Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why do you DIY? (We Scout Wednesday, Scoutie Girl)

This is the question Tara Gentile is asking today over on Scoutie Girl.  I make because I am.  It is as simple as that.  At a pure, basic level, when I make, when I create something with my hands I feel like I am doing what I was born to do.  I do not mean this to sound boastful or proud.  This is not where the declaration springs from.  It goes much deeper than some surfasic emotion.

Beyond all of this though there is the element of pure practicality about being a DIYer.  This moment  was made abundantly clear to me when I was called from the depths of my rural existence here in France for a photo shoot for a rather important British newspaper magazine in London.  The usual female cry went up - 'what am I going to wear!'.  However, this was rather compounded by the fact that most of my possessions were in storage, somewhere in a warehouse in England.
The night before..
It was then I remembered I had some fabric that I had bought on a trip to Paris.  It was actually curtain fabric but I decided it could be a dress (along the lines of Carrie in the Dior newsprint dress in SATC - I know, I know, but hey, we can all dream a little).  I knew it was going to be a little tricky.  It is the kind of project that you know could turn out well or really really badly.
I got to work.  By late that night I had my dress.  I was ready for my 'close up' (if a little tired).
London, Paddington, 2009 by Julian Hakes
When we (the photograph was to be taken with my husband, Julian Hakes) got to the site the photographer was really pleased to have obtained clearance to take the shot on the top floor of one of the towers under construction.  This was news to Julian and I as we had actually envisaged the shot being taken down on the canal side.

It did cross my mind that perhaps a smart trouser suit would have been a little more practical for climbing up the two sets of ladders that led to this windy spot (the steel cage lift did not go all the way to the top) but really, I loved the quirky dress, and besides, I didn't have any patterns for that kind of outfit.  

It actually felt rather like it was the right dress for the right location.  For the photos we were actually allowed to take all the safety gear off (although, to be honest, I think they perfectly accessorise this outfit).
Standing looking across London it was a powerful feeling to be wearing jewellery and clothing made with my own two hands.  

And that is why I DIY.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Visual Journal - or 'Mosaic Mercredi'

I have wanted to do a 'Mosaic Mercredi' ever since I discovered the flickr group 'Mosaic Monday'.  Due to my geographical location, I just had to change the day. Et voilà. 
1. Modular Sonobe Origami Ball - blue, geen, yellow - 270 pieces, 2. Alium!, 3. plated.., 4. " (HE)ART ", 5. Untitled, 6. "This is only a model!", 7. Tafoni adjacent to a crack, Pebble Beach, San Mateo County, California, 8. draft, 9. Coral pendant close look
Some preliminary ideas for a future series, perhaps. For the moment, it exists just as a thought, and in other peoples images. I still need to sit and draw and claim it for my own.  But here it is - at the very beginning. 
Repetitive structural form - both man made and organic, painted and sewn.  There is something quite beautiful about duplication when it is done on a certain scale.  At a cellular level it correlates with multiplication and growth.   Artistically - it holds us a little spellbound by its precision. I like to look at the new forms that are created between the modules at a micro scale and the overall new patterns that are made when you step back and admire the macro.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I am weary.  In a good way.  From doing things thoroughly.  From doing things carefully.  Concentrating.  I have no witty words or stories with which to regale you.  So, I will leave you with an image of the fruits of my labour today.
Roses and Silk Organza Pendant from the 'A Stitch in Time Saves Nine' series by Cari-Jane Hakes
The fabric is from Clarissa Hulse.
Elsewhere today - I took a break and put this little collection together.
Etsy Treasury by Hybrid Handmade, click here to see it on-line
A (très) bientôt !

Monday, September 27, 2010

More Beauty.

