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Welcome to September Rose's Journal - to read all our news, please click the month headings listed below to expand their contents.

 

+ June 2016


22/06/16 - 24/06/16 : Jewellery Presentation and Painting Course at Goldsmiths' Centre

It's been a long time since I've had the chance to just sit down and enjoy painting (more years than I'd care to mention in fact), I loved art class at school and used to drive my Mum mad at home when I was a kid getting paint everywhere 'when I was feeling creative'.. since graduating uni I haven't really had much time to get my paints out and as a result I have become a bit 'scared' of ruining my sketches with colour.

 

Inspired greatly by the process of creating the bespoke painting on my Harp's soundboard with Jerry Blumire - who is an incredible artist. I decided enough time had gone by since I last picked up and wielded a paint brush. By chance I saw a tweet from the Goldsmith's centre about Jennifer Bloy's Jewellery painting and presentation masterclass. Deciding that this was the world trying to tell me something I signed up there and then!

 

 

'Do more and better sketching' has long been an item on my to do list (the one that never seems to get any shorter!), although I'm a CAD designer some of my figuring out is done the 'old fashioned' way with a pencil and paper. (Usually on the back on scrap paper as I never feel my drawings are good enough for a sketchbook - its a quirk of mine to create sketchbooks from of my drawing later... odd I know, but it works for me). My main aims for the course were to improve my concept sketching and get over my fear of adding colour to my sketches (and to enjoy the experience!)

It was great to have three days dedicated entirely to sketching and painting jewellery. It took me a while to get the 'feel' of painting back - I was extremely rusty and hesitant. But after several crises of confidence, much soul searching and some very kind encouragement from my boyfriend (Graham) and Jerry the 'Waterfall' necklace is the result of four hours of scribbling and brainstorming with Graham in the evening after the first day of the course, three days of trial, error and Jenny's very patient teaching!

Waterfall Necklace - Samantha Rose 24/06/2016 - Gouache on grey card

One of the most challenging aspects of the course was learning how to paint different cuts of gemstones. It is all in the under-painting, a completely new technique to me. Unlike all the painting I've done previously where a lot of the fine detail is added on the top as the last brushstrokes, with under-painting the shading is the first thing you do. The square stone below shows the under-painting for an emerald, a green wash would be added over the top and then the final details added on the top. This way you can create the 'sparkle' and depth of a faceted stone. The thickness of the wash is critical to the result, to thick and you cover over all your under-painting, too thin and you wash it all away! Much practise required to improve and get a bit quicker, the two stone below took me the entire second day of the course!

 

An enjoyable three days, where not only learned many new skills, I also learned a lot about myself, my art and how I would like to work. I also made a couple of lovely new friends on this course. It is one of the things I like most about doing courses - I always get to meet really interesting creative people which such diverse backgrounds and experience. It is very inspiring!

+ May 2016


08/06/16 : GCDC VIP event at Goldsmiths' Centre


Joanna Stroinska (the crazily talented and lovely lady who has the challenges of turning my designs into real objects), Brian Hill and Me

 

I spent a lovely evening talking to really inspiring people at the Goldsmiths' VIP event for award winnings and sponsors. It was wonderful to share the ideas and inspirations behind our award winning pieces with each other and to enjoy the experience and honour of being a Goldsmiths GCDC award winner with the panel of judges.

I love meeting and talking to creative people and hearing about how they design and create their beautiful works for art, I find that I always learn something as everyone's 'process' and insight is completely unique to them. I find it very inspiring and thought it was wonderful that Goldsmiths gave us the opportunity to get to know the other award winner's better and also talk to the judges to find out why they liked our pieces.

 

I decided on the awards evening, back in February that I would make it my life's ambition to win the Cartier award and the seed of this ambition grew a little more on this great evening. Those of you that know me well know that I like a challenge!

+ May 2016


30/05/16 : Design Update


 

I've been scribbling away on many different projects this year, the month of May has seen several of them develop from out of focus moments of inspiration into more tangible pieces.

