What We Are Up To
Vanilla Ink likes to focus on the process and here at Vanilla Ink we don't like to keep any secrets. It is a glimpse into the world of a designer, showing thoughts and ideas and to encourage discussions. In this blog there will be posts from all of our designers.
You can also follow their own blogs to get all the juicy details.
If you have been following Vanilla Ink on our other channels you will have noticed that we have been a bit busy.
The studios are buzzing and May is just as busy and I feel this may be the consensus with the run up to International Jewellery London. That doesn't meant that we don't have anything planned in between from the bonnie banks of the River Tay.
The blog has come second to everything else and it is becoming forever more frustrating as I love to blog. I need to remember to find the time to dedicate to this reflective space....
Just realised ive not done a blog post since February despite a lot of exciting developments at Vanilla Ink. We smashed the target and are going to IJL. Id like to personally thank all of you for pledging! It is a very humbling experience to have so many people wanting to support our journey to breaking into the industry. I have also received funding from Creative Scotland (Craft Makers Award Dundee) and the Princes Trust so the hard work is just beginning. Due to the massive support over the past few months I thought now would be a great opportunity to give you more of an insight into my practice and the journey of a young jeweller working towards a trade show in one of my favourite cities.
So a few years ago now, whilst I was still at university I started to experiment with using wax in my work....
On the 30th of April the Vanilla Inkers will be taking to the stage, not for them to strut their stuff but for their jewellery. The inkers are currently hard at work creating collections specifically for the catwalk. Building on their own style but making it BIGGER! Some have collaborated and combined their styles and others have styled a look together. Either way, we can't wait to see what it looks like on the stage worn on the beautiful models.
Nightwalk is a yearly event that promotes Scotland's up and coming designers....
My cool wee badge for the day!!
This was our room for the day it was in an old veterinary school,
we were in the old dissection rooms!
The aim for the day was for Leanne and I to teach everyone
how to make a silver ring with brass detail.
First time teaching nerves began to kick in!!!
But as the day went on I realised I LOVE teaching!!
Who would have thought?!
Getting to work!
My brand new bench peg certainly got put to good use!!!
And here is all the amazing rings everyone made!!!
We will be doing another Make a Ring Workshop in
Aberdeen on the 12 of May more info to follow!!
It's been a while since we have blogged something and I can not believe that we have not written a post about our recent success…For a month we put ourselves on the line and started a crowd funding campaign. It was something that I had thought about for a while and the perfect project came up to fund so we bit the bullet.
International Jewellery London is something a jeweller dreams about, something they aim towards a little further down the line. Vanilla Ink always wanted to take their jewellers to national trade show and after a bit of thought we decided to put the two together, Vanilla Ink and IJL....
A chance for you to come and check out the studios for yourself. There will be tea, cake, jewellery and inkers. You can ask us any burning questions on how Vanilla Ink works, pick up an application form and have a wander around bonnie Dundee and get a feel for the place. We will be there from 10am-6pm so feel free to pop by and say hello.
For more information on how to get there please have a look on our Vanilla Ink facebook page....
A few days ago someone asked me why I was doing jewellery,
and I couldn’t reply with a straight answer.
It came to my mind again yesterday while I was having a
shower, and I thought it was quite bad of me, not being able to say why I do
what I do.
At that moment I said it was because I love making and I want
to bring filigree back and innovate (which is quite true). But is this a good
answer? Can you actually explain why you do what you love to do?!
When you love someone you can’t explain why you love that
person, because is something you just feel inside.
I think this is the reason…jewellery has been my passion since
I was young, about 9, but at that moment I didn’t know it....
For eight weeks now we have been feeding your jewellery appetites with our 'Meet the Inker' - interviews with our family of Vanilla Inkers in the run up to the opening of our online shop where we will be selling the beautiful work of said Vanilla Inkers. Last but no means least is our final interview Audrey Reid. The knitter of the group, to which she has been forced to teach us in our up-coming skill shares, Audrey tells us how she has used her skills and incorporated them into her work.
Vanilla Ink: Tell us where it all started.
Audrey: Jewellery-wise I did an evening class about 6 years ago at Lauder College (now Carnegie College) at the same time as I did an HNC in Art & Design at Elmwood College....
Over the weekend I became one of the founders of a new cult!
More specifically I was one of the thousands of people who took part in the global service jam. All around the world people came together to discuss, develop, ideate and prototype a service based on the theme of GROW. The Dundee jam was based at DJCAD which was handy as it's just along the road from Vanilla Ink.
It was all a bit of a mystery to me, not only because the theme of the event was kept a secret until a few hours after the event started but also because I'm still not too familiar with service design....
Today's meet the inker brings you Sally Anne Fenton - the senstive soul of our bunch, Sally's work looks at capturing a memory of a lost one. This has translated into a beautiful collection that has shifted into the commercial market seamlessly. Sally tells us about her time in Vanilla Ink so far and her girly side.
Vanilla Ink- Your degree show work had great meaning and importance to you, are you willing to share that with our readers?
Sally- My degree show collection was inspired by my grandmother who sadly died at the beginning of my fourth year....
Award winning jeweller, Filipa Oliveira talks to Vanilla Ink about reviving a Portugese tradition and writing a book.
Vanilla Ink: You didn’t begin your jewellery career in Dundee; tell us how you got into the trade in the first place?
