Sunday, 25 December 2011

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Musings On Photography

This is one of my latest pieces, from the Mermaid Amulet Series.
The gemstone is a cloudy sky blue Aquamarine nugget.I really love this necklace, it's another of my personal favourites

I've been photographing my work for a while now, and never feel completely satisfied with the results. Selling online draws even more pressure into the equation, given that the photography is key

So I have been taking a bit of time to practice with different backgrounds, and lighting angles etc. I want to get hold of some more natural materials too, and have a play with those.

Anyway here are a few photos of this piece... with a few little lighting touches that are new for me :)

Hope you like them :))

Monday, 5 December 2011

Embracing The New Dawn

The year is almost up, and I'm feeling all kinds of emotions these days about the way everything is heading

I will have a milestone birthday early next year, which I'm NOT looking forward too lol. I'm trying to keep all my successes and failures, hardships and high points in perspective. It has been a rough few years and yet that is counterbalanced by this amazing surge of creativity that has taken over my life so completely

I wondered is it enough to create things at home, and go on your own spiritual journey, without anyone seeing your work. I did this for a long while, I had boxes full of little treasures, that I never wore, and that were never seen lol

Financially I had to take the plunge really, just to be able to sustain my passion. This meant trying to sell, which seemed like a pride swallowing activity, of self promotion and soullessness. Thats what I thought anyway

However, people love my work, and the little fantasy world I occupy, and most touchingly, they want to use my jewellery to honour their loved ones on special occasions. This has been amazing. I've loved hearing the events my work has been bought for - it's been a real highlight for me

The other big plus about going public with my work, has been the feedback and support from other artists. Like minded artists inspiring each other, congratulating and commiserating with each other. I've been taken aback by how wonderful the whole experience with them has been

This year I have gone from being invisible, to publicly finding my own creative voice, having an online shop, selling at prestigious craft fairs and being made Metal clay Artist of the Month, by the years end!

Next year is going to be bringing more high end shows for me to agonise over, more face to face time with art lovers, a commission from the British Museum Grenville Shop(yes, the British Museum in London...more about that later), and possibly a magazine cover and artist profile!

How unbelieveable is all of that! ... oh well bring on that milestone birthday, I'll take it on the chin, because who knows where I'll be in a year from now :))

To finish with, here are the latest pieces in the shop today. Enjoy the pics ...

Monday, 21 November 2011

My Roller Coaster Ride Of A Show

I exhibited my pieces in my first high end show this weekend and it really was a roller coaster ride of emotional highs and lows
The great thing about this, was that for every low, there was a high ...

These are the Lows

1. Arriving on that first morning to set up feeling like a rabbit in headlights with crippling insecurities threatening to overwhelm you

2. It felt like every other exhibitor was an award winning established artist. They all seemed very confident and oddly very tall lol!!

3. The inevitable lulls, or when someone’s gaze briefly rests on my display of pieces and then moves on elsewhere, seemingly unmoved and underwhelmed by my work

4. Feeling exhausted at the end of a very long day, sitting in a Travel lodge/motel, wishing you were home

5. Those times when you are left wondering whether you’ve taken too big a risk and that you won’t be able to sustain a living as an artist

And the high points....

1. Seeing your work presented for the first time in glass cabinets under spotlights in you own mini boutique. I loved that so much!!

2. Meeting some of the warmest, funniest and talented metal work artists out there. The camaraderie between the artists was amazing and so uplifting.
3. I loved how supportive everyone was of each other. Swapping anecdotes and sharing those highs and lows throughout the day meant so much to me

4. Artists that I am in awe of would come over and love MY work!! They would even take me under their wing so to speak, and passed on useful tips and gave me tons of encouragement. I’m still feeling choked up about that actually

5. Meeting customers and art lovers, that just loved my work. They wanted to talk about the pieces, the stories and inspirations, and wanted to try everything on lol!!
There was one surreal moment, where I had a crowd around my mini shop front , with 3 very different ladies wearing 3 unique pieces, all complimenting each other on how they looked in my jewellery!! They all seemed so happy ... it was a magical moment for me

