It’s Christmas time at Candy Cupcake!

It’s gone all festive at Candy Cupcake! The tree is up, the gingerbread man is smiling, the stockings are hung up and ready and the Christmas cupcakes are in the oven mmmm……

    

And check out just some of the beautiful gifts they have in stock:

 

Candy Cupcake is also taking orders for Christmas cupcakes as well as making up gift bags, shakes and anything else you could possibly want!

   

So, if you’re in Edinburgh and planning a Christmas shopping trip make sure Candy Cupcake is on your list! After all Christmas deserves to be sweet :P

Chloe out.

Every blogger/tweeter or whatever you are should listen to this!

Listen to what she is saying!

I agree with pretty much everything she says (as I am an Amanda Palmer drone…). I think the basic/most important message is, yes feel free to vent, but some stuff is just off limits, so know where to draw your own lines and focus on the happy stuff in your life. Yes, you might want help with a problem, but if that problem is something that is going to hurt someday else or damage the situation further then just don’t go there. And with that, people are not going to read your blog if your whining about how much of a bitch your sister is. The internet may give you an anonymous platform to throw your hate at someone but if you really feel that all your problems will be solved by being nasty/degrading/devaluing/spiteful/hateful and every other form of horrible you can be to people you do not even know then you shouldn’t be allowed to own a computer – go and throw plates in a field, don’t bring the rest of the world down.

What do you think? Tweet me @chloehenderson9

Chloe out.

Virtual hugs all round :D

Jewellery trip to Edinburgh.

Today we stepped out from our little studios into Edinburgh for an exhibition at the Dovecot Gallery, The Talbot Rice Gallery and then a talk on rocks from a mineralogist (I forget his name, but I’m sure Teena remembers…) at the National Museum of Scotland.

We went to The Dovecot Gallery first. I never even knew that placed existed, even though I pass by that street fairly frequently when I’m home! It’s one that I will be adding to my radar for the future. The exhibition us jewellers were most interested in was called “Craft in Dialogue” and featured various jewellers/artists beautiful work. Here are some of my photographs from the gallery:

     

Dorothy Hogg – I really liked these pieces. The clean silver mixed with the bloody reds was stunning. They are all from her “Artery”series and the connections with blood are quite clear. The acrylic pieces look like blood in between microscope slides. And the silver brooch pieces are formed around the structures of the arteries themselves, with only little droplets or hints of blood poking out of them. I also love the way the neck pieces are displayed – on the cardboard cut-outs of busts. I think it’s a really clever and unique way of displaying jewellery effectively, it gives the pieces a human aspect.

   

Charonne Ruth – these pieces of glass were so beautiful. As ever I just really wanted to touch them, I might have, just a little, when no one was looking! Ahhh, they were amazing!

Lindean Mill Glass

     

Peter Chang – wow his jewellery is beautiful! It’s so bright and colourful and wow! I love the creature quality to them, they seem to grow right in front of you. I especially love the brooch pieces, I think the are just wonderful, the colours and form and the shinyness. They have the most creature like quality to them, like claws and teeth with scaley bits and webbed feet and tentacles. His drawings were lovely as well, they seemed so similar to the pieces and simple yet really expressive of what he was trying to achieve. I could see myself wearing one of those brooches (I’d just be worried about it crawling away!).

 

Geoff Roberts

John Creed – “Earth Matters” these are hat/coat stands. We were discussing that they would seem in place at some fancy hotel/restaurant. They appear to be such beautiful pieces of metal sculpture that you wouldn’t think they actually had a use, it would seem almost a shame to hang a coat on this piece, it would hide the artwork! I guess that is why it is in a gallery and not a hotel lobby!

     

Susan Cross – wire! Her pieces are do detailed and meticulous. I love the simple colours and the textures within the metals, the forms she seems to weave with the thin wires. At a first glance some of the wire pieces look almost like a messy little bundle of crumpled wool/rubbish but on closer inspection they are intricate patterns of loops and crosses and weaves. I think the first photo is my favorite piece, the iridescent white strands appear like swan feathers or strips of feathers from angel wings, very pure and white and arranged in a halo. I don’t see that piece being worn, it would take away from it’s beauty, but floating under the lights it was magic.

 

Joanne Thompson

 

Jane Kelly – The dark days/aurum (rhododendron macabeanum leaves and gold leaf) – I loved the composition of these leaves, floating randomly in a dispersed cluster. In any other setting they would seem like tacky Christmas ornaments or something similar, but hanging there against a blank wall they were beautiful. The gold leaf upon the leaf is quite effective when looking closely, I can see this being applied on a smaller jewellery scale.

  

Alison Kinnaird – Unknown

 

Jack Cunningham – these brooches are beautifully quirky. Each little piece seems to tell some weird and wonderful story. I love narrative jewellery and artwork in general, I love the guessing, the fantasy.

