West End Craft & Design Fair

It’s August. It’s Edinburgh festival time so that means the West End Craft and Design Fair!  It’s Venue 27  at St John’s (corner of Lothian Road and Princes Street) and runs till August 26th, Open 11am – 6pm daily.,
It’s an annual event for me and it’s really lovely to meet up with other makers, especially those of us who have been doing it for a long time. It is hard work but  good fun,  and always nice to see my customers, many of whom feel like old friends after all these years.

I am not sure what the collective name for red kites is but I have a flutter of them to take with me, along with a selection of most of my collections.
My days in the run up are long and the nights are short, but I’ll get there in the end. It’s always great to see all my jewellery finally neatly displayed on my bright white stand.

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Looking Out Looking In

I’ve been trawling through boxes of transparencies, old images,  and design books in preparation for a short presentation I’m giving with 4 other Spring Fling artists under the umbrella title ‘Looking Out, Looking In. ( The theme for our evening is Memory. I thought I could prepare for this over a couple of evenings. Ha! It’s much, much more difficult than I anticipated.  Digging further back than necessary I have, of course, got side-tracked by memories…

I’m marvelling at the range of work I made in the years when I lived on Eigg and worked here, literally at the edge of the beach, with no power (actually that wasn’t unusual as there was no mains, and not many had generators). I had a gas light and heater, and everything was hand drilled and hand polished. As with all aspects of life there, the elements dictated many things: no fiddly soldering could be done when the wind blew (the walls ‘gave’), I cooked in the sun when the wind didn’t, and swept sand off my bench regularly.  I began to really appreciate and understand the skill and patience of jewellers of the past.

This is a 3 colour 18ct gold ivy leaf wedding ring I made during that time. It had pierced- out details on the inside which were only visible to the wearer.

Eigg is a beautiful island, just celebrating 15yrs since its community buy out. It is now internationally known for being 100% self sufficient in renewable energy, amongst other progressive things. It was (and is) an amazing place to live and work.

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