Handmade Jewellery for Beginners Starts This Week - Sign Up Now!

Don’t miss your chance to sign up for my next class, Handmade Jewellery for Beginners, which starts this Wednesday, the 6th of February, from 6 – 9pm. Running over 7 weeks, the class will begin with the basics of jewellery making such as sawing, soldering, filing, texturing and hammering and will end with each student designing and making their very own wearable work of art. Don’t miss your chance to sign up to begin your creative journey.

My one day classes are also coming up very soon and are a great taster for those who want to see whether jewellery making is for them. Take some time our for yourself while hand making your own earrings or bezel set pendant within a relaxed and social environment.

Examples of the wonderful goodies you might like to create during my one day class,  Make Your Own Earrings .

Examples of the wonderful goodies you might like to create during my one day class, Make Your Own Earrings.

Make Your Own Earrings  will be running on Sunday the 17th of February, 2019, and will run you through all the basics that you need to know to make your very own pair of earrings. Image is courtesy of Sue and Judy who had their very own private ‘ Make Your Own Earrings ’ class in January.

Make Your Own Earrings will be running on Sunday the 17th of February, 2019, and will run you through all the basics that you need to know to make your very own pair of earrings. Image is courtesy of Sue and Judy who had their very own private ‘Make Your Own Earrings’ class in January.

Judy and Sue had never made jewellery before but were saw-piercing experts by the end of their class. They both left with a great new pair of earrings.

Judy and Sue had never made jewellery before but were saw-piercing experts by the end of their class. They both left with a great new pair of earrings.

During the class I will provide everything you need to make your own copper, brass or silver earrings.

During the class I will provide everything you need to make your own copper, brass or silver earrings.

Gift Certificates, New Class Dates, a Mentorship and More…

It has been a busy time down here at Glenelg South with some very exciting moments on the way. November brought with it some great commissions, a lovely launch party and even a little article in the paper.


2019 CLASS DATES ANNOUNCED

Term 1 classes for 2019 are officially online and ready to go. In addition to day classes where you can make your own earrings or bezel set pendant, I am also pleased to announce that my seven week beginner’s classes are now available. Handmade Jewellery for Beginners will run from 6-9PM on Wednesdays and is a great introduction to the world of jewellery making in a relaxed and social environment.

Handmade Jewellery for Beginners at Claire Brooks Studio Gallery.jpg

Handmade Jewellery for Beginners

Are you interested in making your own jewellery but aren’t sure where to start? Sign up for this seven week night course and learn the basics in a relaxed, social environment. Suitable for absolute beginners to those with more experience, this class is a great introduction or refresher to jewellery making.


AN EXPERIENCE FOR CHRISTMAS?

Do you have a friend or relative who already has everything? Gift certificates for jewellery workshops are now available in store or through the class page of my website and are sure to please. The lucky recipient can choose a date which suits them and vouchers are valid for up to three years, so there is plenty of time to book in.

Material gifts are out, experiences are in! Treat that special someone with one of my beginners jewellery making classes and let them lose themselves in the joy of the handmade.

Material gifts are out, experiences are in! Treat that special someone with one of my beginners jewellery making classes and let them lose themselves in the joy of the handmade.

MENTORSHIP IN THE NEW YEAR

I am super excited to welcome Lilly Buttrose to be mentored at the studio gallery in 2019. Lilly is a textiles and jewellery artist working from JamFactory, Adelaide, and is the proud recipient of a Carclew Fellowship. This fantastic professional development grant will allow Lilly to travel to Japan to learn specialised weaving at the Kawashima Textile School, Kyoto, and upon her return work with me to develop new ways to combine her beautiful textiles with metal. You can read all about Lilly’s grant in the recent article published by Adelaide Now.

Lilly’s stunning woven earrings from her product range. During her mentorship, Lilly will further develop her jewellery making skills to explore new methods of transforming her textiles into wearable forms. Photograph courtesy of the artist.