Filipa: It all started when I was around 9 years old. My mother taught me to do beads necklaces which evolved into more elaborated pieces. At that time I was already selling it to my friends at school. But it wasn’t obvious for me that what I wanted to do was jewellery....
Over the past month or so life in the workshop has been flying by!
I have been working on my new collection, Exposed launching soon through my website and the Vanilla Ink online shop! And I got myself a new pendant drill...making life a little easier in the workshop!!
In january I had a trip down to the Goldsmiths Centre for the Getting Started Course. This was a jam packed week of talks for all aspects of the jewellery industry including Stephen Webster and Lesley Craze. We were also lucky enough to have our work on display in the Goldsmiths Centre for the industry evening where we had the opportunity to mingle with some tops names in the jewellery industry.
I also had the chance to visit the Cecilia Colman Gallery where my work is available.
The next wee exciting adventure we have had at Vanilla Ink has been the launch of our Kickstarter appeal....
So I am 2 weeks in, and I will show you what I have been up to.
I have been down in London with my gran and then in Birmingham.
It was great to go to London as there is so much going on and see different building structures and a variety in food. But it was also nice to come back to my grans and walk around in her tranquil garden and draw from it.
The two highlights were the Natural History Museum and the Unexpected Pleasures exhibition in the Design Museum....
Vanilla Ink sees an eclectic mix of talented jewellers and this one does not fall short of that. Ruth travels nearly everyday from Glasgow to be with us at Vanilla Ink. The only inker to have not been through university but Ruth doesn't show any less passion, determination or skills.
Vanilla Ink: Why jewellery?
Ruth: BECAUSE I JUST LOVE IT!! :)
I have always been kind of creative, painting, drawing, glueing, cutting everything in sight and have had a love for jewellery since I was young. I used to buy cheap pieces from charity shops or high street shops and redesign them all the time then I just realised this is what I wanted to do full time so I enrolled in a course and it started from there....
Well as I sat back away from the bench and picked up my sketchbook, it struck me how to be creative. How do you make yourself be productive in being creative. So obviously I went to google. Many suggestions included, "Writing a song about a pet and sing it to them," "Dance around your house," and "Listen to Bach." However as I already dance around the house, for the sake of my flatmate I don't think this needs to be encouraged and I don't think she would appreciate me writing songs, let alone singing them.
However I have come up of a list I like and intend to try and fit into my month:
20 minute walk a day - slowly to observe, also people watch fits in here (suggustion by Kate), if any of you know me slow isn't in my vocab but I will try at least once a week.
Keep a journal - I have started and will be updating the blog
Make a college - something I love to do
Visit a gallery - plan to visit 3 over the next 2 days
Read - Now I have a list of books to read related to business but for the first week I am going to read fiction, open my imagination (1 book down already)
Make a list of things you love - I tried to do this ironically for my boyfriend for Valentines day, I wanted it to be a list of things I found slightly annoying but loved at the same time, however this turned into a list which highlights what irritates me (so I will go broader this time)
Unfortunately I am at my grans at the moment, were I can't get wifi for my laptop so I will leave what I have been up to in the first week until I have my laptop back so I can put photos up.
Feel free to leave any creative suggestions?
Bye for now x
Filipa Oliveira launched her new collection Golden Honey in June 2012. An 18ct gold vermeil, emerald and coral collection inspired by filigree, a traditional jewellery technique from her home country, Portugal. She uses this ancient and unique technique in an innovative way to lend detail and heritage to her delicate work. This historical element allows both the past and present to be encompassed within each piece of jewellery and is evocative of different times and cultures.
Filipa is originally from Portugal having moved to the UK in 2008....
Well with all the excitement that has happened today, we are equally excited to share with you todays Meet the Inker. Today is turn of Leanne Evans, with a history of jewellers running through her family it seemed like a natural path.
Vanilla Ink: Your collection has already come so far since graduating. The jewellery trade is in your veins; tell us where is all begun.
Leanne: Thank you, yes the family on my dad's side, are from Birmingham and all worked in all parts of the jewellery quarter, some making handmade jewellery, to working in the factories, my great gran was used the fly press to stamp out shapes, other members of my family were involved in the admin and electric side of keeping things working in the quarter....
So after having a disscussion with my mentor, I feel that I have been going full pelt with the business and need to take a little time to slow down and be creative, I will be documenting this process and unlike my mentor, Johanna Basford I will still be taking commissions and orders. But I want to visit exhibitions, draw daily and take my time.
The next collection is going to be my best yet.
Bye for now x...
I'm very excited to be taking part in this years New Faces exhibition at The Leith Gallery. Some of my work to be featured is already up on their website along with many talented artists and designers. The exhibition opens Friday 15th Febuary and goes on until the 31st March. Feel free to come along & have a nosey :)...
A couple of weeks ago I took a trip down to London to take part in the Goldsmiths Getting Started course 2013. The week was packed with guest speakers from jewellery companies & galleries and even Stephen Webster! They all came to give us advice on getting our careers in the jewellery industry started.
The week was fantastic but very tiring as there was so much information to take in - it really showed me how much work I have to do! We had a talk from Leo De Vroomen and got to see his work up close which was amazing!
On the Thursday evening we had an exhibition and jewellery professionals from all over came to visit....