It’s been about 10 days since I travelled back from Glasgow. I’ve been living in Chelsea, in the beautiful West end of London. The last week and a half has been a lot of flat hunting, job searches and planning out my next steps. London is in constant movement, something I appreciate and can’t wait to be a part of.
In addition to the hunt, I did some exploring… from visiting a gal pal at Google to wandering yet another cemetery. Pictures and descriptions below!
Saturday, I started a 5 week course on Bespoke Tailoring at the London School of Fashion. It’s taught by a master tailor that currently works on Savile Row. Within one class I already feel I’ve learned a lot: where to add inlays to ensure enough fabric for garment fitting/alterations, mark stitching, basting to ensure pattern match, cutting and hand stitching padding. So far I like the pace of the classes. No sitting around/constant progression. I’m excited to take all this new knowledge and apply it to the skills I already have.
On that note, I’m working on my cover letter to hopefully work my way into some form of apprenticeship. Job hunting is a slow go in London and I’m hoping that it won’t be long before I’m scooped up and busy as a bee.
Luckily I do have one thing sorted. I’ll be moving to the lovely Royal Borough of Greenwich as of Thursday. I have a feeling I’m going to spend a lot of time in the sprawling park and hitting up the weekend market. Let the London life begin!
Hello from Glasgow!
Currently sitting in a little dimly lit cafe off of the West End Sauchiehall strip. Fall is officially in full swing which means rain, mist, fog, and everything miserably in between. I personally find it quite charming as the green of it all far outweighs the grey.
I went on an personal tour on Sunday to see some landmarks and get out of the city. I met up with my guide Jack who took me in the West End. We met in Saint George square, filled with monuments of many men that contributed to the society we see today. He showed me darkened mansions that once belongs to the Tobacco lords and slave traders that brought Glasgow prosperity in previous centuries. I took the opportunity to take a picture with Glaswegian’s more famous monument, forever living with a cone on his head because the Scot’s have a great sense of humour.
It wasn’t long and we were in the car up at Loch Lomond. It is the largest lake in Great Britain and moody AF. I was blown away we weaselled our way up to the Falls of Falloch. A hidden little treasure just on the edge of the Highlands. So green. SO FRESH. If we could bottle oxygen, this would be the place to do it. Moist, with a hint of fern, and oodles of crystal mountain mist! They say that green breeds creativity and I’m starting to believe it.
Still deciding if this is where I’m to land! I’ve started putting out the feelers for work and for a home so we’ll see. I really like the vibe in this city. Very friendly, artsy and humorous in spite of the rain. As someone recently said to me “You don’t come to Scotland for the weather”.
As mentioned in my last post, I was super lucky to get a spot in a class for silver clay on such a short notice.
Over the course of five and a half hours we made three projects. The first was a pair of earrings, the second a mould for a charm and the third was a pendant with a set in stone.
We began the day with a cup of tea and a small introduction. Anna, our instructor, then led us through our first project. I learned that this clay is fine silver and is close to 99% pure. Most silver jewellery that is marked 925, is more than often only 75% silver mixed with other binding metals such as copper. Of all the odds, I sat down in a spot that quoted Walt Disney… “Curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”. If that isn’t a sign that I’m on the right kind of path, I’m not sure what is.
I have to say I was quite amazed at how far the clay went. The package is teeny but surprisingly yields a lot. Most of the equipment is repurposed household items, making setting-up a work space cost effective.
Once all our pieces had been cut and completed, we let them dry out on a stone. In the interim, we had an incredible spread of cheeses, breads, spreads and soup. It was nice to be able to socialize with all the ladies also taking the course. Some had come from neighbouring towns, others were from here. I learned our instructor is an Edinburgh-based artist who also teaches at the London School of Jewellery. She is incredibly talented and has been doing this for quite some years.
After our lunch break we got back to work and made ourselves a mold. This was made by blending two different coloured silicones, that when combined dry to create a flexible mold. I chose to do a pair of scissors given the obvious connection to my trade.
Once our pieces were completely dry came the fun part. We then took turns firing them and transforming them from clay to solid silver! Talk about alchemy. Anna was kind enough to catch that fun bit on video for me (—> https://vimeo.com/363616500)
Upon firing, we then polished using 6 different polishing clothes. All in all, I had an excellent time and learned something new. I would love to expand this further by experimenting with the clay some more. I was amazed at how easy it is to work with and found that the hardest part was deciding what to make! Perhaps once I’m settled I’ll be able make space for a little studio set-up.
For those you planning on visiting Edinburgh, I highly recommend checking out Anna’s courses (This is the one I took —-> https://www.thearienascollective.com/introduction-to-silver-jewellery). In addition to jewellery making, they offer painting, sewing, and so much more! I even noticed they have an Artist Way Creative Women’s Circle. Talk about *magic*! We all know how much I adore that book. The studio itself is very homey and bright, nestled away in a brick alleyway in the centre of town. This particular course was 95£ (approx. $155 CAD) and worth every penny. The lunch was far more than I had expected and at the end of the day I walked away with 2 sets of earrings, 4 charms and the know-how to do it all again! Thanks Anna & the Arienas Collective :)
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