Lilly’s stunning woven earrings from her product range. During her mentorship, Lilly will further develop her jewellery making skills to explore new methods of transforming her textiles into wearable forms. Photograph courtesy of the artist.

Lilly also exhibits beautiful hand embroidered wall hangings such as this linen piece, ‘Skyland Mountains.’ Photograph courtesy of the artist.

Lilly also exhibits beautiful hand embroidered wall hangings such as this linen piece, ‘Skyland Mountains.’ Photograph courtesy of the artist.

LAUNCH NIGHT

Thank you to everyone who made it along to my official launch soiree. It was such a wonderful event and great to have the support of my local council, community, friends and family. Thank you also to Emma Fey from Guild House who gave the most amazing opening speech and to everyone who helped to make the night go smoothly.

The launch party is underway at Claire Brooks Studio Gallery. Photograph courtesy of Laurence Coffrant.

The launch party is underway at Claire Brooks Studio Gallery. Photograph courtesy of Laurence Coffrant.

A colourful and delicious spread kindly prepared by Sylvia Nevistic, Courtney Jackson and Vesna Cavic. Photograph courtesy of Laurence Coffrant.

A colourful and delicious spread kindly prepared by Sylvia Nevistic, Courtney Jackson and Vesna Cavic. Photograph courtesy of Laurence Coffrant.

The lovely Emma Fey from Guildhouse giving her opening speech. Photograph courtesy of Laurence Coffrant.

The lovely Emma Fey from Guildhouse giving her opening speech. Photograph courtesy of Laurence Coffrant.

 CHRISTMAS TRADING HOURS

I am extending my trading hours in the lead up to Christmas so that you don’t miss out on getting that last minute Christmas treat. The gallery will be closed then will be having a short break to work on some extra special commissions.

Thursday 13th December:               10am – 5pm Wednesday 19th December:          10am – 5pm

Friday 14th December:                    10am – 5pm Thursday 20th December:               10am – 8pm

Saturday 15th December:               10am – 5pm Friday 21st December:                    10am – 5pm

Sunday 16th December:                  10am – 4pm Saturday 22nd December:               10am – 5pm

Monday 17th December: Closed Sunday 23rd December:                  10am – 4pm

Tuesday 18th December: 10am – 2.30pm Monday 24th December: 10am – 3pm

Tuesday 25th December to Monday 7th January: Closed

… then business as usual

Have a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year and thank you for your continued support!

Beginners Jewellery Classes have Landed at Claire Brooks Studio Gallery

After only a month of trade at my brand spanking new Studio Gallery, Glenelg South, the response from my local community has been overwhelmingly positive and I am so thrilled. Thank you so much to everyone who has managed to make their way down for a visit, it has been wonderful to see a few familiar faces and meet so many lovely people who have dropped by.

As many of you know, I have spent much of the past few years preparing to establish a teaching space which would bring community members together by sharing the joy of creating their own handmade jewellery. My plans were small to begin with but, after a generously supported crowd funding campaign and the decision to open a Studio Gallery, my plans got bigger and better than I ever could have imagined. Now finally, I am so pleased to announce that we’ve done it - jewellery classes are now available at Claire Brooks Studio Gallery!

The new teaching space is bright and inviting. Students will create their masterpieces on this beautiful table, handcrafted by local furniture designer, Steve Soeffky.

The new teaching space is bright and inviting. Students will create their masterpieces on this beautiful table, handcrafted by local furniture designer, Steve Soeffky.

As a bit of a taster, I will be running two one day classes before Christmas and I have a whole lot more planned for 2019. The first two classes are for beginners and will introduce students to the art of handmade jewellery through earring making and the ancient technique of bezel setting. Class sizes are limited to only six people, meaning that you will have plenty of one on one attention and the teaching space is beautifully light filled, leafy and inspiring. In order to run each class I need at least four students, so sign up now and bring a friend or family member.

