What We Are Up To
Vanilla Ink likes to focus on the process and here at Vanilla Ink we don't like to keep any secrets. It is a glimpse into the world of a designer, showing thoughts and ideas and to encourage discussions. In this blog there will be posts from all of our designers.
You can also follow their own blogs to get all the juicy details.
This week I caught up with an old friend over Skype, Katherine Payne. Katherine is currently in East Africa travelling round Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda to research and develop projects for her charity Mumaso. Mumaso started in the small village of Banda,Uganda where Katherine tirelessly raised money to build a water well for the people. The community were so happy about the well the local nurse even named her new born baby girl Katherine. The aspect of Katherine’s philosophy that particularly inspires me is the power of a community:
“Mumaso will be a global community network; a new way of approaching development....
Last Friday saw the collaboration night between ourselves and Nikki McWilliams. Autumnal Delight Night.
It was such a lovely night, where we had drinks, prizes and fantastic design on show. The hallway was light with fairy lights and the waft of delicious mulled cider made for a lovely ambiance. The first 20 saw each visitor getting a goody bag filled with Vanilla Ink and Nikki McWilliams treats :)
Thank you to everyone that came and enjoyed the night....
Last week in Vanilla Ink we had our first Professional Development class. Lauren Currie from Snook came to talk to us about our future!!!
We discussed our perfect day at Vanilla Ink, where we could see ourselves in 5 and 15 years time, what we are good at, our failings and looked into our stakeholders. This helped me to realise that everything is always bigger than it seems! By writing these things down made me realise how I can achieve my dreams and highlight what areas I need to work on.
Our day was very motivational, we were all given actions we had to do to help us reach our goals, my first action was to invite a professional for lunch at Vanilla Ink, so keep an eye out for my blog on this....
Today Leanne and I shared our stone setting skills with each other today! Both sharing our little secret hints and tips.
We are collabortaing on a special commission of silver Ants with sapphires, peridots and garnets set in them. This is the ants before the stones were set.
Today I showed Leanne my secrets of setting stones with a hand drill and Leanne taught me her skills on the pendant drill and together we set the stones in our dinky ants!
Keep a look out for images of the final ants!!...
In terms of what I like to make there is two clear directions that I take inspiration from. The first of these is basketry, which is clearly evident in the jewellery that I make. One person in particular who's work i am just bowled over by is Lizzie Farey, this is an example of her work
check out more of her work here http://www.lizziefarey.co.uk/
The whole concept of weaving is so simple but can have quite a dramatic effect. its also very practical! Baskets today are so much more than just for picnics or your dirty laundry......
Thanks to everyone who made in it on Friday for the Vanilla Ink and Nikki McWilliams Autumnal Delight Night! After a fun day of decorating we spent the evening sipping on some yummy mulled cider!
I was last to leave the now very quiet and dark Studios after a busy weekend!
So here I go........ first blog ever!!!!
I have been with vanilla Ink for over a month now and what fun its been. it actually feels like Ive been there alot longer because we Have done so much.
so I travel from Glasgow each day to join the rest in the great space we have (see pictures) and be a vanilla inker!!! For the last month I have just been getting back into a design and making routine as I had taken a month off after finishing studying. its been great fun making new pieces and meeting with my fellow inkers and getting to know them....
Lauren Currie, a graduate from DJCAD in Product Design and a Masters in Service Design set up a business called Snook which is enabling social innovation. They use design to get people to talk and to realise the problems that need to be solved, then solve them.
She talked to us about setting up her business, what she has achieved, her goals and failings. She then took us through a range of tasks designed to make us think about where we wanted to be and what we actually wanted so that we could see how to get there. The different activities were about what your ideal day would be in Vanilla Ink, where you see your self in 5 and 15 years time, what you are good at, what you are bad at, your failures and your Shareholders....
So since I last posted I have been to Edinburgh for a few days to try to relax with the family, I ended up doing drawing in the national art gallery. Not of jewellery, architecture or squares so it was interesting looking at something different again. But more on that later I have very exciting news I finished my collections for NeoDesign and Charmian Beaton and they will be on display at the Open Studios in Wasps Dundee this weekend, go to the Vanilla Ink Studio on the 2nd floor.
I have posted a few images from the new photo shoot below, there will be more to come with the launch of the new website and online shop …....
This is something I like to look through every so often great for students, graduates, working artists and designers alike.
