Monday, 22 February 2016

What Have I Been Up To? Part One....

'Tinctoria' 2013 collaboration with Hannah Westwood

In 2013 I completed my two year Artist in Residency at Middlesex University in the Fashion and Textiles department.  It was a 2 year residency with a variety of artists working within different departments of the university.  At the end of the 2 years we celebrated with an exhibition of the work inspired by our residency.  I worked within the knit department and collaborated with my fellow artist in residence, Hannah Westwood, who was working within textiles print.

Inspired by the film 'Blue Alchemy' we started looking at indigo dyeing and were soon mesmerised by it's other worldliness.  We had heard about the technique of calendering, where if you beat the indigo dyed fabric enough it soon takes on a bronze sheen, almost like polishing the fabric.  The beginnings of which can be seen when first taking fabric out of the indigo vat.

Bronze sheen on Indigo dyed fabric when first out of the vat.
We carried out our own experiments in calendering but with mixed results! We also took much inspiration from the jewellery and textiles of nomadic tribes such as the Wodaabe.

Our work together culminated in a small collection of garments by Hannah and Jewellery by me.  We only wished we could have spent longer on the project together! I definitely want to work with indigo again. Please see my sketchbook page for further images from the residency.


Monday, 15 February 2016

Time Passes...

I am not going to make yet another apology for not writing a blog post, or was that me just inadvertently doing so?!  Elinor Voytal Jewellery has been every so slightly ticking along in the background of my life for the past 3 years, as some things have been going on.

I had a baby.

I got married.

I re-located from London to West Yorkshire.

I now work part-time for lovely Rowan Yarns.

We've tried out a few houses (4 moves!) since we moved to Yorkshire.  But we are finally settled in our own house in the beautiful Colne Valley, and it has a spare room for a.... studio! Yay!  So lovely Bertha the industrial knitting machine is happily ensconced in her new home with amazing views of the valley and Elinor Voytal Jewellery can finally step back into action. But with maybe just baby steps at first...

We were surprised to encounter a sheep having a snack outside the doctors.
Apparently a regular event in our new home...

Monday, 26 March 2012

Phew! Where did 2011 go?

Greek Island holiday, Amsterdam bags, Amsterdam roof terrace, the colour of indigo, stockist order ready to go!

Embarrassingly enough it seems I haven't written on this blog for over 6 months... well all I can say is the end of 2011 went by in a bit of a blur, the highlights being....

....visiting friends in Amsterdam, A Greek Island holiday, starting my artist in residency at Middlesex University (more information here, the craziness of the Christmas sales period (was delighted to be included in an exhibition at Diana Porter Contemporary Jewellery and the beginnings of a little obsession about the deep bronze/blues created by indigo dye. Hoping to continue this obsession a bit further...

And as for 2012, am currently concentrating on my new collection and planning ahead for the rest of the year.  Hopefully it won't be another 6 months before I fill you in on what I've been up to!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

A little piece of Treasure...

A large glass of wine enjoyed at the VIP launch night, some of my pieces in Professional Jeweller Magazine, the new Blossom Necklaces, the Twisted Swarovski Bangle and a bit of networking. (photos Simi S)


I can't believe that Treasure has come and gone so quickly.  It seemed such a long time coming with so much to do and not enough time, but as with most things it all came together in the end.  It was a great way to start the four day jewellery extravaganza by walking into Victoria House to see a huge poster on the wall declaring that WGSN, the fashion forecasting website, had picked me as one of their editor's choice for upcoming trends.  They then went on to use some images of my work in a talk they gave to the trade visitors on the next upcoming jewellery trends, with one of the big future ones being colourful textile jewellery, woo hoo!  You heard it here first!

The launch night was good too, catching up with some old friends and meeting some new people who said lovely things about my work.  I was also excited to see two of my pieces (the Twisted Swarovski Necklace and Bangle) in print, featured in Professional Jeweller magazine as part of their London Jewellery Week article.  This obviously prompted a small celebration with what look like very large glasses of wine from the evidence above.

By the end of the show I was pleased to have made some sales and collected some intriguing leads from trade buyers, stylists and the press.   It will be interesting to see where these leads take me in the forthcoming months, fingers crossed!

Finally, I want to say a big, big thank you to all the people who helped me in preparing for the show, especially Nicole who now understands the sheer joy (hmmmmm....) of knitting with elastic, thank you!

Monday, 30 May 2011

A Sneak Peek...

Clockwise from top: printmaking pigments, our knitting machine, original tiled floor, my trusty Singer,  some of my yarns,  printmaking workshop.

Um... so writing a blog post every week didn't quite go to plan, but I will try harder!  I have been a bit distracted recently by getting everything made and ready for showing at Treasure in a week or so (is it that soon?!!).  I am really looking forward to it, meeting new customers and catching up with old friends.  More details can be found at  Hopefully see some of you there!

I thought you might be interested in having a little look at my studio and the lovely big steel contraption that is our Stoll knitting machine.  I share the machine and the studio with my good friend Tamar.  Our studio is part of an old dairy shop.  In fact it was one of Sainsburys first shops and it still has some of the original Victorian tiles and marble counters.  For the last 40 years it has been used as a printmakers workshop and the owners have very kindly let my friend and I use one of their rooms as our studio.  The place hasn’t really changed much in the last few decades but this gives it a real charm and with no phone or internet connection it is a great place to go to escape from the modern world and concentrate on some making.

From left:  Large clustered Blossom Necklace, Double Ring Blossom Necklace and one of the 3 Ring Tiered earrings.

This is the other sneak peek I wanted to give you. These are some of the pieces from my new Blossom collection which I shall be previewing at Treasure.  They are made by knitting together elastic and some beautiful copper/bamboo and silk/steel yarn from Habu Textiles and the Handweavers Studio and then embedding the knitted fabric with Swarovski Crystals.  Hopefully, if I can keep on top of this blog thing then you'll see some more images of the new collection next week!  

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Time to start the blog...

Yorkshire, Wales and home for lunch

Some bank holidays and a Royal Wedding have finally given me a bit of time to sort out the writing of a blog... and for my first little foray into the world of blogging I thought I would post a few photos of what I got up to on the extended bank holidays.   Lots of travelling around the country visiting relatives and soaking up the sunshine, as well as the long overdue opportunity to sort out my sketchbook, planning my new collection which I am very excited about and will be giving you a sneak preview of soon!