Classes Available

Bezel Set Pendant in a Day with Claire Brooks.jpeg

Make Your Own Bezel Set Pendant

Calling all gemstone lovers! Join me in my beautiful new studio gallery in Glenelg South for this full day workshop and let me teach you how to set your own cabochon stone into a handmade pendant. This course is perfect for beginners or a great excuse for those who have jewellery making experience to get back into basic stone setting.

Make Your Own Earrings with Claire Brooks.jpeg

Make Your Own Earrings

Are you an earring lover who wants to take your collection to the next level? During this class you will work within the intimate, six person workshop space at my new Studio Gallery in Glenelg South, to design and make your own earrings. Each student should leave with at least one of earrings, learning some great skills.

Give the gift of creativity this festive season. If you would like to gift a class to a friend or someone you love, please contact me for more details.

The Next Big Thing...

For much of the year I have been keeping a pretty huge secret and I am both ecstatic and relieved to finally share it with you!

The lease is signed, the keys are collected and I am thrilled to announce that in August this year, I will be opening up my very own studio, gallery and teaching space in Glenelg South.

Positioned perfectly amongst a cute little group of shops and just a short walk from the beach, the gallery will be a space for purchasing exquisite handmade jewellery and rediscovering your creative side. I am currently working with local artisans to help me with custom built displays and furniture and have been busily welding up some new goodies to make it my own.

My little shop. There is lots to do but it will look great when its all done.

My little shop. There is lots to do but it will look great when its all done.

There is a large room at the front of the shop where I will host classes, set up my studio and display my work for customers to see. Out the back is a smaller room, which will be used for heavier machinery and hammering, as well as a little veranda where students can enjoy a cup of tea in the sunlight. 

There is a large room at the front of the shop where I will host classes, set up my studio and display my work for customers to see. Out the back is a smaller room, which will be used for heavier machinery and hammering, as well as a little veranda where students can enjoy a cup of tea in the sunlight. 

This new space is a great opportunity for a fresh start, bringing you all of the awesomeness promised in my crowd funding campaign, only better. As originally planned, I still want the space to be inviting, nurturing and community orientated, however, I am also nutting out some potential extra features such as day bench/tool hire and an area where I can consult with clients. Having my own venue will also allow more flexibility to offer extra classes and specialty workshops with guest tutors in future.

I've been welding up some new goodies for the gallery. Can you guess what these will be?

I've been welding up some new goodies for the gallery. Can you guess what these will be?

Class dates and the big launch party will be announced in the not too distant future, so stay tuned and make sure you subscribe to my mailing list so that you don’t miss out!

A Bespoke Necklace for a Very Special Lady

Choosing to be a contemporary jeweller is certainly the road less travelled as far as career paths go. The journey is long, thoroughly rewarding and cannot be travelled alone. I am extremely lucky to have a great group of family and friends who have helped me along the way and if there’s one person who’s always had faith in my ability to turn my passion into a self-sustaining career, it is my lovely Mother.

Given our close relationship and shared passion for jewellery, Mum is usually the lucky recipient of my new prototypes or any pieces that never quite makes it to market for one reason or another. Though she is always very grateful, on the odd occasion I also like to take the time to make her a specially designed bespoke piece, and late last year I did just that.

Poor Mum has spent many hours being dragged along for yet another beach collecting expedition and as a result has become quite the fan of my Plastic Soup jewellery. Over the years she has developed an eagle eye for microplastics and at times gets more exciting than I do when she finds ‘a good one.’ It seemed only fitting that her next piece was to be a Plastic Soup necklace.

When constructing my Plastic Soup or Interlace Adornment, I always begin with a pile of sticks which I cut, file level and sand. I then create the tiny little boxes which will contain a precious collection of microplastics.

It all starts with a pile of silver sticks.

It all starts with a pile of silver sticks.

The box shapes are loosely based on the shapes of phytoplankton: the tiny organisms which sea creatures believe they are eating when in fact, they are ingesting microplastics. For mum’s piece, we decided on circular boxes and so I constructed a variety of sizes to suit the necklace.