It was with a hop and a skip and a jump that I entered my workshop this morning after the weekend.  It is great when I have an unfinished piece waiting for me.  No sketching, no trial and error, no prototyping - just assembling and then admiring the finished article.  
Rose and Silk Organza Ring from 'A Stitch in Time Saves Nine' series by Cari-Jane Hakes
This time - a ring.  Ingredients: Roses, Silk Organza and Silver.  Roses are romance and beauty and combined with the same Clarissa Hulse fabric that I used for the memory locket (see here) there is just a hint of something couture about this piece.
Roses and Silk Organza Ring worn by Cari-Jane Hakes
And yes, it is big.  I make no apologies for this.  Everyone needs to make a statement sometimes and this is what this ring does.  It shouts loud while you stand demurely and hail a black cab - just raising the finger lightly, inflecting it towards the sky.  It is bold femininity.
Roses and Silk Organza Ring, side detail by Cari-Jane Hakes

Something different Sunday - The Sketchbook Project 2011

Page 13, The Sketchbook Project 2011, In Search of Home - a Nighttime Story by Cari-Jane Hakes
This one was done straight onto the thin moleskine paper (hence slight wrinkling).  She has fallen asleep, listening to the shipping forecast.  And of course Cedric is there - with his eye mask firmly on!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Top billing in an Etsy Treasury!

This was a great start to the weekend - seeing my little vintage lace earrings in the first three squares of a new Etsy Treasury.  You can see it on-line here.
Caramel Brown Treasury by Jealousydesign featuring hybridhandmade jewellery by Cari-Jane Hakes
And this one from a few days ago featuring my Love Letters Written by Moonlight brooch/necklace.  You can view the treasury on-line here.
The Kiss of Gentle Breeze on a Moonlight Night by RaeoLight featuring hybrid handmade  Jewellery by Cari-Jane Hakes

Bon Weekend!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A time for everything.

Sometimes I like my jewellery to be fierce.  Like armour. Projecting a 'don't mess with me' message.  At other times I like my jewellery to have a curious feel to it.  Little details that spark a desire to inspect it more closely.  But then, sometimes, just sometimes, I just want it to be pretty.  Is that such a crime?
Hydrangea and Silk Organza transparent memory locket by Cari-Jane Hakes (from A Stitch in Time Saves Nine series)
Ingredients: Sterling Silver, Paper, Dragonfly silk organza fabric by Clarissa Hulse
I have been wanting to somehow incorporate Clarissa Hulse's beautiful fabric into my jewellery for some time now.  This was the perfect project to show it off.  
Detail of pendant by Cari-Jane Hakes
The design started when I began thinking about creating a transparent locket.  This led to the vintage styling of the pendant.  The sheerness of the silk organza means that it beautifully layers up with the hydrangea image. 
Detail of back plate by Cari-Jane Hakes
The back plate is made from recycled sterling silver.  This gives it a fabulous texture and really adds to the vintage feel.  The text reads 'A stitch in time saves nine  one two three four five six seven'.
Pendant fine silver bezel detail by Cari-Jane Hakes
I gave it one little extra piece of silver to hang from the bottom.  A pendulum measuring the passing of time and generations.
Hydrangea and Silk Organza transparent memory locket by Cari-Jane Hakes
Every now and then we all just need something beautiful.  I'll be listing this in the Etsy shop over the weekend.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Work on the bench - a stitch in time saves nine

When I design and when I make I often find that a project gets to a point where I look at the sum total of hours and hours of work and think 'this isn't working'.  It is an awful feeling.  A feeling that time has been wasted and precious supplies have been expended for no return. However, I also have this attitude of 'I've started so I will finish' and it is this doggedness that usually gets me over the hiccup.  
The piece below went through this cycle today.  But tonight, as I dropped one of the finishing elements into place, I decided, that actually, it might just work.  
A Stitch in Time Saves Nine necklace by Cari-Jane Hakes
Hopefully I can share the finished piece with you tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Workshop Shoes?

These flew in this morning fresh from London Fashion Week (accompanied by their weary designer).  I couldn't resist trying to create a little bit of glamour outside my workshop.
The Mojito Shoe by Julian Hakes
They are sleek, minimal AND wearable.
The Mojito Shoe by Julian Hakes
I'm not sure I want to take them off.
The Mojito Shoe by Julian Hakes

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

'Up periscope!'

