Rook Lane and Back Again

Whilst our building work has taken precedence over my jewellery business¬†this year, I’ve been trying to keep my hand in artistically by rekindling my sketching skills. One of the things I’ve done is to join Frome Sketchers, which has been great fun. Now we have our first exhibition.

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This is one of my sketches of Frome:

Christine Kaltoft, 'Bobble hat', Frome, Frome Urban Sketchers

It’s a friendly and supportive group,¬†and going on a sketch crawl is a great way to take the edge off the terror of drawing in public if you’re not used to it. Plus there’s brilliant homemade cake!

There’s more information both on the Rook Lane website, the Frome Sketchers facebook page, and David Chandler’s website.

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Drawing sounds

I exhibited prints of my drawings of sounds at both Lustre and Richmond craft fairs, and it was interesting to see people’s reactions. Some people loved them, were fascinated by the concept, and bought prints. Others seemed to think I was crazy! I promised one couple that I’d explain on my blog the background to the prints they’d bought, and so here it is!

Last winter I did a short course at the City Lit: Drawing Sounds. At first the teacher introduced the concept and led exercises to help us explore how we might make marks that represented and responded to sounds.

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Then we drew pieces of music that she played. The first image is a close up of one piece of music I drew: it was classical music, and this is just a small portion of the picture.

In this image I’ve photographed the original drawing at an angle, so that it almost becomes a landscape. It reminds me of an image of one of my necklaces actually.

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On the third evening we went up on to the roof of the building which is in London’s Covent Garden. The noises of the city at night were amazing.

We each sketched the sounds we heard, and then when we could bear it no longer (it was freezing!) retreated to the classroom.

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It was then time to use the sketches in our notebooks to compose our pictures. One of mine is shown above. I chose to represent the tiers of sound. The lower one shows the sounds of the streets below: traffic, voices, sirens. Above us were the sounds of the sky: planes, helicopters, wind. And then around us the air conditioning, people turning pages, footsteps on pebbles, and an increasing number of sniffs!

It was fascinating how each person focussed on different sounds and depicted them differently. We were all free to use the media we wanted. I used a mixture of pastels, marker pens and charcoal.

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Several pieces of jewellery I’ve made have been based on these drawings of sounds, including my ‘Pebble Crunch Brooch’ in sterling silver with 5 diamonds, and a series of ‘City Streets’ pins, in oxidised silver and 18 carat gold.

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 Really, when you think about it, drawing sounds isn’t such a strange concept: it’s no different to writing words, except there’s no agreement about which shape represents which sound!

New stickers

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I’ve been designing some stickers to use with my packaging. I want to be able to include a little reminder of the inspiration behind my jewellery with each piece I sell. I’ve done some based on my bird sketches, some on my sound drawings, and some with my sketches of moving people.

Moo.com are printing them, and I just hope they’re ready for Lustre next week!

Origin again

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Thought I’d add a couple more images from my display at Origin.

The first is my chine colle bird etchings: two of my pet chickens, and the middle one of birds in London zoo.

The second is a new ‘wattle’ pendant that was much admired! I made it by using an adaptation of the technique of tatting, working silk thread on to a silver pendant. Tatting was never meant to look like this!

My stand at Origin

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A quick image showing me at my stand in Origin. Those are my bird etchings that I made at the London Print Studio on the wall. You can also see a row of my new silver star Christmas decorations hanging up below them!

Preparing prints for sale

I usually display some of my sketches at the back of my stand at Fairs: they illustrate the origins of my jewellery. They’re often much admired, and I’ve had a number of enquiries from people who want to buy them.

I’ve decided to bite the bullet and get some sketches properly printed, both to improve my display and potentially for sale. Yesterday I went to the London Print Studio to discuss this, and was really taken with a print in their gallery which was an etching with ‘chine colle’. I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted to use this techinique in my prints! Essentially pieces of thin paper are pasted and pressed into the etching in a collage-like effect.

Investigating it a bit more I found pictures by John McLean, Michele Maule and Wyoming99 which also use chine colle. Really looking forward to moving this on!

‘Chick’ stud earrings

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I’ve been making more silver stud earrings this week. They’re based on my quick sketches of our chickens and other birds.

I’m trying to make some really little ones because the small ones sell really quickly, and I’ve come to recognise that not everyone likes big earrings like me! Unfortunately they’re harder to make when they’re really small as it’s easier to accidentally melt them!