Féebelle is my new Fine Art collection, it is a polymorph inspired by bluebells, waterfalls, icicles and vivid blue sapphires. I love sapphires for many reasons the three principle ones being - they are September's birthday stone and second is that these beautiful durable gems are almost every colour of the rainbow and finally the blue / green tones have always reminded me of the sea. I have wanted to do a project focusing on blue sapphires for ages and Féebelle popped into my head one sunny spring saturday afternoon while I was walking my dogs in the woods. The idea was really quite fuzzy and has taken pages and pages of scribbles and weeks of 'virtual CAD' in my head to finally come into focus. I hope to launch the collection in later this year.

Papillon is a bespoke piece that has been a total joy to design, I'm keeping it under wraps until it is in the possession of the lovely gentlemen who commission it....

Leinks - version two, a smaller version of my Leinks is almost finished and will be launching in early August.

Rapier will be another fine art collection, at the moment it is in a very conceptual phase. I have a (verging on unhealthy) love of historical fantasy stories particularly the works of Sarah J. Mass. These wonderful stories have inspired me to create a collection of pieces. 

+ April 2016


19/04/16 : Speaker at inaugural Flux (Fair Luxury) Conference; Goldsmith's Centre, London

I had the honour and privilege of being a speaker at the inaugural Flux conference this week, hosting a workshop with Peter Crump (Vipa Designs) and Elizabeth Shaw (Jeweller and Head of Jewellery and Small Objects Department Queensland College of Art, Australia).

Flux's aim is to educate, challenge and inspire people on ethical sourcing in jewellery.

Our workshop was a Q&A based session focused on our experiences of ethical sourcing and practises from the point of view of a designer (me), supplier (David) and educator (Elizabeth).

FLUX was created last year by a group of like minded jewellers, it is the formalisation of what started out as very informal meetings to chat about the issues in jewellery raw material sourcing and share new ethical sources, usually at the major jewellery shows or fairs. I have been involved from the beginning and it was immensly humbling and joyous to see so many people attended Flux and feel the energy around the entire event. I can not take any of the credit for the conference itself as other commitments meant I wasn't able to help with the organisation. I am in total awe of what Amanda Li Hope (Amanda Li Hope), Rachel Sweeny (Cox and Power), David Crump (Cockpit Arts), Anna Loucah (Anna Loucah Fine Jewellery) Stuart Pool (Nineteen48) and Gary Seneviratne (Nineteen48) managed to create. The list of keynote speakers was a list of 'whose, who' in ethical sourcing and practise, with people flying in from the four corners of the globe. Each one was hugely informative and interesting.

My personal favourites were the keynote speech of Lina Villa (Fairmined) on ethical mining and the difference Fairmined makes to both the enironment and miners, Estelle Levin and Stuart Pool's speech on their experiences in ethical mining and Orsola de Castro's (Fashion designer and Fashion Revolution founder) on the Fashion Revolution campaign and the strides that have been made in the fashion industry in the years since the Rana Plasa disaster.

The diversity of the topics covered by the keynote speakers lead to a very lively and interesting session in our workshop - the point that I would like to convey from it is; your 'ethical focus' as a jeweller is as unique as your design style, there isn't a one size fits all solution and in order for it to be genuine rather than just a box ticking exercise it has to focus on issues that really mean something to you as a designer/person. For me it is that there is a beautiful synergy to using the most precious and pure of nature's minerals to honour nature's intrinsic raw beauty whilst helping to protect and preserve it. Obviously the human factor is of equal importance, but to me without protecting the environment any human activity is unsustainable. For another designer, it might be focusing on recycling or up-cycling, another on sourcing locally, these are all great foci and all equally worthy and valid and helping in their own unique way.

The tone of the day was so inspiring and up lifting with an emphasis on 'look what we can acheive if we work together and instigate change, because look at the strides we've already made'. Given that the subject matter we are dealing with can be abhorent, it would have been so easy for the tone to be depressing and take on a 'guilt trip' nature by highlighting all the issues with conventional jewellery supply chains. This would have been both demoralising and off putting, especially for those wanting to take their first steps into the world of ethical sourcing. Despite being exhausted at the end of the day (it was really quite an emotional day!), I left the conference feeling like we really could take on the world and change it for the better!