I made a radical decision a couple of days ago.  I decided to make something for myself.  
I have had this medium sized pebble sitting on my bench for a while now.  It actually inspired the 'Eternal Quest' post back in July.  The pebble in question is pictured in this post (top left for those of you curious enough to click on all the links).  Now, I admit, it isn't as pretty as the luminous yellow ones I use for the Yellow Submarine rings.  Or as interesting as the slate blue ones with the cris-crossing lines of white quartz.  But I loved this pebble for its shape.  Oh so perfect.  If this pebble was a person at a party (I know, just stay with me for a bit on this one) he would be hanging around the sides, kicking his feet a little and looking a bit awkward.  But if you managed to strike up a conversation with him he would dazzle you with his wit and make you laugh till your tummy hurt.  He has personality with a capital P.
'Up Periscope' Submarine Ring by Cari-Jane Hakes
Up Periscope' Submarine Ring by Cari-Jane Hakes
For this ring, because the pebble is on the large size, I increased the height of the band.  I added 'air bubbles' and set some of them with 3 cubic zirconias (one for my husband, and one for each of my little boys).
Up Periscope' Submarine Ring by Cari-Jane Hakes
The periscope turned out really well.  In the past I have referred to this as a 'snorkle' which is obviously incorrect.  Submarines would not have snorkels.  If they did, they would not be able to dive for very long. To be honest, I just like the word snorkel
Up Periscope' Submarine Ring by Cari-Jane Hakes
This periscope worked first time! You may remember the first Submarine 'snorkle' took me 5 attempts.  I was about to give up.  It is made from solid rod and a piece of hollow tube - a little bit of bending and blending makes it into one seamless piece.  Looks effortless, but believe me, it took a lot of effort to make it look like this.
Up Periscope' Submarine Ring by Cari-Jane Hakes
When worn you really know it is there!  It has weight.  It is larger than your average ring. 
Up Periscope' Submarine Ring, detail of back plate by Cari-Jane Hakes
I experimented with the back plate of this ring.  I wanted something with a bit more interest than just a flat sheet. And so I created a recycled sheet of silver, added more texture with the grains of metal I collect when I am sawing through silver.  I am very pleased with the result.  It has a grainy, old weathered metal feel to it. 
Up Periscope' Submarine Ring, detail of back plate by Cari-Jane Hakes
A craggy 'old man of the sea' character.  Right, I'm off to shock the locals with my creation!  I hope you all have an equally shockingly good day!

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's a new dawn, it's a new day....and I'm feeling GOOD

It may have something to do with the success of the London Fashion Week show yesterday (click here if you want to see it).  It may have something to do with the sunrise this morning.
sunrise, 7.30am, 20 September 2010 by Cari-Jane Hakes
Or, it could be that I made my first Etsy sale last night.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité!

'Beautiful France' Etsy Treasury featuring hybrid handmade to view the treasury on-line click here

Something Different Sunday

London Fashion Week started on Friday and while the Fash-Pack will be clamouring for front row seats in the Burberry show on Tuesday 21st, I personally would be queuing up for a glimpse of Anne-Sofie Back Atelje.  She is showing her collection this morning in Somerset House.  I must admit though,  if I was there, I would be casting more than a glancing look at the model's shoes.

To be honest, if I was there, I would probably be backstage helping my husband, Julian Hakes.  He has been working round the clock to get these shoes ready for their first public viewing.

A year ago the Hakes Mojito shoe was just a masking tape and card model.  My husband is not a shoe designer.  He is an architect, like me.  Whilst we are definitely one of those couples that define the 'opposites attract' adage, the one thing we do have in common is we both like to use our design background to explore objects outside of the traditional architectural realm.  Architects seem to do this a lot.  You would think designing skylines would keep us busy, but no.

Julian sent his shoe idea to Dezeen and they published it on 23rd September 2009.  It went viral.  After this he challenged himself to make it a reality.  In the meantime, press from all over the world have featured the shoe.  I have to say, I am a little in awe of how he has just dived in and made it work (you have to say that last bit in your best 'Project Runway' Tim Gunn voice).

For more information check out Dezeen's follow up post published on Friday 17 September 2010 here.
Or the web site here.