Gillian Forbes – With These Hands

   

Craig Mitchell – I love his drawings, more than the actual pieces I think, they are so beautiful and so simple. The sculptures are interesting, I’m not sure if I like them or not… I do like the tree parts but I’m not sure about the men. They are a bit Tim Burtony, who I like, but there is just something that I don’t quite like about them… hmm…

  

Grainne Morton – I really like the idea of displaying jewellery around taxidermy animals. Especially with this piece, which is antique/vintage looking which for seem reason with the mix of the crow and the mount gives it such a beautiful old country house feel.

 

Deirdre Morton – I really love these pieces. They are so eloquently beautiful. The gold leaf on the otherwise natural looking stems really enhances the precious quality to the plants, and the little hints of colour act like gemstones.

  

Jacki Perry – it’s amazing to think something as beautiful as this is made from just paper.

 

The other room contained textiles pieces. I wasn’t that interested in them, some were quite pretty, but I didn’t find any of them that impressive.

   

We then headed up the stairs to view the weaving room from the platform (it used to be a swimming pool!). It was really interesting watching the people weaving these massive rugs on the looms. Also, the crotchet rainbow spiral up the stairs was so so pretty! I touched it!!! :D

          

We then headed to the Talbot Rice Gallery to see “Beholder”

Unfortunately I wasn’t really paying attention to it, I don’t know what was quite wrong with me at that point but I didn’t write anything down or focus at all. But I realize now that it’s an exhibition that I’m interested in. I’m passing it tomorrow when I’m out, so I think I might go back and investigate further: updating soon…

Chloe out.

Tape Song. Protrusion maquette.

Thought I would share The Kills’ “Tape Song” as it has been residing in my head for the past few days.

 

I am in love with my little maquette at the moment and am very much looking forward to making my final Protrusion hairpiece. Unfortunately I forgot my camera in the morning so I have no in progress making of the work, but here is the finished piece:

  

Handcut from copper, outer shape coated in flux and the inner in verdigris and then soldered together after lacquering.

Chloe out.

Why we buy.

A little response to today’s Change by Design lecture: “Christmas Spirit – why we buy”

We started off by looking at the books we are going to read next semester. Here is a clip of Steven Johnson talking about one of those books “Where good ideas come from”

From that wee clip, I’m looking forward to reading it. Defining myself as “a creative” means I am of course interested in good ideas, but you could argue that everybody is interested in that! Will update again with my thoughts, once I’ve read it.

Now let’s go shopping!

Shops/supermarkets are set out the way they are for a reason, that’s why we go in for milk and come out with a bag of cookies and two apples and no milk. I work at Candy Cupcake and am constantly telling my mum to organize the shelves better, apply categories to them, get the good stuff over to the right, the popular stuff in the center. etc. but she is too busy to listen! But it is true. Shops make you buy things by how they are set out (and for those annoying people who will go “oh but I have my my own mind, these silly little things could not affect my amazingly awesome and unique and originally independent mind” shush, you’re fooling nobody). Red and yellow go ooo look at me, yellow says buy me, things in the middle are always the best, etc. I know all of this and I am still caught out. I might go to tesco with a list and come out with all of those things on the list but I’ve most likely got a couple of others in my shopping bags. It’s not just supermarkets, in any shop we are affected by the way it is set out. Most clothing stores well set out clothes in pre-designed “outfits” so you go “ooo I like that skirt, and ooo look that top matches it so perfectly” so, you go in for a skirt and come out with a top, cardigan, matching shoes and handbag. If we touch something we are more likely to buy it. So, when you go to a shop TOUCH NOTHING! and you should be okay! On that note a lot of shops but prices on the bottom so you have to look for the price, but then it’s already in your hand so you are then more likely to buy it. Some shops don’t put prices on their products so you have to engage the seller (most likely something high-end). I understand why shops to that, if somebody is telling you in the flesh to buy something you are more likely to buy it, but I really really really hate it when there isn’t a price on something, I just walk away! We got talking about this because of the blog posts Johnathon asked us to write about the best present we ever recieved:

I wrote mine about the cabinet my dad made for me, for my 18th and birthdays in the future.

For the full blog post click here.

From a little discussion throughout the room, it seemed the most valuable presents to us where the ones that had little monetary value. The meanings of value when buying gifts was brought up: for the person who is selling the item it is just money to them, the giver adds his/her layer of value you onto this item, ie. a ring and then the receiver is adding another layer of value onto the item again. This can be seen even clearer when gifts are passed down through generations. Handmade gifts are similar, the maker attaches his/her meaning to the gift with the receiver in mind and then the receiver adds his/her layer of value. Think about that next time you receive a gift.

At some point we moved onto advertising. Adverts do not make you buy stuff. The help recall the emotion you felt when you watched/saw the advert and that art of your brain comes alive when it comes to choosing things whilst shopping. Basically they plant ideas. For example, Marks and Spencers food adverts. I’m sure you’ve seen them but here is a clip anyway:

You could have just had a full Christmas dinner and that advert would still make you salivate and want more. They manage to make food (that I know I don’t even like) look sexy. Om nom nom. And listen the voice of the woman, she is just listing what the food is, but her tone: she definitively has her fingers under her skirt. So next you have an orgasm in M&S while walking up the dessert isle you’ll know why.