To form the tiny windows of the boxes, I have sourced industry offcuts of thin acrylic which I use sparingly to minimise my contribution to the plastic problem. I hand cut the acrylic and then file it until it fits perfectly within the outer ring shape. I then create another, slightly smaller ring which sits within the large ring and forms a ledge for the acrylic to rest on to avoid crushing the tiny plastic fragments within.

Each box is originally made from flat sheet silver which I bend into a ring to form the circular shapes. To be able to solder the inner and outer ring together, one has to fit perfectly within the other.

Each box is originally made from flat sheet silver which I bend into a ring to form the circular shapes. To be able to solder the inner and outer ring together, one has to fit perfectly within the other.

The boxes fit just right and are ready to be soldered together.

The boxes fit just right and are ready to be soldered together.

Once all the components are ready, I bring them to the soldering bench. I first create a seaweed like structure to form the geometric foundation of the piece, then strategically position each box on the structure to give the illusion of the plastics being snagged within a seaweed tangle. As all of the Plastic Soup pieces are handmade and unique, they will sometimes come together perfectly and other times look a little unbalanced. At this point I will cut pieces off and reposition the components until I am satisfied with the composition.

The beginnings of an interlacing seaweed structure (and some earrings on the side).

The beginnings of an interlacing seaweed structure (and some earrings on the side).

Once the seaweed framework is constructed, I begin to play with a very sophisticated tacking substance (blutack) to experiment with the position of the boxes.

Once the seaweed framework is constructed, I begin to play with a very sophisticated tacking substance (blutack) to experiment with the position of the boxes.

Choosing where to hang the seaweed structure from can be a little tricky and it is always important to ensure that the piece hangs well when worn. Once I have decided on a suitable position, I attach the chain, check that all of my joins are well soldered and then construction is complete.

Now that the boxes are soldered in place and the pendant is well balanced on the chain, the piece is ready for filing and sanding.

Now that the boxes are soldered in place and the pendant is well balanced on the chain, the piece is ready for filing and sanding.

From there the most time consuming part of the process begins: clean-up. I file off any excess solder and scratches to the surface of the metal then sand the piece to remove the file marks. Any surface scratches will distract from the overall effect of the whole piece so I really take my time, spending days to ensure that the finish is consistent. This can be rather fiddly given the intricacy of the interlacing structure and so I have developed a range of tiny sanding tools to access those hard to reach places.

Once I am completely satisfied with the finish, I blacken the necklace and begin to choose the precious but deadly plastic collection to sit within the boxes: In this case, turquoise, blues and greens.

A freshly blackened seaweed structure ready for setting.

A freshly blackened seaweed structure ready for setting.

I then dust the piece and set the acrylic on the underside of the boxes. From there I carefully place the tiny collection of microplastics in their new home and close the lid. The protective tape is removed from the acrylic and the final piece is revealed.

The finished necklace all ready to wear. Photograph courtesy of  Bianca Hoffrichter .

The finished necklace all ready to wear. Photograph courtesy of Bianca Hoffrichter.

It was a little while in the making but Mum was thrilled when she received her bespoke Plastic Soup Necklace. The colours and length of the chain suited her perfectly and she ‘feels wonderful wearing the piece.’ It means so much to me to have her support and knowing how proud she feels when wearing my jewellery makes my day. Thanks Mum!

If you would like to commission a Plastic Soup piece of your very own, please contact me to make an appointment.

Merry Christmas and Thank You for a Great Year

Thank you all for making this such a great end to the year. With my crowd funding campaign done and dusted, I’ve spent the last two weeks madly working to finish everyone’s beautiful rewards as well as a few custom orders. I’m happy to report that everything is packed, posted or waiting to be collected.

A sea of Microscope Pendants, Rings and Earrings all ready to be set just in time for Christmas.

