Friday, September 28, 2012

A Fabulous Friday Feeling

I was recently approached by a customer on Etsy who had seen my photograph of this ring on flickr.

I had actually just sold it 3 weeks hence but offered to make another one, similar, in her size.

I worked on it today.

It was a pure joy to make.  The little silver housing that I made for it from 1mm thick sterling silver sheet and fine silver bezel turned out perfectly.

I textured the back surface of the ring with the leaves from this delicate forest floor plant that I find just up above the high tide line along the coast here in France.

I use a 'D' section of silver wire to make the ring and turn it in on itself which makes for a really comfortable fit.  The section is a generous 3.5mm in width which I think lends to the quality of the whole piece.

The pebble of course is beautiful, as all pebbles are.  This one has some lovely veins of ochre running through the deep chocolate brown smooth textured surface of the stone.  The bright shock of the white stripe has tiny bits of this ochre in it as well.

Setting the pebble within the fine silver bezel was perhaps the best bit. This afternoon I carefully pushed and folded the silver over and burnished it hard to create a perfect silver line around the perimeter of the stone.  A tiny indent in the pebble on the right hand edge is now lined in silvered light.

I love that people love these rings.  They have a natural brilliance to them.  What they lack in cut, clarity and carat they make up for in uniqueness, colour, size and personality.

Can you tell I've had a good day in the atelier?  Here's hoping yours was too.  Bon Weekend mes amis.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Facets and Forests

I stumbled across this image of the work of Myeombeom Kim which has a kind of majestic mystery about it.  In the words of the artist:

"I try to examine how my surroundings are perceived and remembered. To do this, I listen to a whisper from the objects within my surroundings. I attempt to have an intimate, private dialogue with the world, trying to concretely present the way things approach me, by using other mediums.

"To ask what an objects means to me is like asking what being I am. I have consistently experienced my surrounding objects from the perspective of life, growth, and decline, which lends vitality to my work."

source: My Modern Met

Elsewhere today, I gathered up and recorded our scavenged treasure from our excursion at the weekend.

foraged forest findings, September 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes

cupped twig line, September 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
The fragmented line of this twig with its articulations and subtle changes in direction is a whole tiny lesson in structure, proportion and detail.  I take note, register and file away for later explorations in metal.

A kind of frenzied restless energy is a little in evidence round these parts.  The best thing to do when this happens is to sit down with a file and file and file and file.

These may just be the most perfect little studs ever.  I love a good dangly earring as much as the next person, but I have to say, when your rushing around being elegant they do rather get in the way.  I say, save those dangly ones for a calm, siting down, sipping cocktails kind of a day.  These faceted tiny marvels of recycled silver would be just the ticket. Go, dash around to your hearts content safe in the knowledge that you are not going to get slapped around the face by these little nuggets! They have been freshly listed in the Hybrid Handmade shop today.

P.S. I even made a necklace to match - for those days when you need to rush around, be elegant AND be coordinated and matching.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Continuing Into The Wild

There is part of me that considers commerciality and reproducibility in my work.  They are nobel and necessary ports of call in the design process.

But then another part of me becomes so enthralled with the narrative, with the weaving of a unique and special piece that all these sensible notions blow away in the wind that courses through my atelier.

Into The Wild, copper prototype, Stag 2, September 2012
I can not make what I am not.  I can not reduce the design to a generic that will appeal to a broader audience.  I would not believe in the work that would come from this subtraction.  And so I add layers, secret textures and create pockets of space out of metal and believe that it will find its audience.

Into The Wild.  It's a place where you have to leave all that beeps and blips behind.  It's a place where all you can take with you is that which will rest happily on your back.

You can hear the breath of the wind as it rifles through the pine needles above.  As you look up the canopy sways, shifting and sifting the light.  An envelope of hush.  As your eyes travel down, the trunks in their solidity begin to dissipate the movement until, at their base, they stand sentinel like, guarding the wild and the things that live within it and behind it.

But, if your lucky, you might get a magnificent glance of a fleeting presence.  A flash of fur, brimmed and edged with horn and antler.

Into The Wild, copper prototype, Stag 2, September 2012
It is a communion of sorts.  A cathedral of truths built on a foundation of tree roots.  You leave with an indelible image branded onto your retina and a gratitude that sits in your heart, for you witnessed something rare, pure and wild.

Elsewhere today, the hybrid handmade helpers were so impressed with the above creation that they asked me to make one for them too.  A wolf and a hedgehog are their wild beasts of choice!  I am happy to indulge them - they were after all with me when we three witnessed a fleeting glimpse of the wild that gave rise to this piece.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Into The Wild

The beginnings.  Of something new.  

A new story.  
Testing, carefully, experimenting, in copper.  

Into The Wild, copper prototype, September 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
Before committing. 
Sawing and soldering.

Elsewhere today, if the greatest thing in the world is Love, then Dancing comes a close second (and after that, well, Jewellery of course!)  Click here to stream the video from Vimeo (if for some reason the below does not work).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Seed pods

The tiny volumes and spaces that each of these plants creates to protect and distribute their seeds always catches my eye.  The scale is similar to that at which I work and so I'm always after clues on how these miniscule receptacles are constructed.

Pods 1-5, September 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
Pod 1 - Passion flower, September 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
Pod 3 - Snap Dragon, September 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
Pod 4 - Hollyhocks, September 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes

Zooming in and looking closely at the hollyhock seeds - I had no idea they had so many markings.  A tiny little crimped edge and a furry, downy middle.  A million tiny revelations scattered to the wind and into the dust.

