Katherine Lawrie Jewellery

Designer & Maker

Tag: Sussex

The Society was founded by a group of Botanical artists over 30 years ago, and now comprises of over 120 members. As a Society we hold one large exhibition every year, and members are currently working on an pieces for an exhibition which will be held at the Palmengarten in Frankfurt, Germany. We hold an exhibition biennially in Central London too. This calendar is interwoven with regional and themed exhibitions all over the country and abroad.

https://www.soc-botanical-artists.org/about/about-the-society/

Applying to be a member of the SBA was something I had never even considered until I had a conversation with my neighbour, Alice Harman SBA. Being a jeweller I assumed that an artist’s society was no place for me.

My plant inspired work has always been botanically inspired, and often very correct as quite often I use the botanical specimen to create the imprint on my silver. I use a technique called roller texturing which I learnt at college, as every jewellery student does. Once I left college this technique became the main focus for my work, I usually concentrated on leaves and flowers.

I offered my work for selection for the Open Exhibition and a few years down the line, my work having been selected every year, I was very pleased to be offered Associate and then Full membership. Over time I have seen the Societies’ exhibitions as a focus to create slightly more challenging and sculptural pieces. These have been very well received both by the Society, and my customers.

I was very honoured to be asked to design and make Sandra Wall-Armitage our President’s leaving present earlier this year. Which was presented to her at the Society’s AGM.

I am constantly looking for new inspiration in my surroundings, a walk in the countryside, around the garden or at the beach is always an excuse for a photo shoot to seek out the next piece of inspiration.

Follow me on Instagram to see what inspiration I’ve found recently!

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

Spring time

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Spring time for me is one of the best times of year! Everything is bursting back into life after the winter. It is also a time of great promise, the gears are set into motion for the rest of the years exhibitions. Applications processed for all the up coming shows and open houses are filled in and stocks is prepared ready.
It seems to have been a busy few months already!
I have been asked to exhibit in two Open Houses in Brighton this year and have been heavily involved with the organisation of the Steyning Arts Art trail.
I will also be taking part in Henfield garden and arts event in June. This sees the conclusion of my eight weeks with no weekend breaks! It’s hard work but a necessary evil when you work for yourself! I love meeting the people who buy my work, it’s the closure of the circle for me, it’s weird not knowing your client.
Today I’m off up to London to take my work up to the annual exhibition for The Society of Botanical Artist, I have been a member for a few years now and am one of only a few non painter members. The exhibition is always brimming with gorgeous images of botanical life, a highlight on my calendar!

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It’s been a while!

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Since the busy summer I have taken a look at life! Getting divorced is part of this but also the intricacies of just juggling every day life. My autumn resolution is to do more exercise.

Part of this has involved sticking to my Zumba classes with Clare in Steyning on a Monday and Thursday night, but I have upped the anti by also taking a walk for an hour or so three times a week. Some days are harder than others.

However, it has meant that I’m exploring the country side, trying to go on a different walk at least once a week. Walking in the fresh air is great. I also love taking photos whilst there.

Above are some of my favourites.

I have also started to look more, just to slow down a bit and actually see things. We are all very good at rushing from A to B without actually seeing the world around us. Rain drops and dew drops are a new fad for me! Just wondering if I can replicate this in my jewellery!!!!

Exhibitions

Very busy this week getting ready for various exhibitions happening over the next few months.

The first is at the Capitol in Horsham, West Sussex. https://tickets.thecapitolhorsham.com/PEO/gallery_default.asp

Next week I’ll be setting up at The General in Ditchling, East Sussex. As part of the Art in Ditchling which will be on for the first four weekends in May.

I do find getting work for an exhibition stressfull, however once that is all done and the exhibition is all set up I love selling my work and meeting my customers.

It is great getting feedback on my work even if it’s negative!!!

I look forward to meeting up with regular customers, and friends who use the exhibitions as an excuse to come and see me to treat themselves.

Selling jewellery in this economic climate has been come more of a hard task but at the end of the day quality sells.

Hand made work screeches out to the client, buy me I’m special, I’m a unique piece of jewellery and, hopefully, worth every penny!!

Spring is very nearly here!!

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The sun has been shining in sunny Susssex, it really feels like Spring might be just about here! I’m hoping that by Easter my new workshop space will be complete but until then I am spending as much time clearing up after the builders as I am at the bench.