A sea of Microscope Pendants, Rings and Earrings all ready to be set just in time for Christmas.

Hundreds and Thousands of Hundreds and Thousands Earrings waiting to be packed.

Hundreds and Thousands of Hundreds and Thousands Earrings waiting to be packed.

Round one of the biggest week of packaging ever. Many hours and 64 hand written greeting cards later, my campaign duties are done and dusted.

Round one of the biggest week of packaging ever. Many hours and 64 hand written greeting cards later, my campaign duties are done and dusted.

I am going to be taking a well-earned break over Christmas but will be back by mid January refreshed and ready to go. Keep an eye out for all the exciting new things I have planned for 2018 including the opening of my new teaching space, a big online shop revamp and the official launch of my Interlace precious range amongst other things.

Thank you for your support during 2017 and wishing you all a wonderful holiday season.

Thank You so Much for Making My Campaign a Success!

And that’s a wrap! After a whole lot of preparation and a huge month, my campaign to start up a community teaching space at Karma & Crow Studio Collective has the highly coveted green tick of success. This project has been years in the making and I want to thank you all so much for generously donating as well as getting the word out there. Without you, I could not have made this happen and I am absolutely thrilled and humbled by your support. By donating, sharing my story or supporting me along the way, you have helped me take steps to sustain myself as a maker and contribute to my community in a meaningful way. Thank you so, so much!

Ok, so the green tick of approval is actually white, but it's still awesome!

Ok, so the green tick of approval is actually white, but it's still awesome!

The campaign has been such a wonderful opportunity to connect with long lost friends, family and students and I have even met some new fans. There are a number of people who helped me behind the scenes who I am so lucky to have in my life (you know who you are) and if I haven’t already thanked you enough, thank you some more!

I can't wait to build on my growing collection of precision tools for my students to learn with. When making jewellery, good tools are absolutely crucial. Whoever said that a poor workman blames his (or her) tools obviously hasn't tried to mitre a perfect corner with a blunt file! 

I can't wait to build on my growing collection of precision tools for my students to learn with. When making jewellery, good tools are absolutely crucial. Whoever said that a poor workman blames his (or her) tools obviously hasn't tried to mitre a perfect corner with a blunt file! 

For the next week or so I will be busily chipping away at finishing, wrapping and posting everyone’s orders, then the project can begin. I am elated at the thought of sharing my passion for the hand made with our community. Stay tuned for progress updates and information about the big launch in February, 2018!

Microscope Earrings just after soldering. These little guys will be ready for postage next week.

Microscope Earrings just after soldering. These little guys will be ready for postage next week.

Only Two Days Left to Donate. Don't Miss Out!

With only two days left to donate to my crowd funding campaign there isn’t much time to get your hands on some wonderful rewards just in time for Christmas. The campaign is still going strong with funding almost at the 75% mark so please keep those donations rolling in and spread the word. The campaign is all or nothing, meaning that I have to raise the full amount in order to receive any of the funds. With your help, I can make it to the 100% mark and set up a fantastic teaching space here at Karma & Crow Studio Collective

Don't miss your chance to pick up a pair of these beautiful Fresh Water Pearl Microscope Studs and help me set up a wonderful new teaching space at Karma & Crow. Photograph Courtesy of Bianca Hoffrichter.

Don't miss your chance to pick up a pair of these beautiful Fresh Water Pearl Microscope Studs and help me set up a wonderful new teaching space at Karma & Crow. Photograph Courtesy of Bianca Hoffrichter.

Trouble Shooting

I have had word from quite a few pledgers that they are having trouble donating through the Pozible.com system, particularly when using Paypal. If you have already donated but have not received word from me personally thanking you for your generous donation (either through Pozible.com or Facebook) please contact me as soon as possible so that I can investigate. I don’t want anyone to miss out.

If you have already tried to donate but continue to get an error message, please don’t give up. Try using your credit card rather than Paypal and if you still having issues, please contact me directly. Your donations are absolutely crucial to getting this wonderful project up and running.

