Loom Band workshop at Gateshead Library.

Last week, as part of the school holiday Family Fun workshops at Gateshead Library, I ran a ‘Creative Loom Band’ workshop for local families. Although it was a lovely hot day outside – quite rare at the moment – it was extremely well attended and we had such fun!

Families creating loom band creatures!

Families creating loom band creatures!

As many children have been madly loom banding for over a year now, we looked at making things a little bit different to the norm and using other elements such as beads into the process.

Well prepared for the workshop!

Well prepared for the workshop!

Children as young as five joined in and they had great fun making things such as sea monsters, lights sabres, all sorts of fruit, groovy bracelets and even an ‘Elsa’ from Frozen!

Beaded loom band bracelet.

Beaded loom band bracelet.

'Elsa' from Frozen.

‘Elsa’ from Frozen.

'Teddy' loom band pencil holder.

‘Teddy’ loom band pencil holder.

Before and after last weeks workshop, my three girls have all seemed to have had a loom band resurgence and everyday, something new has been created during the summer holidays!

Octopus, made by mini obsesivcreativ.

Octopus, made by mini obsesivcreativ.

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Jewellery making inspired by the Shipley Art Gallery’s collection

I am currently working with a women’s group in Gateshead and over the last couple of months they have been learning how to make jewellery. Using these new skills, the women are making some pieces to go on display which are inspired by the jewellery designer Nora Fok, whose jewellery is on display at the Shipley Art Gallery. Her pieces are very delicate, often gentle shades of white and quite beautiful. Saying that – they are also very bold!

In our latest pieces, we are working with wire (even garden wire), beads and Beadalon’s monofilament illusion cord. These are some of the pieces I have made so far, in preparation for our last stages of the workshops.

Starburst ring, inspired by Nora Fok.

Starburst ring, inspired by Nora Fok.

The ‘Starburst’ bracelet below, was made using a French knitting bobbin, knocked up from an old wooden cotton reel and nails – as they would have been made traditionally. I do find most French knitting ‘dollies’ don’t work particularly well.

French Knitting bobbin.

French Knitting bobbin.

Starburst bracelet, inspired by Nora Fok.

Starburst bracelet, inspired by Nora Fok.

Using wire, I created this bracelet by wrapping the top section around a marble and the bottom section round a lid of a bead tin, then fastened them together.

'Up-do' ring, inspired by Nora Fok.

‘Up-do’ ring, inspired by Nora Fok.

The last piece I have made so far inspired by Nora Fok’s works, is this ‘illusion cord’, twisted ring decorated with beads.

'Illusion' beaded ring, inspired by Nora Fok.

‘Illusion’ beaded ring, inspired by Nora Fok.

My daughter’s have also been having fun creating some pieces, as they never like to be left out and I shall take their rings along to this weeks workshop as further ideas.

Middle Mini Obsesivcreativ's  ring inspired by Nora Fok.

Middle Mini Obsesivcreativ’s ring inspired by Nora Fok.

Little Mini Obsesivcreativ's ring inspired by Nora Fok.

Little Mini Obsesivcreativ’s ring inspired by Nora Fok.

Once the jewellery making equipment was out and my juices flowing, I have also made a few Steampunk inspired pieces to!

Butterfly sitting on vintage Czechoslovakian coin, with 'diamonds'. Ring.

Butterfly sitting on vintage Czechoslovakian coin, with ‘diamonds’. Ring.

Roses on vintage Maltese coin. Ring.

Roses on vintage Maltese coin. Ring.

Still work in progress. Layered necklace with found, recycled and broken jewellery.

Still work in progress. Layered necklace with found, recycled and broken jewellery.

Over the next week or so and particularly on Instagram, I’ll update you with the jewellery pieces we have made in our workshops for the Shipley Art Gallery.

Ouseburn Open Studios starts tomorrow

Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen

Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen

It was great today to finally get both my portraits of Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen, both poets who died during World War One, up on the outside wall of my studio, number 11 at the Biscuit Factory, Newcastle upon Tyne. It’s been a busy couple of weeks tidying, cleaning my space as well as getting everything finished off.

Inside my studio - cushions, crocheted hats and chocolates!

Inside my studio – cushions, crocheted hats and chocolates!

Opposite my studio, there also a number of rather fabulous jewellery makers whose studios I enjoy popping into when I get a chance.  inthesilverroom is contemporary silver jewellery by Michelle – check out her fabulous website for distinctive designs.

The Biscuit Factory Studio corridors.

The Biscuit Factory Studio corridors.

'Matriarchal Trefoil' and 'Caretakers of the World, UNITE!'

‘Matriarchal Trefoil’ and ‘Caretakers of the World, UNITE!’

Both of the pictures above have been made using ‘hooky’ mat technique. I finally framed up the ‘Matriarchal Trefoil’ yesterday, as it had been tricky to source someone to cut me an oval board to mount the heavy picture on. You can see a link to the stages of this picture here.

Embroidered Love Birds

Embroidered Love Birds

Really pleased with these two little fellows! So cute! I do enjoy embroidering, very relaxing and again, another job finished. A deadline is always good to have and the Ouseburn Open Studios, is a great one!! I am so looking forward to getting down there now as it’s a great opportunity to meet people, show what you’ve been working on, get feedback and maybe even sell some things!!

And just a reminder for anyone in the area: it’s on this Saturday and Sunday 10-5pm.

Jingle Jangle Bracelets

Brown bangles Red bangles

Inspired by yesterdays creativity at the jewellery making workshop, I decided to make some bracelets ready for Open Studios at the Biscuit Factory in November. The bracelets are made from a mixture of recycled, broken jewellery and lovely new glass, handmade and wooden beads. I must admit, in the past I have made loads of these, as I just love the mixture of textures and colours, plus wearing four bracelets around each wrist looks great and makes a wonderful ‘Jingle Jangle!’

Jewellery making workshop using leather

Teddy keyring Gateshead women's group Leaf earring GW community group

This afternoon I ran a workshop for a fantastic women’s community group in Gateshead, who I’ve worked with in the past. The brief from the women was that they would like to learn to create leather jewellery and accessories inspired by jewellery artist Nora Fok whose work is currently displayed at the Shipley Art Gallery. Learning new skills, the women designed, cut out, threaded, beaded, glued and pliered their earrings, rings and key-rings together. As you can see from the photos, they have made some lovely new pieces in just one workshop.

Heart keyring GWCG  Green earring GWCG Star keyring GWCG

Butterfly keyring GWCG      Ring GWCG

Heart keyring 2 GWCG      Leaf keyring GWCG