouldn’t even be allowed in to a jewellery workshop! When me and my younger sister were little we lived in a house which had a purpose built studio attached to the back.

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As my Dad, a jeweller, worked from home we spent many hours with him in his studio when he was working.

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I have vivid memories of hammering metal, creating melted blobs of silver from scraps and drilling holes with a hand drill. This was all before the age of ten!

I do often feel guilty that I haven’t offered this opportunity to my own children. The only time they actually entered into my studio, before the aged of ten, the boys grabbed hammers and began to whack them onto the anvil. Once they had left I found a sweet had been mashed into the cogs of my prized rolling mills. So that was the end of that!

When I was ten years old we moved from Steyning high street to a farm just outside the town. My dad set up a new workshop in the old farm buildings.

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I would often spend time ‘playing’ with bits of metal in his workshop.

When  I got to secondary school I manage to incorporate some of my designs into my coursework. I also found that my friends would actually pay me to make them pieces of jewellery, so it was a great way to earn some pocket money.

By the age of 17, I concentrated on working a piece from design through to finished product.I took part in Young Craftsman of the Year Competition, which was part of the South of England Show in June. I came third and won first place over a couple of years. Winning quite a nice pot of money! My winning piece’s design was derived from a poppy seed head.

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At sixth form college I designed and made portable work bench. I think by this point I still regarded jewellery making as a hobby, but I did have several customers!

In 1993, once again following in my father’s footsteps, I went on to complete a foundation course at the Union Place campus of Northbrook College.

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Thank you to The Worthing Sociey for this image of the building in 1995, it has since been replaced with housing.

I wasn’t very creative student, and my tutors were a little concerned that I didn’t have what it takes to go to Art College. I worked hard and learnt how to draw, paint, work in clay and develop photos. Than came the time where students had to decide which course to apply to next. My tutors took me to one side, and asked why I was applying for Jewellery and silversmithing courses. Obviously, I had forgotten to mention my hobby to them. I took my jewellery to show them, and I they were impressed!

I applied to the Surrey Institute of Arts and Design and completed a two year HND. From there I decide I was not yet ready to hit the real world, so I became a student at Edinburgh College of Art.

In 1997 reality hit, I left college and took over my Father’s studio, which had moved from the Cowshed to the Stable. I have been working there ever since.

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Well, what a year 2016 was. High impacting stories all over, from the start to the finish of the year. It’s easy to remain in a bubble and just put your head down. However, something’s just can’t be ignored. When anything happens which creates unrest in the world it actually has a financial impact on creators of jewellery. Precious metal prices fluctuate with the ‘markets’ and this changes the price of the metal I buy. The exchange rate affects the cost of the stones and beads I buy too. All the while I keep an eye on it and try to maintain my prices for my customers!

This Christmas Season was great. It’s so lovely to know that people appreciate my work enough to spend their hard earned money on it!

   
    
   
I’m hoping like the rest of the world that 2017 will be a more straight forward year, but who am I kidding?

I’m going to create a whole new range of jewellery, I’ve been promising myself for over a year now. Things just keep getting in the way. The kids go back to school tomorrow so no excuses not to put things into action.

Tools of the trade  

Inspiration comes from so many avenues. Here are some of mine.

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
 I’m always trying to think of the best way to replicate these stunning forms in metal.
Watch this space for new pieces coming soon!

www.klawriejewellery.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/katherineLawrieJewellery/

It’s that Open House time of year!

       
May is the start of the Open House season.

I have been taking part in Open houses for around 15years. I been lucky to take part in several venues within the Artists Open House group in Fiveways. Fiveways Artist group was were it all started over 30 years ago.

 
This year I also took part in an exhibition called ‘Breaking the Rules’ which was at the Jointure Studio in Ditchling. An historically artist community!

 
It is the ninth year that an art trail has taken place in Steyning. I organised the Art Trail as part of the Steyning Festival. As the festival went to a biannual event, I stepped down from this role. Steyning Arts was formed. Several years ago I joined the organising committee. I am now current Chair, and along side a committee of eight other we organise various community arts events. Our role as a society is a combination of supporting fellow artists providing them with facilities to exhibit and hopefully sell their work. Also enabling the public to gain easy access to the visual arts 

  
   

www.steyningarts.co.uk
I always views these events as potential selling times, but more importantly a time to meet your public, and spread the word about your work. Display standards must be maintained. 