There are also a few pairs of Microscope Earrings left through the  campaign site . Avaialble in Andamooka Opal or Fresh Water Pearls which float freely behind glass lenses, these stunners are quite the eye catchers. Photograph courtesy of Bianca Hoffrichter.

There are also a few pairs of Microscope Earrings left through the campaign site. Avaialble in Andamooka Opal or Fresh Water Pearls which float freely behind glass lenses, these stunners are quite the eye catchers. Photograph courtesy of Bianca Hoffrichter.

Thank you all so much for your donations, shares and support. Please continue to share the campaign with your friends, family or anyone who might be interested. Every little bit counts.

Only One Week to Go!

We are getting down to the pointy end of my crowd funding campaign. With only one week to go it’s so close that I can taste it! This week the campaign passed the 60% funded mark and sold out of large and small Microscope pendants which is absolutely amazing. Everyone has been so supportive and I am so grateful.

If you haven’t already donated, don’t miss your chance to treat yourself to some beautiful jewellery or sign up for my brand new jewellery classes. Your donation will go towards setting up a fantastic new teaching space and will help me to sustain myself by doing something that I am truly passionate about.

I still have some beautiful jewellery available through the  campaign . Don't miss your chance to be rewarded for helping me to set up a beautiful new teaching space.

I still have some beautiful jewellery available through the campaign. Don't miss your chance to be rewarded for helping me to set up a beautiful new teaching space.

Learn how to hand make your own jewellery by  signing up  for a class through my campaign page. Photograph courtesy of Perth Product Photography.

Learn how to hand make your own jewellery by signing up for a class through my campaign page. Photograph courtesy of Perth Product Photography.

If you can’t donate but would like to help get the word out about my campaign, please share the page with your friends and family. Just one share could really make the difference.

Woohoo! Metal Space @ Karma & Crow is over 50% Funded!

We’re just half way through my crowd funding campaign to start up a great new teaching space here at Karma & Crow Studio Collective and have just past the 50% funded mark which is fantastic news. I am absolutely overwhelmed by your support and so excited to get all of your beautiful rewards out to you. Please keep sharing the campaign with all of your friends, family to make sure that we keep the momentum up and get this fantastic space up and running.

Don’t forget that the campaign page is the place to go to sign up for exclusive pre-release entry to my new classes. I have four different class options available, a seven week ring making class, a one day earring class, a one day private party class (for you and five friends. Great for hens parties, significant Birthdays, team building or just because) and a one day private jewellery intensive.

When you sign up to my seven week Ring Making class you will learn everything you need to know about rings in a relaxed, social environment. A great introduction to jewellery making, this evening class runs for three hours per week and will take you right from the basics to designing and hand making your very own resolved piece.

When you sign up to my seven week Ring Making class you will learn everything you need to know about rings in a relaxed, social environment. A great introduction to jewellery making, this evening class runs for three hours per week and will take you right from the basics to designing and hand making your very own resolved piece.

Classes are suitable for beginners to those with more experience and are a wonderful opportunity to work with your hands in a social, friendly and welcoming environment. Once you have signed up, your class entry code is valid for a whole year so you can choose the class dates which suit you best. I will be launching an enrolment page from my website early next year and will let you know as soon as it’s online.

If you love my new Hundreds and Thousands range and would like to learn how to design and hand make your own earrings, sign up for my one day Earring Making class. Running for six hours on a weekend, this class is suitable for absolute beginners and everyone will leave with at least two pairs of finished earrings.

If you love my new Hundreds and Thousands range and would like to learn how to design and hand make your own earrings, sign up for my one day Earring Making class. Running for six hours on a weekend, this class is suitable for absolute beginners and everyone will leave with at least two pairs of finished earrings.

Sign up for a class and be one of the first to use our beautiful new teaching space at Karma & Crow. I can’t wait for you to become part of our creative community.