Originally from Yorkshire, Victoria Kelsey studied Jewellery Design at Middlesex University. During her degree, she took advantage of a year out working in industry for Fred Butler, FSAugusta and Husam el Odeh and also travelled to Australia to study Jewellery in Perth. After graduating Victoria became the Designers Assistant to Husam el Odeh working on seasonal collections and catwalk pieces.
Her debut collection, Precious Grime was inspired by the marks and traces of age left behind on discarded objects that she found at flea markets.
An avid collector of all things beautiful and macabre, "I see beauty in the layers of dust, grime, rust and filth gathered over many years. I am fascinated by the uncanny nature of how these dormant objects fall into disrepair altering their original form. My jewellery explores an exaggerated representation of dust, transforming the subtle dirt into something more precious and beautiful.”
She is a passionate believer in the British handmade; all her jewellery is created using a mix of traditional and experimental techniques, by Victoria in her workshop at Vanilla Ink Studios, Scotland.
Victoria’s intention is to tell a story and create an experience through her jewellery, producing items of sophistication and luxury that have a timeless appeal to both men and women.
Victoria is currently developing a new collection to further explore the overlooked details in the world, in particular ruined abandoned buildings and iridescent insects that live within.
Just realised ive not done a blog post since February despite a lot of exciting developments at Vanilla Ink. We smashed the target and are going to IJL. Id like to personally thank all of you for pledging! It is a very humbling experience to have so many people wanting to support our journey to breaking into the industry. I have also received funding from Creative Scotland (Craft Makers Award Dundee) and the Princes Trust so the hard work is just beginning. Due to the massive support over the past few months I thought now would be a great opportunity to give you more of an insight into my practice and the journey of a young jeweller working towards a trade show in one of my favourite cities.
So a few years ago now, whilst I was still at university I started to experiment with using wax in my work....
Today I thought I’d take to the blog and talk to you about something I am rather passionate about, British handmade design/products. I hope to start a conversation on twitter #supportlocaldesign on why we should be supporting young creatives such as the Vanilla Inkers!
In a time of huge mass production in the East and globalisation, the UK is struggling as local businesses are closing while big corporations are booming and seem to be dodging large tax bills. We should start to consider the impact this has on manufacturing and the human cost this has in the UK. We all know about the Industrial Revolution but is it time that we are in need of another one? Is it time to give some justice to local people with some pretty impressive skills?
So I propose an idea that we should all try to support our local communities more....
One thing I would really love to do this year is to present my brand to the public in a variety of different ways including collaborating within the realms of fashion but also through the media of film.
Today I have been researching across the board using video as a way of marketing your work:
http://vimeo.com/49378348 from the stories of ideas and how something is made from Zoe Arnold
http://vimeo.com/49378346 to the intrinsic value of the handmade of Simon Hasan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaBNjTtCxd4 to the all out luxury extremes of Cartier
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxBamOvADlY and one of my favourite jewellers Solange Azagury Partridge taking the more story teller route.
All very interesting and diverse and it comes down to what the customer perceives a brand and its products.
So as a customer are you interested to see how a piece of jewellery is made or just how it can be styled and worn?
Also how important is it for you when buying a product that it is handmade in Britain....
So it’s the first day of 2013 and I am quoting a Muppet’s song already (good start)! Usually today is a time for hangovers, cooked breakfasts and some time to reflect and make resolutions.
I have spent the last week at home with the family eating and drinking my way through Yorkshire. So I thought it best that I should start as I mean to go on and write a reflective blog on the year gone by (glass of red in hand of course).
2012 involved ups and a great deal of downs for me but as always I have learnt more about myself and where I want to take my work....
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....
This is something I like to look through every so often great for students, graduates, working artists and designers alike.
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....
sketchbook-n 1.a book of plain paper containing sketches or for making sketches in.
My favourite kind of these is a moleskin.
I just had a thought that the best way to start introducing people to my work would be sharing something very personal to me, which is my sketchbook. I have a mixture of drawings, artists work I admire and such things as the price of a particular pearl. Basically its all a work in progress. The images I have included today are from my current moleskin which I like to take everywhere with me just in case.
These illustrations are of various insects, (an inspiration for my new collection) using a mixture of pencils and watercolour I also love to do quick sketches with a biro.
Previously my work(Precious Grime), has been inspired by the marks and traces of age left behind on discarded objects at flea markets. I saw beauty in the unexpected details of dust, grime and rust built up over many years. I was also inspired by a historical site in Yorkshire called Mother Shiptons Cave, people hang objects under the cave such as teddy bears....
Hello to all, this is my first blog post at my new home of Vanilla Ink!
So I guess my Vanilla Ink journey started last year when Kate wrote about my work at New Designers, ever since I have followed the progress of Vanilla Ink. It wasnt until I met Kate in June that I realised the studio was opening so soon, after hearing her speak so passionately about the project I was inspired to apply for a space. As you can see I got a place! Previously I was living in London and received mixed comments from friends some suggested I was taking a risk others felt it was the best possible opportunity for me to take up.
Even though this probably is a kind of risk I feel that it is a positive one and has come at the perfect time for me personally and for my skill development. I strongly feel that as designers we have to constantly go outside of our comfort zone to produce new and exciting work....