Over the years Dundee has been known for several things including the Tay bridge disaster, shipbuilding in the 19th Century, 'Jute Jam and Journalism' to more modern Medical research. One thing which isn't on the list yet is jewellery. Its understandable that this may seem out of place as Dundee has traditionally been an industrial city but working away quietly over the years a host of jewellers are emerging. Some from the city, some drawn in by the award winning jewellery department at Duncan of Jordanstone and others to the most recent and exciting development in the cities emerging jewellery industry - Vanilla Ink....
As a newcomer to Dundee I have spent some time walking around getting to know the city and like the true geek that I am I took a visit to the
local museum (The McManus Gallery) to find out all about the place! The McManus is a beautiful Gothic style building that has been renovated to house all that
is great about the area.
So I am told Dundee is famous for Jute, Journalism (Beano!) and Jam. Let’s hope one day we can add jewellery to the list.
In particular Jute is what is most appropriate to us Vanilla Inkers. Our studio is based in Meadow Mill; an historic jute mill that has been
renovated into artist’s studios....
This is going to be a very photo intense post but here is the finishing and the end result of the commission I gave to a client yesterday
Half of the Vanilla Inker including myself went on a little outing to learn a bit of blacksmithing yesterday. We met a guy who wore a tartan hat who had been doing blacksmithing for 4 years. It was a great experience and we all had a rough sgian dubh (a wee scottish knife skeendo) It is already to be polished up in the studio
The tools and name of techniques were very similar but obviously on a much larger scale this time and a lot of physical effort. The hammering defiantly builds muscles, my arm is still confused about what happened.
Now time for the photos:
Bye for now x...
I only planned to go to the studio for an hour after work because I felt I hadn’t been in a couple of days and was feeling guilty but it turned out to be quite productive. I was all alone but sometimes its when I get on and do things, no distractions. I put Waterloo Road (its a programme on bbc, I seem to be addicted to it) on my laptop and got lost in making a piece before I knew it the final ant had legs and I had made up a pendant which I only received the commission for yesterday.
It has been a productive night, now back to ready $100 start up book, Night night.
Bye for now x...
I had a bit of a busy day today in rainy Dundee. I sent away my collection work to be hallmarked first thing in the morning. Which will be back, gold plated and photographed by the start of November and ready for you to buy in the shops and online shortly after. The jewellery below is part of the collection....
I then went to Vanilla Ink studio and got more done with the ant commission.
Then a stop off at NeoDesign to polish the gold remake commission.
Enjoy the photos, sorry for the dirty hands.
Bye for now x...
Not only is Nikki a mentor for Vanilla Ink but she happens to be the queen of biscuitly delights. A newbie to WASPS, you will have a chance to snoop round her studio and check out her DIY couch and where the fabulous cushions are made.
On the 2nd of November, to launch the weekend of WASPS Open Studios, Vanilla Ink and Nikki McWilliams will be celebrating with mulled cider to warm your cockles, tunes to de-ice the toes and get them moving, a big warm welcome to the Vanilla Ink family and their beautiful jewellery, and even a cup of tea to cosy up with your brand new Nikki McWilliams cushiony biscuits.
As if that isn't enough, our collaboration night will also see a goody bag given to the FIRST 20 THROUGH THE DOOR where you will enjoy some awesome treats and discounts from both Vanilla Ink and Nikki McWilliams....
On Tuesday I had my first mentoring session with my fantastic mentor Mike Press. We went to the DCA for lunch and talked about the things I wanted to achieve during my time at Vanilla Ink. We also talked about my strengths & weaknesses and set things I had to work on for our next meeting.
One thing that I am really bad at is being organised! Mike suggested that I make a google calender or use Wunderlist as a way to help me organise my time more effectively. After our meeting I was feeling inspired so went and bought myself a diary and some sticky notes to help make being organised a bit more colourful!...
For my first Vanilla Ink blog I thought I could show you what Scarlett Erskine Jewellery likes to do.
So here's a Day In The Making Of a brand new silver ring with a blue topaz gemstone...
And Luckily I made it to the final piece!
Now time to put the feet up!
Its been a busy couple of weeks in the Vanilla Ink Studios but before I tell you all about the how the Vanilla Inkers are settling in I want to go back to Sunday the 30th of September.
The Dundee based jeweller and friend of Vanilla Ink, Jane Gowans invited me to their latest photoshoot for their Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter 2013 collection. I was quite excited as I'd not been on set for a professional photoshoot with models, photographers, stylists and hair and make-up artists.
Jane beforehand had cleverly used Pinterest between herself and her stylist to create mood boards for each seasons....