Elsewhere in the blog-o-universe other authors are writing and photographing on a similar theme.  Caroline over on Trend Daily has been capturing images of the faded beauty she finds residing in the vases around her home.  And, Design Skool has just posted a rather amazing post on dandelions.  Go forth, click and explore mes amis!  But don't forget to look, look and look again whilst you are out and about - you never know what you might discover.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


We found two empty nests yesterday.  Beautifully and carefully made by proud, expectant parents.  Woven and gathered and arranged.  The babies have long since flown and so we were able to dislodge them from the branches of the hedge we were trimming to get a closer look.

The 'big' nest, September 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
Incidentally, I have just finished making my own portable nest/scarf.  It is coming in very handy as the edges of each day are becoming progressively tinged with a haunting blue soft chill.  I first saw this nest/scarf on Pinterest and decided immediately that I would have to make one for myself.

You can find the pattern for it on the Purl Bee website by clicking here.  I actually adapted the pattern so that I could use a 7mm circular knitting needle and some Debbie Bliss 100% cotton dk yarn that I already had (colour 13047).  I only made my 'nest' 9 inches wide (and not 14 inches wide as the pattern suggests) because I ran out of yarn!  Hence why my 'nest' is not as slouchy as the one on the Purlbee's website.

Big nest and knitted 'nest/scarf', September 2012
The big nest and the big Submarine Ring, September 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
The second nest we found had a whole different kind of poetry about it.

Small nest, September 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
Inside the Hybrid Handmade Home I've also been doing some larger scale nesting.  There is something very lovely about rearranging precious things - I do believe some of my happiest times as a child were in my room, changing everything around, packing and unpacking, weaving, gathering and arranging.

Hybrid Handmade Home, September nesting 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
There!  Now I've got my nest all straightened out - time to get to work!  I have a running stag and purple heather coloured beads that have been demanding I make them into something.  I suppose I should oblige them!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What I caught in my net

Walking on borrowed land, I follow a line, punctuated by yellow markers.  It shows me the way.

Past pitted rocks with cavities full of darkness..

and sprouting seaweed, partially truncated and temporarily stranded.

A delicate lettuce green and opaque burgundy rest delicately in quietude.

And I gather small treasures - some with shell lined pockets, others with ridges tinged darkly with the colour of the depths, a variegated feather and patterned sticks with such regular indentations that I count and measure the details and search for the secrets held within its molecules.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Simple Summer Necklaces - Part 2

I loved mine so much, I HAD to make more!

Ancestor's necklace, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2012
A sun shimmery gold and a tangerine orange are the ingredients for this one.  They have a summery lightness about them which makes them easy to wear and their inexpensive price tag means they sit as well with a bikini as they do with everyday street wear.

Ancestor's necklace, detail. Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2012
The orange hue of this shell is really rather fantastic.  It is rare - I don't see many of these, so I HAD to pick it up.

Ancestor's Necklace, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2012
This one has a larger brass leaf with a sun bleached shell and a twist of turquoise.  Perhaps these are a homage to the summer that is beginning to fade here.  The axis shifts and I watch as the sun begins to shorten its arc across my part of the hemisphere.

Ancestor's necklace, detail, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2012
Depending on the length of your day you can adjust the length of these necklaces, should you so desire, a little detail that I'm really rather pleased with.  Simple and effective with no fuss or fanfare.

Été au revoir!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Les Petites Cailloux

It has been a while since I created pieces for 'Les Petites Cailloux' series.  I picked up these wonderful pieces of chalk stone whilst roaming the coastline of north eastern England in the summer. They actually featured here in a pervious post back in July.

'Les Petites Callioux', pebble, pearl and silver, Cari-Jane Hakes 2012
I think I even surprised myself when I finished this one.  There seems to be a real harmony between all these materials - the matt surface of the pebble and the sheen of the pearl all set off and gathered together by the gleam of the silver.

'Les Petites Callioux' detail of back, Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2012
The back of the ring features a portion of a prickly forest floor plant that I can find in the pine woods that fringe the coastline here on the west coast of France.  The patination brings out the depth of the indent in the silver from the steam whilst the delicate leaves almost look like they have been drawn with a pencil by a skilled botanical illustrator!

'Les Petite Callioux', Cari-Jane Hakes, September 2012
There is a homage to Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975) in the details of this piece.  She was a British sculptor, a strong pioneering woman that I admire greatly.

And so, this ring, is for a woman who likes to find her own way through life.  Facing challenges head on and taking all the grit and grime that may be thrown her way and turning in into something beautiful, wise and pure.  It's for a woman who is astounded by the beauty she finds beneath her toes and at the ends of her fingertips.

It is listed in the Etsy shop here.

Elsewhere in the Hybrid Handmade House, I put together this treasury.  A whimsical collection of favourite things that reflect a mood and a disposition of sorts.

'All Who Wander....' by hybridhandmade

are not lost

Glacier, print

Wood Pallet Chandelier ...

RESERVED pocket bear / ...

Tiny Squares for Tiny T...

high seas fine art prin...

2012 - mt ex-kamoi wash...

Hand felted abstract cu...

portrait art woman read...

Neurons flower and robo...

polar bear - felt plush...

Hare cup

Lost property - Set of ...

prologue - epilogue (pa...

Large Vintage Coral Spe...

Grey Japanese Sleeves W...

Underwater Scene Loch N...
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