Back at the Barbican

Yes, the Designer Jewellers Group annual Winter exhibition is now open for business again at the Barbican Centre in London.

designer jewellers A5 Flyer V3-1 designer jewellers A5 Flyer V3-2

As usual, set up was both hard work and good fun: it’s always great to meet up with such a lovely bunch of people, and to feel part of the team.

My shelf at set up: bear in mind that I will be bringing in new pieces during the show though!

Christine Kaltoft jewellery


New Designers 2014

Nearly forgot to share this blog post I wrote for the Designer Jewellers Group about our visit to New Designers 2014 and the wonderful new makers we selected to join us at the Barbican Centre this winter! Looking forward to exhibiting with Mirka Janeckova, Sheila Roussel, Jelka Quintelier, Harriet Knight, Mireia Rossel, and Esme Parsons.

But rather than just leaving it there: a mention for some of the other great artists and makers we found.

I loved these stitched images of kitchen equipment, by textile artist Cathy MacTaggart. Each was machine embroidered onto a series of jam pot covers, in memory of her mother.

Cathy MacTaggart Textile Artist

Top Jupp made covetable ceramics: I particularly loved his porcelain lampshades.

This year we visited the Royal College of Art’s graduation show as well as New Designers. An Alleweireldt and I had fun with Youjin Nam‘s series of pieces ‘Mirror Mirror on the Wall’. We progressed from selfies, to taking photos of each other, to taking photos of each other wearing the same piece at the same time! Great fun, but unfortunately not quite right for our cabinets at the Barbican!


Collect 2014

Yesterday I visited Collect 2014, the International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects run by the Crafts Council at the Saatchi Gallery. Visiting Collect was a priority for me this year: now that I live in the country it’s easy to feel out of touch with the cutting edge, and Collect surely represents that as far as contemporary craft goes.

I wasn’t disappointed. Right inside the door was the Bishopsland stand, and it was great to immediately see the work of two of our Designer Jewellers Group New Designers: Nan Nan Liu and Kathryn Hinton. I was also wowed by the amazing gold jewellery by Jacqueline Mina, which was simply stunning.

The Dutch jewellery galleries always have great work, and what caught my eye this time was the way that Iris Bodema had displayed a series of brooches. Each was mounted on a piece of white painted hardboard with – I guess you’d call it mark making rather than drawings – on it. Apparently purchasers get a pair of boards with each brooch: they really are works of art. I was persuaded to try on a brooch, which was actually very nice on: cotton and semi-precious stones. As one of the things I like best about Collect is the people watching I rather liked this picture showing the lively crowds!

In the next room ceramics by Pippin Drysdale sung out: it was luminous. I also loved the wooden jewellery by Flora Vagi. Several jewellers used wood but Flora’s was a bit different and beautifully crafted.

The Design Flanders stand had some great work, especially by An Alleweireldt, one of my colleagues in the Designer Jewellers Group. Her stand was particularly busy, and customers were obviously drawn to a gold ring which the Crafts Council had featured on their website. I also loved the fluid gold necklaces by Jeanne Opgenhaffen and ceramic wall pieces by Ria Lins.

Kazumi Nagano

Kazumi Nagano

Another piece I found totally captivating was this bangle by Kazumi Nagano. It was woven from fine gold wires and nylon threads. Amazingly light, flexible and shimmering in the light: it really was quite wonderful.

A couple of laser cut pieces caught my eye: some steel jewellery that was just like insects wings and incredibly beautiful and delicate, and also a vessel of laser cut metal that had been gold-leafed and hand-raised. Unfortunately it was displayed on wood and so the photo cannot do it justice, and I realised later that the maker’s name doesn’t appear anywhere, hence the name of the gallery only.

Another DJG New Designer, Mariko Sumioka, and DJG guest exhibitor Jessica Turrell were also exhibiting their new work, which was great to see.

As I love lines, I was drawn to the very graphic work of Armel Barraud, who used traditional lace-making techniques to create wire pictures. Virginie Rochetti’s computer aided embroidery was fascinating in many ways. Her hand drawn sketches are either taken into the computer or drawn directly on the computer, and then the embroidery is stitched by machine. I didn’t know it was possible: not on this scale anyway. Quite incredible.

Anyway, coming back down to earth – because a lot of the work in Collect is quite rarified – I could see Sasha Wardell’s simple, elegant ceramic lampshades in my home: they’re on the wish list. I loved the mixture of old and new architecture in the gallery itself: the shapes, colours, and light. And finally, with my senses heightened, even the steps in the tube station looked beautiful!

Just Wood II at Craft in the Bay

E-invite Just Wood II image

This week I’ve sent a rather large package of my jewellery off to Craft in the Bay, the gallery run by the makers guild in Wales. To my delight, they invited me to exhibit as part of their second ‘Just Wood’ exhibition.

Just Wood II

Quite an honour, given the line-up of makers, who include Peter Archer, maker of the beautiful wooden bowl (above) used on the posters.

The show runs until 11th May 2014, and I’m sure will be well worth visiting.

Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre

I’m very pleased to have been invited to be the Jewellery Showcase maker at the Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre in Torfaen, Wales.

My work is on show there until 15th March, alongside some amazing art from the 56 Group in the ‘Artistic Revolutionaries‘ exhibition, and textiles by Sarah Culleton.

Invitation - Artistic Revolutionaries, The 56 Group now, 25.01.14-15.03.14-1