Monday, 24 March 2014

Making More: Felt Research

As part of my research on felt brooches, I have been working from some old patterns from a Dryad handbook. It was interesting to see the instructions from many decades ago, with hand drawn patterns. Some of the descriptions are not very politically correct for nowadays. The language used and the changes in society was as interesting as the patterns themselves.

It was great to see the booklet as a whole and how they had used repeated techniques in variations for the different brooches/corsages. Also the choice of flowers I found very interesting and what would have been popular at the time for people to wear and buy/grow.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Making More: Onboard LV21

Here are some of the images taken by Gary Weston, at the Taster day on the 15th March. I think the photos capture what a great day it was.

And here is an image of us looking at the first samples created for the project. I was so impressed how everyone picked up all the techniques quite quickly. Pretty good for everyones first go!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Making More:Taster Day

After four months of researching, designing and was time for the "Making More" taster day.

The workshop took place on the 15th March, onboard the ship LV21. For the Taster day I chose to deliver a workshop which would cover some of the basic techniques we will be using and it's also one of the most accessible for finding up cycled materials. Sourcing off cuts/remnants of wool is something most of us can find, beg or borrow!

Above are some examples of the Woollen Bouquet brooches I have made for the project. I took these in as samples so the cohort could see what they would be making that day.

These are some of the results for the first workshop. 21 people took part and everyone managed to pick up all the techniques, which was pretty impressive for the first session. I loved seeing them all together at the end and how different they all looked!

It's great to be doing a project in the County where I live...and to meet such an interesting group of people. Can't wait for the next workshop...

The images of the workshop day were taken by LV21 Skipper, Gary Weston

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Making More: Test pieces

Here are a series of test pieces I produced early on in the project, just focusing on the curtain ring construction and testing different materials to cover them with. I wanted to be able to use as much upcycling as possible, yet still try and capture the feeling of the old 1940's pieces...I tried coloured plastic carrier bags, cotton fabrics, fishing latex elastic, leather cord, balloon latex, nylon monofilament, felt sheet and wollen yarns. The modern day equivalent to the plastic used is Scoubidou strings which a lot of us will remember from school and they have become popular again recently...however the modern Scoubidou strings have a cheaper quality about them and the pigments just don't look quite right, they look too squeeky (if that makes sense).

One find I am quite pleased with is a stock of 1940's brass coated safety pins, enough probably for the whole project. They are standard safety pins but the mouldings are a little more unusual than we have today. Each "bunch" of pins is a variety of sizes and comes with a little tag from the production company. You can see an example in the images below

Making More: Woollen Bouquets

A couple of examples of brooches from the 1930's-40's...again using the curtain rings as a central core, but with wool this time and incorporating some french knots for blooms. This style appears earlier than the plastic brooches. I can imagine people using remnants left over from knitting garments, the odd scraps you are left with, put to good use.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Making More:The Taster Day

More information has been posted today on the LV21 website about the "Making More" commission and the Taster day coming up in a few weeks. Below is some text from the website and the postcard showing a glimpse of some of the brooches we will be making in the project!

"Make Do and Mend – a Making More taster workshop with Joanne Haywood | Sat 15 March 1pm-5pm | Free Suitable for over 16 year olds only".

"We’re delighted to announce that LV21 in partnership with Making Space have commissioned designer-makers Joanne Haywood and Stella Harding to work on an exciting Arts Council England funded pilot project Making More, researching a new business model which focuses on the development of making skills at a local level in Kent/Medway and Hampshire/West Sussex Border".

"Inspired by the model adopted by the Rural Industries Bureau in the 1930s recession, where local village women were trained in quilting and these quilts were then sold to the Dorchester, London, this research focuses on the ‘make do and mend’ attitude, social engagement and developing a skilled community workforce which can produce work to a high standard".

"Through a series of 12 half-day skills teaching sessions, Joanne Haywood, art jeweller specialising in mixed media, will work aboard LV21 to explore new ideas and design contemporary jewellery suitable for this production method, developing ideas in collaboration with a selected maker cohort and producing work for potential new retail market, with focus on collaboration with high footfall heritage and tourist venues".

"Joanne’s approach is inspired by the upcycling and traditional making skills from our past, specifically the 1940’s WWII period, where material uses were inventive and low tech, essentially producing luxury products from scrap materials".

To find out more and get involved, follow this link to the LV21 Website

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Making More: Materials

There are so many different materials used in jewellery during the 1930's-50's. I like to find out about the inventive ones, like an article in a 1940's magazine with instructions on how to make a brooch from a fir cone, by removing the tip of the cone, attaching a leather leaf and cord and painting the fir cone with enamel paint. Leather seems to have been used a lot and I guess much of it would have been off cuts from old clothing and household materials. Below is an example of a leather corsage, which shows signs that it would have had more paint on the surfaces.

Another example, again from the 1940's is this "Stockings" brooch. Made from stocking material that looks as though it has been dyed different colours. I can imagine someone like Ginger Rodgers wearing this one!

Making More: Researching the past

Here is another example of the plastic wire brooches I have been researching from the 1940's. The inside core they used is a curtain ring and the fastenings were usually an old tie pin...although sometimes you see them and the pin has been replaced with modern day safety pin, most of the ones I have seen have the tie pins remaining.

The one below has an old button in the shape of a little lamb in the middle, and you can see it has a double frame of two curtain rings. Besides the floral bouquet versions (which I posted an example of previously) buttons were another choice for what to put inside the curtain ring. I have included an image of the back too, as it's quite intereesting to see how they were finished.

Another type you can find examples of are cameo versions. These vary as much as the button and flower types and the scale can be very different. Some are quite large and intricate like the one below or they can be simpler. Different thicknesses of electrical wire casings were used. I have included an image of the front and the back again.

The plastic wire casing were also used to make other jewellery objects. I have been mainly focusing on brooches, but here is a detail from two necklaces made with the same plastic. When I was visiting Oxford I was very lucky to meet by chance a vinatge and costume jewellery dealer in Antiques on High. Caroline Henney. She was really generous with her time and knowlege on the area and we have kept in contact since. She looks out for pieces for me, for my research. Caroline sells online too and one of her specialisms is lucite brooches, which are also very beautiful.