It has been Degree Show season and Scott and I managed to make it to Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow’s Degree Shows. I’ve taken some time to feature just a handful of my favourites. The standard this year was very high and we thoroughly enjoyed them all. If you missed them, take a look and see what I thought. Kate xRead More
M E E T T H E I N K E R - S O P H I E W A R R I N G H A M
VI | What’s your background (where are you from, what did you study)?
SW | Last year I graduated from a BA(Hons) degree in silversmithing and jewellery from the Glasgow School of Art. Since graduating I have been based in Edinburgh but have now moved my practice back to Glasgow to be a part of the Vanilla Ink programme.
VI | What brought you to jewellery making?
SW | Before I started my degree I spent a year on a portfolio course at the Glasgow School of Art. I constantly found myself making and photographing it in relation to the body and how a piece could change through touch and movement. Jewellery design seemed to be a natural way to progress and continue making wearable pieces.
VI | Who or what do you take your inspirations?
SW | I mainly find my inspiration in the naturally occurring colour and patterns of costal landscapes. In particular I find shades of blue really attractive and often try to build up many shades of colours within my work.
VI | What do you use/how do you make your work?
SW | When creating the main body of a piece I firstly carve wax into my desired design and then cast in silver. I then apply many thin layers of enamels to create deep colours and patterns. I use a combination of traditional and contemporary enamelling techniques to build up thin layers to form each tactile piece.
VI | What do you enjoy the most about making?
SW | I enjoy experimenting with different ways of making and finding ways to solve design problems. I find overcoming these issues and making a wearable object extremely satisfying.
VI | What don’t you enjoy?
SW | Fire stain! Fire stain creates tarnish on the surface of silver when it is heated and can be really difficult to get rid of, especially when my pieces tend to be quite irregular and textured.
VI | What are your aspirations?
SW | I aspire to continue designing and making jewellery that hopefully people will love to wear as much as I loved to make.
VI | What’s your favourite piece you have created?
SW | My favourite piece is the first one I created for my “Porifera” collection. It is an enamelled brooch and I developed my own way of wax carving through the development of this brooch. It inspired me so much that I then created a whole collection based on it.
This week sees an introduction to our third resident Nicky Faill. If you have been keeping up, we have already introduced you to Kaela Hogg and GLF Jewellery. In this industry, Nicky spends quite a bit of his time being the token boy, he shares with us his inspirations, his processes and his favourite tool.
VI: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
NF: My name is Nicky Faill and I was born and grew up in Falkirk but throughout my childhood I had a natural pull towards Glasgow. My parents both come from the west coast so I think thats why when it came time to decide where to study Glasgow was the only option in my mind. Originally I wanted to study Architecture but due to a happy accident in my higher art class the idea to study Jewellery came out of nowhere really. I had heard about a course at Cardonald College and it sounded like a perfect way to see if Jewellery was the thing for me. It was and after finishing my HND I was accepted into second year at Glasgow School of Art where I graduated from this year. I have always had a love of making, as a child living in the countryside I was always making dens or swords as any young boy does. That continued into school where I spent most of my time in the craft and design department either in the workshop or being more technical sat in front of a drawing board or a computer on CAD.
VI: Tell us a bit about your work - what inspires you?
NF: For my degree collection I began by looking back at all previous projects and essentially making one big Frankenstein of my favourite parts. I have always been interested in technology, from using CAD and Photoshop to do pretty much all my design work to 3D printing and CNC milling. The idea was to use these tools but flip it on its head so to speak. I am also heavily inspired by music and wanted to see the possibilities of combining the two. My original want to become an architect also plays a big part in the aesthetic of my work, sharp lines and bold geometric form are big influences and an aesthetic I just can't get away from.
VI: Tell us about the processes you use.
My process is pretty much all digital. I begin by using a programme called Quartz Composer which allows me to build my own visualisers. By playing live sound into the computer the visualiser comes into action. I screen record everything that happens then go back frame by frame finding interesting points of interaction. Then the fun begins. Taking something from a digital relm with no rules into the physical can be difficult but after several models and brain malfunctions I have an object that will work and then it is simply (or not as is more the case) recreating that in metal.
VI: We know you are a lover of music, you write music and you make music but what do you love more, jewellery or making music?
NF: I have never been asked this before so this is a tough one. I would have to say equal amounts. Writing a song and designing a piece go through similar stages, wondering if it's really going to work and then the feeling when you complete it and it all works out. The feeling you get when you sell a piece or get good feedback from an exhibition and playing music live I feel are very similar so I would definitely have to say I have the same passion for them both. Finding a new jeweller or a new band give me the same excitement as well.
VI: What tool could you not live without?
NF: I could very easily say my laptop as it really is my design tool but I will always be able to make without it. So I would really have to say my digital callipers. I am a bit OCD when it come to squares being square and sizes matching up.
VI: We discovered that you like to name your pieces, tell us about George. What other names have your pieces have and who are they inspired by?
NF: George was the first piece I finished for my degree show collections. I have always loved the process of naming pieces and I wanted my degree show collection I wanted them to have some meaning. I decided to name all my pieces after people that have inspired me throughout my studies. Cathy and Craig were named after my mum and dad. I named a piece Mary after an old neighbour who was a huge influence to me thoughout my life. That one probably meant the most. The others were named after tutors (Helen, Guthrie/Munro and Jonathan). George was a little different, it was named after a wooden glittery motivational tortoise that we had in our final year. He gave us inspirational quotes to help us get through the year so in a way George represents my fellow classmates.
VI: Can you describe your own personal jewellery taste?
NF: It is very varied, Jack Cunningham was my first big admiration. Two of my tutors for GSA, Andrew Lamb and Jonathan Boyd are also favourites of mine, the technical aspect as well as the story behind their work as well as them being lovely guys is something I really like. I remember seeing a Ruudt Peters show at Schmuk in Munich and that kind of blew my mind. I am also really inspired by the graphic design of Tom Pigeon as well as Matt Burns who works for Freytag and Anderson who I actually met through work designing a label for Brewdog which was a super cool experience.
VI: What have you got planned for Nicky Faill?
NF: Short term plans are to experiment, I have some whacky ideas that I have no idea if they will work so the next while will be looking to work those out and then longer term to be showing at Elements (fingers crossed it happens again) and going down to Goldsmiths Fair. I have applied to the getting started programme they run so I hope to get onto that course which is a week long intense course in January. I have also been asked back to GSA for the artist in residence programme so that involves one day a week helping to teach which will be interesting.
VI: You’re now in the Vanilla Ink workshop - what do you think so far?
NF: The space is amazing, sadly life has kind of got in the way so making a designing has kind of ground to a halt but the space has everything I could want and being attached to MAKLab I am sure I will find a way for my crazy ideas to come into fruition.
Nicky uses Instagram to capture his inspirations and his work, you can follow him here.
Next week we chat to Miriam Woolf.