  
         

June heralds the start of open garden season. I will be taking part in Henfield Garden and Arts, West Sussex.

http://www.henfieldhub.com/festival-of-gardens-and-arts/gardens-arts-is-gearing-up-for-june

Also in July I will be at Parham House and Gardens, near Storrington, West Sussex, for their Garden weekend.

See you somewhere soon!

http://www.parhaminsussex.co.uk/events-and-courses/events.html

Spring is here!

Easter Holidays and I’m taking a break. Next holidays will not be until August. Brighton Open Houses, Steyning Arts ‘Just Off the High Street’ and Henfield Garden & Arts plus the Society of Botanical Artists means that I’ll have a busy summer.

I’ve been busy recently getting orders and stock ready. I have recently purchased lots of lovely pearls.

  Beautiful pearls.

            

Already to thread!

        

Lace imprinted bead close up of texture.

      

The Society of Botanical Artists annual exhibition in London. 

Paddling against the tide

I view winter as a season to just get through! It’s a time for design and making ready for the spring.
Sales this year have followed a similar pattern, January and February are usually quiet with a few nice surprises along the way.

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We haven’t had any snow here, which has disappointed the kids. I’m a fan if you have nothing better to do!
For the last few weeks I have been paddling against a tide of jobs to do. These have taken me away from my bench. I’m funding coordinator for my son’s gymnastics club. I love doing what I can to help out, however I feel pulled as I can’t always help as much as I’d like. We are currently raising money for equipment. 

I’m also the new Chair of Steyning Arts, a local group that is a cooperative of local artists and makers.

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My mojo was in full flow last week and I had a proper session in the studio concentrating on statement rings.

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It’s nearly ‘that’ time of year!

Every professional artist maker is hectic this time of year, making up orders or getting stock ready for sales, I’m no different.
The only problem for me is that my kids lives seem to go on extra busy too! So I become the juggler.

I’m currently getting all the stock sorted for:

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And also Steyning Arts at Christmas

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Getting ready for Christmas means that my stock design turns to making gifts, these do tend to be smaller pieces which are slightly more affordable and so slightly more available.

This year I am concentrating on helping raise money for Breast Cancer Care in memory of Jane. She was one of my students who battled with cancer for many years but lost that fight this summer.

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I do love this time of year as I get to meet all my customers, who I may only see once a year. It’s fun to catch up! I enjoy making jewellery that I know is appreciated by others and bought with love!

If you would like to come an visit my studio please do get in touch.

Have a lovely festive season.

Artist’s Open Houses

The phenomenon of Artist’s opening their houses to the public is now international.

The foundations of the Brighton Art scene, and open houses and studios was based on an idea by Ned Hoskins in the 80s.
http://www.aoh.org.uk/brief-history

It’s now made up of several groups covering Brighton & Hove and many outlying towns. My weekends are taken over by exhibiting at Open Houses for most of the early summer.

I started preparations in January, then finish everything off in late April. This year I’ve taken part in two Brighton Open Houses.

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I am also a member of the Steyning Arts committe, we organise an art trail in Steyning every year.

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This was a success this year, however we are always looking for ways to make it even better. Tweaking and refining so all the artist who take part get as many visitors and sales as possible. This is the fourth year we have held this event, people come from all over Sussex to visit. The Steyning Arts committee are organising various event to take the group out and about. We’ll be holding an exhibition at Arundel Museum in September. We are looking to take our group out to a much wider audience. Any suggestions great fully received. Part of our activities are to promote Steyning, and it’s talented artists. We are always looking for financial support to allow us to do that. Fundraising for new display equipment, lighting, promotional equipment and advertising.

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This weekend is the turn of the Henfield Garden and Arts. This is a lovely was to enjoy artwork and crafts in the gorgeous settings of wonderful gardens and homes of the village of Henfield.

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I love taking part in open houses, it’s a fabulous chance to get to meet your customers. After so many years the same customers come back year after year. It’s also a way of connecting with other makers and artists, sharing experiences and learning you aren’t the only one who is slogging away in a studio! We share bad experiences and good, and become part of a larger community. It can be lonely working alone all day!

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