The Hakes Mojito show will also feature in Ada Zanditon's show (Monday 20th - 14:00 – ON/OFF Victoria House WC1).

Friday, September 17, 2010

My favourite sky and other good things

morning sky, 7.30am by Cari-Jane Hakes
This is my favourite kind of sky.  Percolating shafts of sunlight.
morning sky, 8am by Cari-Jane Hakes
I have to say it was a bit of a distraction this morning as I hurried two small boys into school clothes and bags and books.
morning sky, 8.20am by Cari-Jane Hakes
I know, I know.  Induldge me for a bit will you?  After 10 years of craning to see a square of sky from city centre dwellings this is still a bit of a novelty for me.
So the day started pretty well, what with all the gorgeous sky.  And it ended pretty well too.  The earrings I donated to The D.A.D. Project sold within one hour of them being listed on Etsy.  All proceeds go to the Canadian Cancer Society.  Serena and Emily did a lovely write up on their blog which was very kind and unexpected.  Thank you, you made my day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Etsy Shop Update.

I have listed a pair of perfect little leaf earrings along with a few items from the new 'a stitch in time saves nine' series.
Leaf earrings by Cari-Jane Hakes
I am making myself a pair - this is the test shot where I use a bit of sticky tape to see how the earrings will look.  It is not very high-tech, but it works.

Fiercely Feminine silver leaf earrings by Cari-Jane Hakes

This is the pair that are in the Etsy shop.  I never, never get tired of this leaf texture.  It still amazes me every time I patinate the silver and then begin to rub back the black. The flat silver begins to shine and the inky blackness stays in the indentations. As if by magic this perfect, delicate, intricate design appears.  No two are the same.  Uniquely beautiful.  It still makes me stop and stare at it's balanced irregularity.

Elsewhere on the bench, something much bigger is happening.  It is very bold.  I was almost annoyed to have to leave it and retire for sleep.  But sleep I must.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What I caught in my net today.

Look, everyone has gone home.  The beaches are empty.  The kiosks have gone.  Just surfers, dog walkers and us.
Tiny fragments of things that close up lose their scale - they seem like landscapes or vast rock formations, contorted bedding planes of sediments and crustaceans, quartz, feldspar, mica.
Flotsam and jetsam,
which became incorporated and transformed.
Time to gaze out to distant horizons..
and throw stones.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Work, New Series, A Stitch in time saves nine.

Silver Kimono with Vintage Lace from 'a stitch in time saves nine' series by Cari-Jane Hakes
This is the neatest most perfect little 'bean' of a necklace.  The shape is partly inspired by some of my favourite 'Yellow Submarine' pebbles.  The rest of the inspiration is rooted firmly in those deftifying natural helicopter sycamore seeds. 
Vintage Lace detail by Cari-Jane Hakes
I managed to get a beautiful impression from the vintage lace on the back plate of the necklace.
Vintage Lace detail by Cari-Jane Hakes
It struck me as I rolled this fragile fabric into my silver that it really was the perfect way to preserve part of cherished garment.  This sparked an idea for 'transparent lockets', wearable memory keepers, allowing us to hold close the images and artifacts of our loved ones.  To this end, I have a sketched up prototype ready to start over the next few days.
Silver Kimono with Vintage Lace from 'a stitch in time saves nine' series by Cari-Jane Hakes
Silver Kimono with Vintage Lace necklace worn by Cari-Jane Hakes
I threaded the pendant onto a sinuous snake chain which I kept short - I wanted the silver to rest on that mid point between the two clavicle bones, the little gap just before the sternum starts.

Elsewhere on the bench - more vintage lace.
Silver Vintage Lace necklace from 'a stitch in time saves nine' series by Cari-Jane Hakes
This time I patinated the texture to bring the relief out.  I have given this little ellipse a bit of lift by shaping the whole piece so it just gently curves into the third dimension.  There are also earrings to match.
Silver Vintage Lace earrings from 'a stitch in time saves nine' series by Cari-Jane Hakes

I will post these up in the Etsy shop on the 16th September.

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