All in all it was an amazing experience, and I cannot wait to do the next show on this circuit.
I have come away with so many new friends and mentors and with a renewed sense of confidence in my artistic abilities. The key thing also is coming away with the knowledge that my own unique, rather fantastical creations are loved and that there is a place for me in this kind of world

Thanks to all those wonderful people that played their part in making this such a memorable and significant weekend

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Siren Rings Collection and Barnacle Pearl Cuff

These are my latest additions to the Shipwreck Jewellery Collection. Siren Rings, which are ornately wire sculpted rings, perfect for a Mermaid. I make them in Aquamarine gemstones and Freshwater pearls to complement the Mermaid Amulets and the Pearl Barnacle Collections

Every one is organic and unique...

I also have made another of my Barnacle Pearl Cuffs, in Turquoise freshwater pearl and sterling silver. The weaving is inspired by the patterned calyces seen in hard corals. I hope you love them (I do !!)

I am finally off to do the show (linked in the last post), and am stopping off at a photographers on the way. The pitstop is to hopefully capture a good enough image to make the front cover of a magazine...but we will see what happens about that

I feel ready for the show and hopefully it will go well :)

Anyway, enjoy the pics and slideshow....

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Pearl Barnacle Cluster Necklaces

These necklaces are part of the Shipwrecked Jewellery Collection, based on the idea that gemstones and jewellery pieces are left on marooned shipwrecked vessels beneath the sea

These pieces lost in time, accumulate barnacles and other marine life, creating part living organic wearable sculptures

The Barnacle cluster collection is very much inspired by the theme, and each necklace contains clusters of freshwater pearls handwoven in sterling silver, nestled amongst fine silver barnacles and shells

I am taking this collection with me to the Desire Fair I'm doing at the end of the week. It will be one of ten collections I'll be exhibiting wonder my hands are so tired

I've spent the whole day with the hubby arranging the layout of pieces and props, for the show. It was exhausting, and fun at the same time. I still have a few items to make unbelieveably, and have almost run out of time.

Anyway here are the photos of the rest of the collection...

Hope you enjoyed the pics!!

Samantha Braund xx

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Halloween's-a-coming and I'm missing my Polymer Clay today. I made these Venetian Masks a while ago, they each took a week to make, I moulded the faces so that each one is slightly different, and I used various other polymer clay painting techniques to complete the rest. I thought the pics of them mounted on the wall, looked ghoulish and Halloweeny

Jewellery wise, I have finished my Spider Conch Collection of 4 shells and am now onto finishing my Coral Reef Labradorite Collection. I've just done the sketches and am about to make the wire sculpted elements.... so I'll be awol again for a while :)


Thursday, 13 October 2011

My Treasured Shop

I noticed today that items from my Etsy shop have been featured in 10 treasuries this month alone!! Thats a lot of treasuries...and a lot of attention

The shop was opened in March, and sat there empty until 22nd June 2011. I was going to list items, then decided to wait until after London Jewellery Week. I have made a few sales, and the shop has been favourited over 300 times, which is so much better than I was expecting. I'd been warned about the very slow start, and the struggle to be noticed, in such a saturated marketplace...but hey, I'm happy .Joining the Wire Goddess Team has been so much fun too, again better than expected.

I have to confess though, that I have put minimal effort into the shop. So far, I have listed only 3 lots of items, there are still a fair few sitting here waiting, and I'm meant to have been making lots of less costly items with the run up to Xmas

Instead, I've been concentrating on the Desire Fair show in November, and making my wire/metal clay hybrid sculptures for that. I do feel a little torn about the whole thing. I think I will continue to put the Fair first, and make more effort with the online shop, from that point on... it will just mean less online sales overall.

Most of the shop items will be coming with me to the Fair though, so some may never return.Anyway, here are some of this months treasuries, featuring mainly a lot of my gemstone circle collection

Click on the images below to see the full treasuries in all their glory...

The Roaring Twenties

It's a Wrap

Magic Raised

Tropical Seas


Princess of the Ocean

Samantha Braund
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