That brings me in a weird way to the questions Johnathon asked of us at the end of the lecture:

What is the true meaning of Christmas?

Well, of course it’s the whole Jesus thing. I’m not religious, yet I still celebrate Christmas. Why? Well the most obvious answer is because eveybody else does it and that is the way I was brought up. For me, it has become about spending time with family and having everybody de-stress for a day or two. Everything else is either commercialized nonsense or religious based.

Is shopping a patriotic duty?

When put like that it seems a little odd! But at the moment I guess it kind of is. I’m not going to pretend I completely understand the economic crisis; but from what I can gather some idiotic wankers were getting a little carried away with numbers and now the world is fucked. So, just keep shopping! Even, if it doesn’t sort the world out, shopping makes you really sexy:

 

How much will you spend this Christmas?

Depends how nice my friends/family are to me before I go shopping!

What’s the role of design in all of this?

I could be really negative and self-hating and go into how horrible we designers are in making people buy shit they don’t need and all of that but I’m going to positive. I’d like to think we are trying to change the shopping experience for the user and not the company, if we are not there is so much potential for us to do that. Think of the user not the consumer – you may say they are the same thing but that’s not true. Designers could utilize there skills to think of what people really want, not what the color yellow and product placement tells them they want. We should be advertising the good things, make fruit cool, make vegetarianism sexy, make organic fabric fashionable, make charity shops the place to buy from, etc. etc. etc. I though the clip from “The Daily Show” that Johnathon showed us quite amusing, and suggestive that this is the kind of stuff that we should definitivly not be advertising! Check it out here.

What’s your response to the Tweenagers film?

Yeah, I remember being like that. I think I’m still a bit like that. All we want, as humans, is to be accepted and sadly for these kids it is to wear the brands or be bullied. As you get older you either grow into a brand-obsessed, broke consumer or you grow out of it. I’m now anti-brand. I buy charity shop/vintage/online 1. it’s easier to find what I really want 2. I’m not adding to the waste problem 3. owning something that was pre-used is really appealing to me, it has a whole story to it before you even get it. I’m also, being a crafter, trying to buy as much handmade stuff as I can (but I need to make the money first!). I was shocked by the extent to which branding/advertising gets to kids. At the moment it’s to promote toys and other products but if some intelligent and influential people could just get in there and use that to do some good. Kids are so susceptible to anything, we need to use that to promote positive things, ie. bullying = bad, fruit = good, recycling = good, etc. I don’t have the answers on how to convert the world to the positives but I’m working on it!

Chloe out.

I just want to be an artist!

The more I think about it the more I just want to be an artist. I thought I picked jewellery because I just wanted to make stuff, make beautiful stuff and also make a living out of it, being a successful artist seemed more difficult and on a par to being a rock star (still my dream….ah…..if only….). But I don’t think jewellery making is for me. My doubts have only surfaced recently, and I just thought it was because the course is a bit meh and I wasn’t really connecting with the mediums but I realize now it is more than that. I JUST WANT TO BE AN ARTIST AND CREATE BEAUTY!!! Of course I’m going to stick with the jewellery until the end of term, I’m not going to the waste the place I was so lucky to get (especially within the current education climate) and hopefully I will have an epiphany and realize jewellery is for me, but as I said, I have my doubts and think I will end up having to chat with my tutors about a course switch before the end if the year!

Well, that was nice to get out of my mind.

 

And for something a little more lighthearted: a panda sneezing ><

 

Oooo and check out this awesome designy thing that I want:

 It’s a bath plug! Isn’t it awesome?! Buy here. Would love to freak out my mum next time she goes to use my bath!

Chloe out.

 

Fidelity. Leafy cuttings progress. Naked people. Mr. Cupcake

Thought I would share this beautiful music video from Regina Spektor (Fidelity)

It’s so beautiful. Especially the end, with all that colour!

I’ve finally finished cutting out my aluminum leaf!!! Excited? Very.

Here is my progress so far:

 Drill holes in the pieces that are to be cut out.

 Painstakingly saw out each little segment (there are 29)!

 First half done, sleepy time…

  3 packs of saw blades and a lot of cursing later we have a finished cut out leaf, complete with vein pattern. I still have to sand it down and buff it up (maybe add a texture…) and decide whether I want to make it into a cuff, a head piece or a brooch but for now I am very proud with my efforts. I also know how much effort is put into hand cut work and will regard it with the deepest respect from now on!

I’ve not updated with any life drawing images in a while, so here is some work from the last few sessions.

The first three images are from a life drawing session where our models were dressed in tinfoil and looked a little like a kid that has been dressed as a robot for halloween by their mum meets the tin man from the wizard of oz.

  

These next images are from a session where we had one model who moved every 5/10 minutes and we had to produce quick flowing drawings of the movement expressed through the shifts in positions.

       

I made these Mr.Cupcake cufflinks for my daddy’s birthday! Now, he has something to wear when he is working with Mrs. Cupcake at Candy Cupcake!

Chloe out.