Friday 11 February 2011

Metalsmith

The postman brought me some exciting mail this morning :) From now on you can find the American magazine "Metalsmith" in my library. This magazine is all about contemporary jewelry. A must!
Sunday 6 February 2011

New books

The bookcase in my studio is filling up really good. The latest additions have arrived this week. I am still waiting impatiently for one of the few magazines that only covers contemporary jewelry. It appeared on the 14th of january in the US. I hope it will arrive soon, I'm really looking forward to it!
You can take a look at the books during the workshops and the "open studio" lessons. The books cannot be borrowed.
Monday 31 January 2011

Workshops

The new year of workshops has started, but I would like to show you some nice jewelry that was made by students during the last workshops of 2010.
Anke De Kort, lost wax technique (level 1)
Vera De Wit, soldering with sheet and wire (level 2)
Cil Gellens, creative settings (level 2)
Willie Camerman, natural materials: sea (level 2)

You can see the new dates of the workshops 2011 here.
Friday 21 January 2011

Exhibition David Huycke

David Huycke finished his Phd-research about the granulation technique and is exhibiting his work at Sofie Lachaert. This is a must-see! The exhibition runs untills the 6th of february.
GALERIE SOFIE LACHAERT TIELRODE
st jozefstraat 30 tielrode 9140 belgium
friday saturday sunday 2h - 6h
Friday 21 January 2011

A new year

And the new year has begun! Jolan blew out his very first candle this month. The year went by very quickly, I have to say! Fortunatly our lives are starting to get a little bit organized again.
This will also be a very exciting year for myself. I gave myself 3 years time to start my business and then decide on continuing or not. The third year has officially started, which means "a bit" of stress for me...will be continued!
Friday 17 December 2010

Christmas competition for all the fans

Take your chance at winning this lovely flower necklace! What do you have to do: become a fan of my facebook page and answer this question in the comment on the picture:

How many flowers can you count on my Christmas display?
The competition closes on the 25th of december. The winner will be voted among the right answers and announced on my facebook page the next day!!
Take your chance and find my lovely 'Alice ripple' necklace in your mailbox soon!
Tuesday 30 November 2010

The last fair of 2010

100% Madame is the last fair that I will participate in this year. The event takes place in a lovely house in Antwerp. This concept is a real must! In an intimate environment you can buy clothes, jewellery and more directly from the designers. There will also be a stylist and a makeup artist to give you advise. For those last two you need to register on the website 100% Madame.



The perfect time to shop for some nice Christmas presents or to treat yourself!
Sunday 28 November 2010

Win my Floris-ring in the Silvermuseum!

From november untill may, you can find some of my jewellery designs on display at the entrance of the silvermuseum Sterckshof in Antwerp.
The museum organizes the competition "Win a silver jewel" for the 14th time. Every time they present a new jewellery designer. And this time the honour is mine :)
When you visit the permanent collection, make sure to answer the question about it and take a chance at winning my silver Floris ring! The winner will be announced at the Rozendag in June.
Good luck!
Wednesday 10 November 2010

It-girl

I got a little article about my jewelry on the fashion blog It-girl. Thank you, Kim!
Sunday 31 October 2010

About teaching and copycats

People regularly ask me if I am not creating my own competition by teaching. Let me explain why I started my workshops:

I started my studies with a 2 year course of classical jewelry techniques and after that I studied jewelry design for 4 years at the Academy. Even during those studies I still wasn't satisfied. I had a huge and very broad interest in different materials and techniques: how to use and manipulate natural materials, the newest techniques such as Puk and Rapid metal manufacturing to very old, almost forgotten techniques as filigree and granule jewelry. It is very hard to find a school where you can learn all these different kind of techniques.

During my studies I started to dream about running a centre where these things could be taught and where there'd be a library of specific literature about jewelry design and techniques. Two years ago I started teaching my workshops and I've already received 75 different students, both Belgian and foreign.

Of course, this doesn't happen over night. I have been working on jewelry for 11 years now. Besides my education at school and at the Academy I've always done a lot of self study and I still take trainings regularly. I want to share my passion for jewelry and I want to pass on my knowledge to people who respect it. I really love to teach!

Next to my activities as a teacher, I also work on my own jewelry collections. Of course, it is not my intention that students who take my classes copy my work. The technical skills of the jewelry profession alone won't take you far. You need at least as much time to learn to design! If you respect designers, design and arts&crafts then you don't copy other people's work, it's as simple as that!

With my workshops I want to help people with their search to their own designs. When students want to teach as well, that is no problem. I studied too! But when my workshops get copied without any personal interpretation or addition, then I have a problem. Marcelline Piscador who started Bo-Art attended 4 of my workshops. A while ago I noticed her website where one of these workshops is already imitated, and she announces more of them. Well now, please explain to me how someone who took 4 workshops can teach the same courses as someone who has 11 years of experience! On her website she writes that she did an internship with a jewelry designer from Antwerp. She also shows all the pictures online of the jewelry she made in my classes, which I literally helped put together. Two months ago I sent her an email to tell her I did not agree with this and that the least she could do, when she refers to my classes, is to mention my name. I am still waiting for her answer...

