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I spent my Saturday doing the most amazing, intense, enjoyable, inspiring and exhausting day of work I think I have ever done. Speedcraft.

Organised by Debbie Bryan Studio & Shop, sixty excited crafters arrived at midday for 3 hours of crafting delights. Split into 6 half hour sessions, they did everything from jewellery making to paper craft to gelatine printing and by all accounts had a fabulous day. From a tutors point of view it was fast, furious and I think it was fun – it went by so quickly it’s hard to be sure. 60 wonderful necklaces were made in my sessions and in total a fantastic 360 creative projects were completed in the day with 5 other amazing tutors – Judith Brown, Stevie Davies, Nikki Dennet, Katie Almond and Phiona Richards. There will be another speedcraft event sometime later in the year – join the mailing list for Debbie Bryan Studio & Shop to keep updated and if I have recovered by then I might just see you there. xx

20130427_102453The tools of the trade.

20130427_115313The first group of ten getting stuck in

20130427_115307The lovely craft room was at The Galleries Of Justice in the Lace Market, Nottingham. With 6 different craft session going on at once it was a noisy day (particularly with all the hammering)

speedcraft1The recycled charm necklace we made

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Christmas starts very early when you make gifts and jewellery does always make a lovely gift. So I have spent my weekend preparing work  for the six Christmas exhibitions I will be taking part in this year.

The parcels are now ready to fly off to Devon, Dorset, Carmarthenshire, Derbyshire, Aberdeenshire and Shetland over the next couple of weeks.  And my work will still be available in all my year round stockists too.

Christmas Exhibitions 2012:

1st November – 31st January:  Oriel Myrddin Gallery, Carmarthen, Wales

3rd November – 31st December: Inspire, Walford Mill Crafts, Wimbourne, Dorset

10th November – 24th December: I Give You This… Brewhouse Art Centre, Burton-On-Trent, Derbyshire

9th November 2012- 1st March 2013: Winter Exhibition, Touched By Scotland, Ryehill, Aberdeenshire

16th November – 23rd December:  Christmas Exhibition, Bonhoga Gallery,Weisland, Shetland

17th November – 31st December: Make – Contemparary Crafts For Christmas, Devon Guild, Bovey Tracey

All these exhibitions are group shows so if one is close to you do go along and support all the makers taking part and the galleries that look after them – you never know, you might find something to add to your own Christmas list.

A few months ago I was asked the marvellous Debbie Bryan to think about creating a possible collection inspired by Nottingham lace for the Lace. Here. Now. season beginning September 2012 which celebrates local lace traditions and their relevance to contemporary craft and design. Of course I jumped at the chance.

I had a good look around her lovely lace market shop and was immediately taken by these large scale draughtsman’s lace designs. The hard black lines with red highlights are not how I typically thought of lace – a lovely contrast to the frilly white cotton I imagined.  Instantly for me they suggested using a roller printing technique – passing the lace and a piece of annealed silver through a pair of high pressure rolls to physically print the pattern of the lace into the metal. The impression is then coated with a sulphur solution which blackens the silver and when sanded back reveals the impression in strong black lines.

I wanted to incorporate fragments of the lace into the designs and keep to the simple colour palette of white/silver, black and red that I had seen in the industry drawings. I combined  the original lace with sterling silver and used a red stitched lines to connect the two. I also wanted to bring in another contrast by using semi-precious beads in carnelian, onyx and white howlite. The smooth shiny stones look wonderful with the soft, clean lace and dark textured silver.

 I’ve found it very satisfying to go back to the beginning with his collection – often my work is very led by the materials and so I don’t do al lot of sketchbook design – I work straight in the materials and experiment with them rather than sketch or plan initial pieces.

I’ll be following this post with a couple more – one on the making process behind the collection and then one on the finished pieces.  If you’d like to see the collection it will be on display at The Draft Room exhibition at The Yard Gallery at Wollaton Hall every weekend during September 2012 and following that will be exclusively available through the Debbie Bryan Studio & Shop in the Lace Market.

 

With only one fair left to go and a few orders left to finish I am starting my wind down for Christmas. It has been a fantastic autumn/winter and so I will say a big big thank you to all the wonderful people who put on events, exhibitions and of course to all my lovely customers who make this such a fantastic and fun job.

It’s such a pleasure and a privilege to help people find the perfect presents for the people they love and as I sit in the studio working my thoughts often turn to all the people who will be opening their little packets of jewellery on Christmas morning.

I will be taking commissions right up until Christmas and my next tasks are to get some more things onto the online shop (it is looking a little bit sparse at the minute) and then start preparing for some the exciting things that are happening next year – starting with a New Year showcase at Bilston Craft Gallery in Wolverhampton followed by exhibitions at The Harley Gallery, The Beetroot Tree and Unit Twelve. And today I have been accepted into my very first event of 2012 – the brilliant SOCK craft market in Loughborough in March.

Thank you for being part of a fantastic 2011 and here’s to 2012 being even better. Merry Christmas. xx

I really enjoy the craft fairs and art markets I visit through the year. Spending so much solitary time in the studio is a luxury but it is so valuable to get out and talk to people, see them looking at and trying on pieces and get some feedback on the things I’m making. At this time of year I do as many events as possible and each one is always exciting and a little bit nerve-racking too.

The events list for Autumn/Winter is now full, I am out and about over the next few months and coming to an event near you. If you are looking to treat your nearest and dearest (or yourself) to something gorgeous this Christmas this is where you will find me and that perfect gift.

My work is also in three Christmas exhibitions in The New Brewery Arts Centre, Whisby Natural Worlds Centre and Rugby Museum and  Art Gallery (more about them later) or you can find it in all the usual stockists.

See you soon… xx.

…over the last month or so organising this…

…with the lovely Vicki from Love U More. It has been a while since I organised something like this and it has been great fun so far, if a little manic at times trying to fit everything in. We have some amazing sellers lined up for the event and of course I’ll be there too with lots of new jewellery and a few bargains to be had as well.

The doors open at 7pm and the first 50 guests will receive a free goody bag and I’ll be putting in a little gift from Alys Power Design as well as a voucher for some very special discounts. I will also be giving away the vouchers with every purchase made on the night so make sure you pop along to claim yours.  Find out more about the event on the eclectic presents blog or find it on Facebook. xx

Hello and welcome to the design blog for Alys Power Design. I am a jewellery designer/maker specialising in original and unique pieces hand crafted from vintage and precious materials. My work explores the challenges of forgotten and discarded articles into objects of beauty and value. I work from my home studio in Nottingham, England and sell work through local and national shops and galleries and at regional craft fairs and arts market. More info and online shop can be found on my website www.alyspower.co.uk. xx

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