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.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Fabulous Friday Feeling

Leaving a thrum of eager Friday lawnmowers we headed up the hill.  There was a smudge of red visible on the inclined planes that rise up in varying degrees of gentleness to become the Yorkshire Wolds. We walked past Queen Anne's Lace flowers, floating above the grasslands like tethered clouds anchored by strutted steams.

Searching for Red, at the top of the hill, 13 June 2014, Cari-Jane Hakes

Looking for Red, 13 June 2014, Cari-Jane Hakes

I searched for silhouettes marked out against the sky, reducing all dimensions into just 2, looking at the negative space in-between, light filled shapes full of overcastness.

Tethered Clouds, July 13 2014, Cari-Jane Hakes

Curiosity satisfied, we headed back down, the silvered horizon of the distant waters dipping lower and eventually out of view.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Etsy Metal 3xR Challenge 2014

We are nearly at the half way point on this challenge.  I post on the Etsy Metal blog every two weeks with progress from my bench and the other workbenches scattered all over the world of the metalsmiths, artists and goldsmiths who are taking part in this year long challenge to reduce, reuse and recycle some of the precious metal and stone that has been stored and horded in our respective studios over the years.

3xR Challenge, the story so far, weeks 1-20, Cari-Jane Hakes 2014
You can see all my fellow 3xR-ers work over on  I have a flickr album especially for this project and it can be found here.

I'm looking for a pattern in this work, but to be honest, I have no time to look back, just time to keep moving forward!

20 done, only 36 to go!
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