Friday, 20 April 2012

A month of exciting news!


It's been a busy month since my last post. Two bits of really exciting news which have made me feel like all the hard work might just be starting to pay off, plus some new work and the collaboration with Jennifer Collier has come together too.

Exciting News No.1

The V&A Museum in London asked for samples in late March, thought they were great and have placed an order for my jewellery!! So by mid May jewellery from my Vintage Noir and Vintage Collection will be in the shop. I've always loved the V&A and having my work there will be really special to me.

Lara earrings

Exciting News No.2

In the same week as the V&A made their decision, I was interviewed by the editor of Embroidery Magazine. The 20 year old Judith (Embroidery undergraduate at the time) would have been so impressed by this, so I have allowed myself to feel a little proud of what I've acheived since then! I'm not sure when the feature will be out yet.

Me aged 20. Amazed how little I've changed, though I know I didn't usually wear such lovely vintage dresses at the time!

Jennifer Collier and I have been working on a little project together, and it came together earlier this week at the British Craft Trade Fair. I arrived at my stand to set up and found a box waiting for me. I opened the box to take out the jewellery boxes made by Jennifer, and found them wrapped up in old sewing pattern tissue! This was the first outing for some new jewellery and the boxes, made from my discarded cards of hooks and eyes, so recycling my recyclings!

New Jewellery

As my part of the collaboration I made some new pieces of jewellery, pictured below. The designs still need to be christened (most of my jewellery has names, out of practicality rather than sentimentality, though I do have my favourites!) The great thing is that the project gave me the opportunity to push my jewellery a step further and I have so many ideas for more pieces now too, can't wait to get experimenting, so watch this space!

New Vintage Noir chandelier earrings

New Vintage Noir 3D chandelier earrings in their bespoke box by Jennifer Collier

New Vintage Noir hook and eye cahndelier necklace, dipslayed on a 1930s box of Newey's hooks and eyes.
New Vintge Noir hook and eye bracelet

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Haberdashery - aholic!

I think that I'm gradually becoming a bit obsessed with old haberdashery! I mostly buy it for making jewellery, but I have started buying some of it just because of the packaging. Especially the Newey brand, as there are so many different styles of packaging all the way through from the end of the 19th century to when the Birmingham based compnay closed in the late 70s or early 80s.

Here are some of my recently found treasures!

Carefully collected and sewn onto card by Grace Dow

Thanks for collecting them Grace whoever you are, I hope you'd be pleased that they'll soon be recycled into pendants and necklaces

 I got this whole box of Newey hooks and eyes in their original supplier box. I think they are late 1940s in date.

Not sure I can bring myself to cut these off the cards!

These are also Neweys and are older from the 20s or early 30s, the square card is really unusual. These won't get used for jewellery I don't think.

At the Antique Textile Fair in Manchester the other week I got these lovely mother of pearl buttons. When I got home I discovered the old French newspaper stuck on the back. Not sure of the year, but the headline is "Paix et du Pain" and talks about unrest in Berlin and Amsterdam.

I've already made some of these into earrings

Friday, 27 January 2012

Top Drawer 2012 - Earl Court

2012 kicked off in a busy style with lots of prep for this enormous Trade Fair in Earls Court London. I designed my stand differently (scroll down for a peek) redesigned and updated my catalogue, and made one or two new designs to boot.

I'm really pleased with how it looked! I even took my Mum's old button tin with lots of old haberdashery spilling out of it to show what the jewellery is made from.

I included some of the old lacemaker samples that I've found too.

The show was quieter than last year (in our section at least) but I did take orders and make some valuable contacts. I met the buyer from the V&A - I'd really love to sell my jewellery there! And I'm another step closer to my jewellery being sold in Kensington Palace too- I got the email to set me up as a supplier today!

Last year I was lucky enough to make friends with 3 other jewellery makers (links at the bottom of the blog) and we all made sure we were next to each other, went out for meals and helped each other out. I needed extra help as I had a problem with my car, had to stay another night and needed rescuing by the RAC! Not a great end to the show. I like doing shows, but this is a stressful one - driving in central London, 700 other stands- which is rather overwhelming, especially when you are competing with really big business and mass produced products too. Not for the faint hearted!

Thanks to Amanda Coleman, - lovely silver and gold plated jewellery featuring birds, spiders, dragonflies and synchronised swimmers! Dee Barnes - colourful printed vinyl jewellery and especially Kate Hamilton Hunter, - recycled biscuit tin jewellery, as she put me up for an extra night.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Beat the January blues discount!

15% Discount on all jewellery on my website.

Enter the code Happy 2012! at checkout.

Code is valid until 27th January 2012.Only valid for online sales at

Thursday, 29 December 2011

2011 - The numbers

2011 has been a busy one as I think these numbers will demonstrate!

10 gallery exhibitions
13 fairs or markets
1 arts trail
2 trade fairs
1 workshop
1 new website
2 new blogs - this one on blogspot and also here on my website
1 new Twitter account @judithjewels with 489 followers (Thanks!)
2 new jewellery collections Vintage Lace and Vintage Petite
2 magazine articles, at least 5 mentions, and 8 blog posts Link
1000s of miles driven around the UK!
Countless the number of supportive friends, makers and customers
1 cute new nephew
and finally 1 tired Judith!

Happy 2012!
(PS if you enter Happy 2012! at checkout on my website you get
15% discount until 27th January)

Friday, 4 November 2011

Jewellery Focus Magazine - Alternative Materials

The other day I had an excited text from a jeweller friend, saying she had just read a great article about my jewellery in this month's Jewellery Focus magazine. Naturally I got straight on the phone to them for a copy! Read the article in full by clicking here.

The article features three makers who don't use traditional materials to produce their work. One of the other makers, Kate Hamilton Hunter recycles old biscuit tins into lovely jewellery. Earlier this year our stands were near each other at Top Drawer, in fact there were a few of us who became friendly and have made sure that we are next to each other next year too!

Friday, 28 October 2011

October - A busy month!

It's been a while because I've been so busy! In the last month I have finished designing my new website...

Which I launched to coincide with the Liverpool Design Show at the beginning of October. This was held in the stunning St George's Hall in Liverpool. Great to do a local event for a change, just 15 minutes in the car and back to my own bed at night!

The weekend after that it was the Vintage Wedding Fair in Chester.

 For which I designed a new display to show off my new Vintage Petite Collection.

This new collections is made with tiny vintage mother of pearl buttons and finished with pearl drops.

This necklace was won by Jacqui Hayes from Liverpool in a competition that I ran on the day.

Then last weekend was The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Manchester. It was a really really busy weekend with lots of vistors and a real buzz about the event. All the northern makers had a "Northern Lights" sticker on their stands to highlight them - that included me. I studied in Manchester so have an affinity for the city it was good to catch up with some of the tutors from my course all those years ago too!

So that was October, no wonder I'm exhausted!

November will be a busy month too.
See my up to date events listings on my new website.