Orsola de Castro mentioned a wonderful quote in her keynote speech which I think summed up the day perfectly;

 

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world, indeed it's the only thing that ever has" Margaret Mead

 

Read more about our Ethics and why we are so passionate about change by clicking here...

 

To find out more about where we source our raw materials from, please click on the links below or surf our Ethics section using the main menu.

Gold Sources

Silver Sources

Gemstone Sources

Pearl Sources

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+ February 2016


29/02/2016 : Multiple wins for Samantha at the Goldsmiths' Craft & Design Awards ('Jewellery Oscars')

An incredible night for Samantha at the Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Awards on February 29th.

I am delighted to annouce that I recieved 3 prestigious Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Council awards on Monday evening, winning a Gold, Silver and Bronze award - this included the National Association of Jewellers Special Award. The awards are held annually at the beautiful and historic Goldsmiths' Hall and are known affectionately within the trade as the Jewellery Oscars. They celebrate and promote excellence in craftmanship and design and are judged by a panel of Britain's top master craftsmen and jewellery designers. It was an incredible evening and I can't put into worlds what it means to me to have won.

The whole evening was so surreal, that even now I'm still trying to resolve it in my head (I'm not sure I ever will!) - it was just the most amazing evening! At the exhibition of winners after the ceremony, I had the pleasure of seeing some breathtakingly beautiful work and meeting some of the incredibly talented and inspiring designers. To be deemed worthy of being in such esteemed company and having my work exhibited along side them was such an incredible honour. 

Goldsmith's Hall is a spectacular setting for the ceremony - fact of the evening; there is more gold leaf of the ceiling of the main room than in any room at Buckingham Palace (thank you to the lovely Shannon O'Neil for this awesome fact!)

My Leinks; Meadow collection won both Gold in the Production Jewellery section and the National Association of Jewellers Special Award for innovation of commercial viability. Leinks was inspired by memories of making daisy chains as a child with my school friends. I created my Meadow collection to capture this precious memory and the beauty of an English wild flower meadow. The raw materials are now a little more grown up and there is also a twist to the collection to capture the changing palette of flowers and the transient nature of a meadow. The twist is that Leinks are interchangeable and can create many different pieces of jewellery without the need for specialist tools or skills. In essence it is my interpretation of a charm bracelet, where the links are the charms. The shape of the leink is critical to both its form and function. The flowing curves not only represent the stems of a traditional daisy chain link, they are fundamental to the leink's interchangeability and the way the links lie against the wearer's skin whatever piece of jewellery they are wearing. The name Leinks derives from Lei - the Hawaiian for a wreath of flowers and links as that is what they are!


Click here to view the multi award winning Leinks; Meadow Collection...

 

Joanna Stroinska - who is the master Goldsmith who is responsible for all the finishing and setting of my Fine Art pieces, won a Silver award for the quality of her polishing with my Odyssey Collection. Odyssey was inspired by the 'Tears of Heaven' legend, the collection tells the story of tear being nutured and transformed into a beautiful pearl beneath the waves by an oyster. The edges of all the pieces are set with diamonds in a pattern that evokes the way light dances of the crests of waves. The pearls at the centre of each of the pieces are rare Cortez Pearls from Mexico. (There is only one farm in the world that cultivates these stunning pearls!)

 

Click here to view the award winning Odyssey Collection...

 

My Bronze award was for my Fluttering Heart Locket. The shape of my locket pays homage to two of my favourite eras of locket design: Victorian - where spinning lockets were very popular and edwardian - when the spherical / ball locket was a favourite. Also inspired by a butterfly valve (from an engine) - making the piece a play on the phrase ‘be still my fluttering heart’. The shape is further informed by an anatomical heart complete with chambers and working valves. Both these valves spin through 360 degrees allowing four surfaces to be engraved with important dates or hand / foot / pawprints etc. whilst at the same time leaving room for important keepsakes to be stored underneath e.g a piece of confetti from your wedding, a lock of hair, or maybe a pebble from a lovely day out at the beach. I have been facinated by Faberge eggs since i was very young so there is an element of these in my contemporary twist on a locket. The shape is very tactile as I think how a piece feels when it is played with is very important to its overall form. This piece will be launched as part of a full collection later in 2016!

 

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+ 2015


+ 2014