About me

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I'm a teacher, jeweller, writer, mother, grandmother, mini~driving punster, prankster & maker of things. Director, owner & teacher ~ the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery. I divide my time between running MCSJ, teaching & making.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

So soon

I can’t believe the class has gone by so fast

Of course I didn’t finish a bracelet and I didn’t expect to.

Here’s a photo of some of my U.F.Os (un~finished objects)
I think I enjoyed the twig project and exploring Polymer clay as a means of joining elements together the most

It is a joy to watch someone as talented as Celie teaching.
 Because she works with silver clay on a daily basis, she has a host of tricks and tips, which are inherent in her every action.

Wandering around in the early evening, I took these photos which really sum up the patina of Vermont. 
Weathered and hardy


I'm going to miss this ever changing, always inspiring view~

Time to say goodbye too soon
~~ help clean up the workshop 
and pack my bags ready to leave tomorrow

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Speeding by

One of my fellow class mates is Alison Lee, the clever woman behind Craftcast.
We had a lot of fun and a couple of great meals out together.
I got to ride in her spiffy new fire~engine~red Prius too!

I was so impressed with the amount of work Alison got done. 
Especially as she had only worked with silver clay for a total of 3 hours before attending this class!
I wish I had taken a photo of her gorgeous bracelet but here she is with a ringside seat at Celie's demo

We produced a whole heap of work and unloading the kiln was a treat!

Here's Connie helping Celie figure out which pieces belonged to who
Quite the puzzle!

I had fun experimenting with a new type of toggle clasp. 
This was a rough sketch to see if it would work and I think it has a lot of potential. 

To be continued….
The time has been speeding by and tomorrow is our last day

Monday, June 27, 2011


The class for the next four days is the Treasures bracelet.
From the start this is a very different feeling in the classroom.
And a new group of people (except for Kim Jakum who, like me, is taking both classes).
The focused intensity of the previous hinge class makes way for a lighthearted skip through the bracelet projects.
Of course there is still a lot to get through so we all knuckle down

Prolly one of the things I will treasure the most on this trip is the connection with friends.

I had such a deep, magical and lovely time with the talented erin meharg.

The last time I had seen erin was under very strange and stressful circumstances in England although at the time she had no idea my world was being turned upside down! 
Erin was at MCSJ assisting Holly Gage at the end of 2010 so we had a lot to catch up on.

erin became my late~night work buddy and we would divide our time between, story telling, silent working, laughing, crying and sipping a good glass of red.

We were the only two in the studio until way after midnight and this is what I'd see if I glanced over from my work
I wish I had a photo of the fantastic little pixie houses she made~they were amazing!
I knew it was time for bed when I started seeing creatures living in my slip pot!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Lazy Sunday morning and a bimble around Montpelier with lots of interesting little things to catch my eye

This odd mini Andy Goldsworthy~type installation in the corner of a shop window sums it up really.

These wellies with pull~on handles are a great idea I hadn’t seen in England
I stopped for a late breakfast and it seemed prudent to try  Frumplecakes (how could I not?!) which turn out to be like an ultra thin crepe.

With maple syrup of course.

This strange collection of drawings was pinned in a glass display mounted on a mobile contraption which was parked on the street.
Heading back to Celie's by late afternoon to help set up the next class, I was so happy to see Jen again.
Fabulous woman.
She even makes washing the dishes look good!

There is nothing so sweet as breaking bread with good friends
We chatted late into the night.
Too late for a 'school night' really
Tsk Tsk

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I have two days off in between classes with Celie Fago so I am off on a jaunt to have a look around Vermont.

Lovely voluptuous Vermont.

Heading north I decide my destination will be the capital ~ Montpelier.
It's a compact and friendly town, full of interesting shops and I like it immediately.

I am surprised by the number of spires here

As well as all the ornate spires I find I really like the other buildings.

