Thursday, 25 September 2008

New Christmas decoration - Skully Tree

Christmas is getting ever closer, and over the past few weeks I've been listing a few festive goodies. The latest to arrive in my Etsy shop is a piece called Skully Tree:

Skully Tree - a red beaded Christmas decoration

If you're a Gothic type, you might want a darker look to your home at Christmas, or if you like rich colours and quirky details, this piece would also fit in well. It's made of steel wire, red glass beads and plastic skull beads, and it has a hanging loop of red ribbon. It could be hung by a window to catch the sunlight, on a wall or perhaps on a door, or of course on your Christmas tree.

Take a look at my Etsy shop for more Christmas goodies:

Christmas at Etsy

And, if you live in the UK, you can also buy my Christmas goodies at Folksy:

Christmas at Folksy

Plus, take a look at all three of my shops for unique handmade Christmas gifts:

Monday, 22 September 2008

Recycled Packaging

As I have mentioned here in a previous post, reclaimed materials are an important part of what I do. I not only reuse old jewellery in my work, but I also try to use old packaging wherever possible. So I keep all the bubble wrap, boxes, jiffy bags, tissue paper and other packaging that I receive through the post, and reuse it when I mail out my work.

I store the tissue paper in this little table:

Storage Table

My work gets wrapped up in reused paper and packaging to be posted:

Secret Swap - Packaging 2

Secret Swap - Packaging 1

I have recently been advised to start using gift boxes to give my jewellery a more professional edge and, while this is of course a good idea, I was unsure about it because that would involve buying new boxes rather than reusing old ones. The solution came when I was watching Dragons' Den one evening and saw the Tiny Box Company's pitch. I'd heard of them before, and, while watching the pitch, admired their commitment to using purely recycled materials in the manufacture of their boxes. I placed an order with them, and received some lovely purple boxes that I was very happy with. A couple of days ago I put my Black Fuzzy Bat in the post in one of them:

Black Fuzzy Bat in box

Now that little bat is all wrapped up and off to America!

Black Fuzzy Bat in box 3

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Size Does Matter - ACEOs vs huge paintings

Excuse the slightly clich├ęd title, but this post is about size, in part at least :) Lately, it has occurred to me that I'm painting smaller and smaller paintings now. What's made me think about it is the fact that some of my ACEOs have migrated from my DaWanda shop to my Etsy shop (as will the entire contents of my DaWanda shop over time).


Looking at them has inspired me to create more of these miniature works of art. There seems to be something very appealing about making something so small.

Gothic ACEOs

The fact that they're cute is I suppose the simple, rather girlie, answer to what I find appealing about them. Another reason is that it's a challenge to paint something so small, and therefore detailed. Don't get me wrong - I love large works of art too, but not all art has to be huge.

It's occurred to me lately that, while I now paint tiny things, my art teacher actually spent a lot of time trying to make me paint larger, which is funny in a way. At school I was told to paint on larger paper, for what reason I don't remember. She need not have spent so long trying to make me paint larger anyway - with all the life-drawing classes, Visual Studies and other art classes I went on to do at college, working on larger paper was a natural progression. She also said I should work more in 3D, and she was actually right there. Back in school it was all about trying to work to a brief set by an exam paper, which was what made me afraid to experiment (with sculpture) back then. Leaving school and coming to a rather different environment like college triggered more experimentation in my work, not least because there was so much more to try there. I specialised in three-dimensional pieces towards the end of college, working in ceramics and then metalwork, finally going on to uni to study Crafts. Again I specialised in metalwork there, also dabbling in ceramics and other media.

The main theme running through my work there was organic shapes, including metal sculpture such as copper trees. After uni I continued with these, finding my way back to painting via the trees.

Arboreal Coppery Tree - acrylic painting on canvas

Now it was on my terms - I didn't have to paint some incredibly detailed thing to try and pass an exam. It was liberating really. And now, I can paint tiny little things if I want. Now that I've come back to painting, outside of an educational context, I have developed my own style, which is a lot simpler than anything I ever painted at school. In the past few years, through both education and experimentation, I've developed my own style in all of my work. I don't doubt that my work will change in as yet unforeseen ways in the next few years too.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Front Page Glory!

Brierley Sunset made it to Etsy's front page! Sneddoniart's first FP, awww :)

Sneddoniart on FP!

Many thanks to PennyDog, Hippy and PaisleyChainsaw for letting me know. And thanks of course to TickledPinkKnits for creating this Treasury list!