On my website you can clearly see, where I went to school and which teachers I had. I find that only normal. I never could have started out myself without the craftmanship and knowledge of my teachers. On my blog I regularly present designers that I look up to AND I introduce my students with a link to their website, if they have one. I really don't get how you can call yourself a designer when you have no such respect for the work of others!

This week I received even more "good" news. There is a jewelry studio, Atelier Humana in Chile, that created a website and stole jewelry pictures from designers all over the world, including yours truly. They present the pictures on their website as if they were their own designs and their own jewelry. One of my flower rings got hijacked, they've got some nerve! They already received a very angry email, but once again... I am still waiting for an answer. It's time to contact my lawyer!
Thursday 28 October 2010

The birth of a custom-made order

So how does a custom-made order gets made? First of all, I sit down and have a talk with the people who order it. I always find this part very exciting. People come to me with the mental image of a jewel in their head and I have to figure out what that looks like!

This necklace had to capture the feeling of a field of 'forget-me-nots', the little blue flower. So I drew five different necklaces and I made some different prototypes of the flowers. When the final decisions are made I get to work:
Here is all the gold and saffires that were used in the necklace.
Cutting out the little flowers and adding a nice texture.
Hammering and soldering:
And here is the final result, the finished necklace:
When you hand the jewel over and people tell you: "This is exactly what I had in mind.", then its a job wel done!!
Monday 18 October 2010

Photoshoot Floris collection

I worked two years on this collection. The starting point was my search for a more integrated aproach of my art jewelry and wearable jewelry. This search led me to a new technique: lost wax casting. After trying it, I fell completely in love with the material. It allows me to bring a fragile and playfull touch into my jewels. And on the other hand they are made of strong silver and are very wearable.
As usual, nature was my starting point for the designs in this collection. I was especially intrigued by the geometrical structure of plants and flowers.
The long search for a photographer finally led me to Emilie Vercruysse. She translated the poetic atmosphere of my jewellery perfectly into the photographs. You can take a look at the complete collection here .
I also want to thank Joke, who patiently posed for the pictures a whole day long and did a very good job. :)

Up to the next collection!!
Friday 15 October 2010

Workshop "Hacking ideas" by Stefano Marchetti

It has been a really long time since I updated my blog, but I have been sooo busy. In september I was mostly working on the new workshop programm for 2011. That will be my third year of workshops and the programm is getting really long. Note to self: next year, plan more time to do this!!

I am gonna try and catch up with all the blog-writing as soon as I can.I have a lot of things to share! But let me start with the first one: At the end of august I travelled to Munchen to participate in a workshop by Stefano Marchetti. Stefano is an Italian designer who normally teaches at Le Arti Orafe in Firenze. This workshop took place at the "Akademie für Gestaltung und Design".

At the morning of the first day, Stefano all gave us an Italian coffeepot. The assignment was to make a jewel by only using the material of this coffeepot. This was a very interesting exercise, I never worked with aluminium before... and you can't solder it!! I ended up with these two brooches.
The next two days I worked on the new assignment: an ugly and a pretty ring. Believe me, it is really hard to make an ugly ring! Everyone at the workshop was so used to desinging, that all our brains automaticly presents pretty images when you try to create someting. And off course this led to a lot of discussions about "ugly and pretty". A lot of them went like this: 'I finished my ugly ring, what do you think?' 'I actually don't think it's ugly...I kinda like it.' 'No, no, nooo, it's my ugly ring!!' :) Finally someone said that we should enter the ugly rings to famous jewelry contest and they would probably be chosen...
I finished my ugly one as quickly as I could, so I could spent a day and a half coming up with a pretty one. It's a ring made out of silver and some raw pieces of coral and I was very happy with the result.
On the last day Stefano teached us how to make mosaics in metal. This is the subject that he is specialised in. It was very interesting. I never did anything like this before. But it was also a lot of work! The whole class worked together to come up with one sheet of metal in silver and copper.
Here you can see a beautiful brooch that Stefano made using this technique:
The workshop was a very good experience. I learned a lot of new things and I met some great designers from all over the world. Someone even came all the way from Argentina to follow this workshop!
Tuesday 24 August 2010

Store window Quartier Bricolé

I am one of the happy designers who were chosen to participate in the projects organised by Quartier Bricolé. During august and september you can take a look at my work in de Langestraat 25 in Bruges.
Tuesday 24 August 2010

Ethnic jewelry

A while ago, I was in Paris and I visited the best museum ever: Musée du Quai Branly, the ethnological museum of Paris. It's already worth a visit, just to take a look at the building. The walls of the museum and the inner court are a magnificent garden. The presentation in the museum was great. It was quite dark inside and every mask was illuminated seperatly. It made me feel like sitting at a campfire.
But ofcourse I liked the etnological jewelry most of all! I never saw such a big and diverse collection gathered under one roof. When you go to Paris, take your time to visit this amazing museum!
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