Quirky architecture everywhere in this town

Even the Laundromat is interesting and I certainly need to do some laundry by now!
It's shaped like a wedge of cheese.
While my clothes are getting clean I look around the neighbourhood and snapped these buildings

Lovely dinner to end my day at this moody little restaurant near my hotel

Friday, June 24, 2011


The hinges class is in full swing.
Heads down, total silence, keen focus kind of swing.

It took me until today to really GET the whole process of construction, placement & strengthening of metal clay hinges.
I remember the exact moment when my brain seemed to open so everything Celie had been talking about on the previous days tumbled into place & suddenly made sense.

The 'A~ha!' moment.

I can see I might enjoy the challenge of hinges now.

I mentioned to Celie I needed to make a ‘stand away’ hinge for a project I have in mind. 
She immediately produced this incredible little sample piece by the talented Alan Perry.

It's hard to grasp how finely made this item is from the photos.
It only measures about 3cm across at the widest point so it's pretty small.
And each opening part had a different type of clasp too.

I haven’t managed to actually finish anything during the hinges class but that’s ok.
My aim in any class these days is simply to learn the techniques not produce pieces I care about. 
Takes all the performance pressure off me that way.

Here's what I had at the end of the class~
The triangular piece is still one complete hollow box, enclosed on all sides. After I finish carving all the edge textures I will saw the top third off with my jewellers saw, add the hinges and voila! ~ one hinged box.

The circular pieces will be a hinged locket (it’s huge! About 9cm across) with a secondary hinge for a hatch on the front piece. It's quite industrial looking and part of my 'spaced out' series.

The eye piece in the front is a swivel top locket yet to be riveted and mounted on snake chain. 

The rods you can see front right are solid rods and textured tubes waiting to become hinges.

This was a very intense class and those who finished their boxes had a great sense of acheivement.
The rest of us knew we had learned a lot and been part of something special.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


We were in at the deep end from the outset.
All nine of us students
No introductions just straight to the business of making hinges.
Metal clay hinges.
On a TINY scale

I really had to make a conscious attempt to ratchet my focus in tighter and tighter on the precision task at hand.
Not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced, this hinge business!

Celie’s generous teaching skills and endless patience eased the process but her demos had us all holding our breath. 

Watching her place the tiny knuckles for the hinges was like watching a tightrope walk knowing that you would have to walk that same wire in a few moments. 

The tension in the room was palpable.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Home from home

Vermont feels a lot like Cornwall to me.
Lush rolling hills, laid back attitude and plenty of rain!
It's a little bizarre that I am headed to a place called Bethel, Vermont when I live about 5 miles from a place with the exact same name in Cornwall.

The reason I'm in Vermont is to take 2 classes with Celie Fago and help out as teaching assistant.
Nervous and excited I made my way into the hills on the final leg of my trek.
All tension left me as this magic little lane signaled my arrival

The last time I'd seen Celie and her apprentice Jen Khan was back in 2007 when they came to England to run a Masterclass at the Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery.
When that class finished Celie also gave 3 presentations at the first PMC Guild UK Symposium in London.
We had become good friends in a short space of time and, although contact in the interim 4 years had been sporadic, we easily slotted back into enjoying each others company as if it were yesterday.
After a little grocery shopping expedition I took a look around before supper.

I liked what I saw in the fading light

Celie's home studio is nestled among the trees with prayer flags fluttering in the breeze.

Below is the view looking out from the studio window on the following bright and sunny morning.  
A glorious day to begin a Hinges in PMC class

Sunday, June 19, 2011


After so little sleep in the run up to this trip I was glad to get the train from Cornwall to Heathrow. 
I would not have been safe driving on the roads!
The journey was easy-another great flight with Virgin so I finally got some sleep. 
I made my way up through Massachusetts to New Hampshire and finally into Vermont
What a lovely state! 
When you get off the main road of course

I stumbled across a hot air balloon festival with some great entertainment
lots of food, art and all manner of colourful pretties

The day came to a perfect end with the best taco salad and Margarita ever.
Why can't we get decent Mexican food in England?

I glanced up from my victuals to spy this reflected the mirror on the wall opposite me