Friday, July 25, 2014

Diving For Pearls

Conceptually these two pendants have their roots in seaweed fringed rock pools lined with a shimmering array of quartz lined pebbles, barnacle covered rocks with oysters, hiding in the shadowed ledged depths, quietly working on their grit with determination.

Diving For Pearls, pendant, July 2014, Cari-Jane Hakes
Diving For Pearls, detail
I rather surprised myself with these pendants when I finished them.  The ideas for the components was floating and a little fluid, the making and constructing of each piece was like sketching in 3D.

They have a relaxed quality to them which is in stark contrast to the geometry and precision of my production work.

Gold and Green Pebble pendant, July 2014, Cari-Jane Hakes
 They are a welcome departure, a hint of holidays and summer sun.

Gold and Green Pebble pendant, detail
 More photographs and details can be found here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sparkle-tastic mini cocktail rings

I made these.

Sparkle-tastic ring in rose gold tone
They are simple and beautiful.  No complicated concept or narrative, just sparkle and bling.

stacked with other rings by Cari-Jane Hakes
Great on their own, but they play well with others.

Sparkle-tastic ring in gold tone
In a rose gold tone or golden tone.

stacked with other rings by Cari-Jane Hakes, July 2014
Made to measure, crafted with the care and attention. In the Etsy Shop.

Friday, July 11, 2014

'Eat Your Greens' ring

You know you should!  With the right sauce and a little bit of seasoning you know they are going to taste just fine.  And they are GOOD for you.

'Eat Your Greens' ring, Cari-Jane Hakes, July 2014
I've been wondering how to incorporate these little chunks of faceted glass into my work.  A ring seems like a good place to start.

band detail on the 'Eat Your Greens' ring, Cari-Jane Hakes, July 2014
And I've been experimenting with a new texture which I've used on the band of this ring.

'Eat Your Greens' ring, Cari-Jane Hakes, July 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Manifesto Necklace

Every now and again I manage to make something that sums up everything.  I know this is a bit of a bold statement, but really, this is all we ever try to do when we make or create things, isn't it? We use our hard won technical and design skills to develop, to construct, to sketch, to engineer, to re-engineer to create a thing that we can hold up to the light and say 'Ahhh, this IS good!'

A Life's Journey, From Here to There and Back Again, Cari-Jane Hakes, July 2014
This is the longest handmade chain I have ever created.  It swings so low that the pebble held tightly in its silver housing swings almost at my waist.  And oh, it is the most perfect little pebble! The whole composition is just pure line and form.  Minimally drawn but with moments of intricate complexity that I hope are balanced out evenly.

As with all designs, now that I test it out there are things I would change, bit I would refine.  Next time, next time.  Until then, this is it.  It sums up everything I try to do and say through the medium of goldsmithing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Split Pod Ring

In among all the questions and doubts, the dust and debris I managed somehow to make this ring. After the final polish I held it my hands and knew it was good.  It has an easy elegance to it. It makes a statement without shouting. It has a quality of 'quietetude' about it.

Split Pod Ring, June 2014, Cari-Jane Hakes
Elsewhere, I've been busy making my own Etsy TV advert!  Well, not really.  The dynamic team over in the UK Etsy office were busy last month filming somewhere in London.  They got together a team of UK based Etsy sellers (my good friend and fellow jeweller Alexandra was featured, you can visit her Etsy shop here) and created this:

I've been accepted for my first trade show (BCTF British Craft Trade Fair) which is in April 2015. In anticipation, I've begun to create my own website which you can have a look at here should you be so inclined

I'll leave you with one final image of the Split Pod ring before I depart to consider some very important private commissions - work in progress photographs to follow!

Split Pod ring detail, June 2014, Cari-Jane Hakes
À bientôt mes amis!

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Million Pound Necklace?

I watched Channel 4's 'The Million Pound Necklace: Inside Boodles' this week on 4oD (it first aired in March this year when I was rather busy making a million necklaces).  It was a totally fascinating insight into the rarefied air that is breathed by those at the top end of the jewellery business.  You can read The Independent's review here and watch a clip from the introduction to the programme below.  It may even be possible to watch the entire programme on Daily Motion here or on the 4oD website if you are in the UK.  It's a great for those that are similarly fascinated about how things are made.

Inside Boodles from Illustrated London News on Vimeo.

It made me smile a little to see many different people doing all the varied jobs that go into producing a one-of-a-kind necklace.  I do all of those jobs myself.  I design, I make, I source my stones and I sell.  Perhaps there are less flights to New York and less champagne but essentially, when its all stripped down, Boodles and I, well, we do the same thing.

I wonder what Jody Wainwright, the man tasked with tracking down many of the expensive stones for Boodles, would think of me and my surf tumbled pebbles?

I've been debating with myself for a while as to the merits of precious vs semi precious stones. There are ethical implications.  There is the obvious cost issue and the investment involved too. With respect to cost though, I question the REAL value of these so called 'precious' stones (as illustrated in this short film on the College Humor website titles 'Why Engagement Rings are a Scam' click here to view it.)

As I made this ring though, some of the confusion and questions I continue to ask myself began to fall into the background. The resulting composition has a purity and a simplicity. It has a ring of truth about it.  It was just SO far from what I'd just watched.

It is composed of material as old as the earth itself.  Igneous, crystalline, super heated and then cooled.  Pushed up into a mountainous range and then frost shattered into a fragment, carried by a glacier and eventually worn and tumbled by an ocean that appeared as the temperatures slowly rose.  A million years later, I picked it up.

I made the band slim, slight, much thinner that I would normally.  It feels right, it contrasts with the height of the stone in a pleasing, slightly incongruous way.

There is beauty that comes with a price tag, beauty that is justified as an investment, as a display of wealth and position and then there is beauty that is beautiful when no one is looking, that is beautiful in a quiet way. They both have a place. And I reckon me and Jody, well I reckon we would have a lot in common.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Pebble Hunting

The long shore drift shifts and sorts. It throws stone upon stone.  They get gathered up the hands of the wave and are propelled up the sandy inclines of these shores.  Gradually they move, first a zig then a zag.  It is an unassuming, stealthy migration, an escape of sorts that is thwarted before it has really begun by these great barriers of wood and bolt.

Easy pickings for a pebble hunter like me.  No need to chase my quarry.  No complicated traps or silent crouched waiting.

Pebble Hunting
I came home with my pockets stuffed and my bag a little heavier than when I arrived.

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