Room of Dreams

Today i went along to the Dovecot Gallery to visit Wendy Ramshaw’s Room of Dreams.

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My favourite works were in the Room of Dreams itself, especially those displayed in the frames that dominated one full wall.




As i’ve just started to look into narrative jewellery this exhibition was great to visit as each of Ramshaw’s pieces reflects a different story, myth or fairytale.

Here are a few of favourites from the exhibition:

necklace for the weeping woman


“‘Weeping Woman‘, 1937, belongs to the series of paintings of Dora Maar. She weeps, expressing her sadness and grief. Picasso uses her to express a war-torn Europe.

“The inspiration for the shape of the tears came from a segment of mauve glass with a droplet-like shape which was once part of a Victorian chandelier. This water shaped form was recreated in luminous glass in shades of blue and green. The double stranded necklace is strung to appear like a cascade of water drops. Over 100 of these glass droplets are hung on the steel of the necklace, achieving an apparently random effect. The necklace expresses my feelings for the beautiful Dora Maar who, according to the visual records of Picasso, wept many tears. The beauty of the colours detract from her sadness and crying. Dora Maar’s tears of sadness are lifted into another realm, a realm of beauty and joy, as one might find in a fairy tale.”



“Moonstone has always been my favourite stone. It is so magical, mystical and romantic, and in this case sad.  These two pieces were inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland:

“Suddenly she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid glass; there was nothing on it except a tiny golden key, and Alice’s first thought was that it might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was too small, but at any rate it would not open any of them. However, on the second time round, she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high: she tried the little golden key in the lock, and to her great delight it fitted!…

“Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying down on one side, to look through into the garden with one eye; but to get through was more hopeless than ever: she sat down and began to cry again. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” said Alice, “a great girl like you” (she might well say this), “to go on crying in this way! Stop this moment, I tell you!” But she went on all the same, shedding gallons of tears, until there was a large pool all round her, about four inches deep, and reaching half down the hall.””



“This necklace was inspired by the Grimm fairytale, Rumplestiltskin.

“A miller lied to the king that his daughter could spin straw into gold, in order to make himself appear more important than he was. The king called for the girl, shut her in a tower room with straw and a spinning wheel, and demanded that she spin the straw into gold by morning, for three nights, or be executed. She had given up all hope, when a dwarfish creature appeared in the room and spun straw into gold for her in return for her necklace; then again the following night for her ring. On the third night, when she had nothing with which to reward him, the strange creature spun straw into gold for a promise that the girl’s first-born child would become his. The king was so impressed that he married the miller’s daughter, but when their first child was born, the dwarf returned to claim his payment: “Now give me what you promised”. The queen was frightened and offered him all the wealth she had if she could keep the child. The dwarf refused but finally agreed to give up his claim to the child if the queen could guess his name within three days. At first she failed, but before the final night, her messenger discovered the dwarf’s remote mountain cottage and, unseen, overheard the dwarf hopping about his fire and singing. When the dwarf came to the queen on the third day she revealed his name and Rumpelstiltskin lost his bargain. In the 1812 edition of the Brothers Grimm Tales, Rumpelstiltskin, the dwarf, then “ran away angrily, and never came back”.”


I love looking at objects and thinking about the stories behind them, here they are clear and have roots in fairytales and folklore, others are harder to grasp at and more fleeting. As is the world of visual storytelling.


Chloe out.


Presentation: Concrete Wardrobe

Today the Design and the Market students presented our findings on the various business we had been researching.

Sitting up top, i was growing steadily more nervous about having to speak to a room full of people, so naturally distracted myself by paying really good attention to what the groups before has had learnt about their topics of research.



First off, a group of illustration students talked to us about Black Hearted Press, who are Scotland’s leading independent comic book publishers.

I liked the use of comic books strewn across the tables in front of us to peer into as a visual aid to show what the business was all about. Also the video the group had made of a hand-drawn comic book style invitation was a great way to get a company interested as well as start off their presentations.

The main piece of advice i took from their presentation was that after university is the best time to be creative and the best time to start a creative business. “Do it while you’re young” do it at a time when making mistakes is more of a learning curve than a massive disaster!



Next, a second group of illustration students talked to us about Timorous Beasties, who are a design company best known for their provocative textiles and wallpapers, and based in Glasgow.

I liked how these students used an illustration from Timorous Beasties to create a background image and flow for their presentation to run on.

The main pieces of advice i took from their presentation were to do what you want, Timorous Beasties have gone as far as to set this ethos in the ambiguity of their name. And they also talked about the reality of employability: the business side, the finance is HORRIBLE but the designing and the creating is wonderful and worth it in the end so the two balance each other out.



Next, a group of graphic design students talked to us about Elastic Creative, who are a creative agency specialising in brand development and application to web, print, advertising, exhibitions and packaging.

I liked how these students sent a video invitation to Elastic and got a reply back in a video format, a great show of creativity as well as a light-hearted and good hook to start off the presentation.

The main pieces of advice i took from their presentation were that branding is in the heart of everything and your reputation as a branded designer starts now. Also, as a quite big company, that made sure it was important to realize that “people work with people, not companies” which is a key point for any size of company.



Next, a group of textiles students talked to us about Mairi McDonald, who  is a textiles based fashion designer.

I liked how these students shared equal amounts of information between the group when it came to presenting, and had clear-cut sections that each individual spoke about.

The main piece of advice i took from their presentation was that your CV doesn’t start to until after your first internship, getting a job and starting your own business is all about experience.


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Next, a second group of textiles students talked to us about Isolated Heroes, that is the luxury ready to wear label by designer Samantha McEwen.

I liked how these students made great use of the colourful and bold fashion images from the business to fill their presentation with fascinating photos and videos.

The main piece of advice i took from their presentation was to acknowledge where in the world your sales are coming from and to increase advertising and marketing towards those targets. Also, that i need to get me one of the fancy jackets shown in one of their slides!



And finally it was our turn!

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The presentation went well, my group was wonderful, and although i spoke a little faster than i should have i did okay too! Even with a minor technical glitch and some tricky questions at the end we sailed through with our unique styling and intersting quips! For more on what we learned from our interview check out Interview with Concrete Wardrobe or Our Gift to Concrete Wardrobe or Concrete Wardrobe Field Trip and Concrete Wardrobe to see what we discovered!


There were a couple of themes and pieces of advice i noticed that ran through all the presentations:

– a lot of the successful businesses had no official business plan and they let their companies just grow organically.

– take risks!

– communication is key to a business partnership, as well as within yourself.

– be adaptable, keep an open mind and diversify as a designer.

-stick to your own vision. Believe in yourself and believe in your product.



Now on to developing my own business!!!

Chloe out.

Beecraigs Country Park and Linlithgow Palace

Today we took Dùghall out for his first little trip all painted and pretty and drove him down to Linlithgow to visit it’s well-known palace and to stretch our weary legs around Beecraigs Country Park.

The weather was almost warm, the sun was shining and snowdrops were starting to peek out from the earth, shouting out the arrival of spring and long warm(!) days ahead.


Beecraigs Country Park









Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! GIMMIE!



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I always feel so torn standing in front of an animal in a cage, on one side i get to see a beautiful animal up close and on the other there is an animal caged up and locked away from it’s natural state of being… we’re always interfering… sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst… and torn is the only way i can think to describe it…

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Linlithgow Palace

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Thanks for posing “nicely” for me Jamie!












Oh please please please let me go in!!!







Chloe out.