Categories: Case Studies , Design Factory Member News
DF Member of the Month - August
Miranda Sharpe - Flair Member
Miranda joined Design Factory in 2011
Miranda's latest collection of jewellery shows the forms have evolved from an initial interest in feathers and their connotations with decoration and display. The elements are simplified, abstracted and combined to create wearable compositions in silver, vitreous metals and resin with some gold details.
Miranda will be demonstrating her craft at National Centre for Craft and Design on 5th August
Here is Miranda's story...
Where did it all begin?
At school art was always my favourite subject and I was always eager to make and create pictures and objects. Following a creative path, it was a process of exposure and discovery that led me to make jewellery and develop a passion for contemporary craft.
I studied for my degree in 3D design in Manchester which developed my interest in jewellery, spending time afterwards working with a jewellery manufacturer and at a contemporary jewellery exhibition.
After studying for an MA in Jewellery silversmithing & related products at the Birmingham School of Jewellery; I launched my business from the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter in 2000 as a participant on the Design Space 2000 start up programme.
I knew that I wanted to work for myself, designing and making my own creations. The Design Space scheme was the springboard that enabled me to do that, having access to a workshop and tools, mentoring and participation at relevant trade shows.
Over the years I have shown work at numerous venues across the UK and ventured out to a selection of international shows. My creative practice has provided many interesting projects to work on alongside my jewellery collections, having undertaken opportunities to teach and deliver workshops, work on commissions and residencies.
What Inspires you?
I design and make collections of contemporary jewellery, a mix of repeated batch produced pieces and limited or one of a kind designs. I work predominantly with precious metals in combination with vitreous enamel. Colour has been a key element of my work right from the early days of being in business. Coloured resin featured within my work for a number of years, a material that gave me the possibility to create additional form in combination with metal. After a period of reflection and research in 2010 I returned to using enamel, looking for a different material and surface quality within my work. I find working with enamel an exciting process, building layers of colour to create different effects on a silver surface with endless possibilities. Designs are evolved through drawing and experimenting with materials, with each new piece inspiring the next. Working directly with my chosen materials, I am always seeking to expand my skills and knowledge to push what I can achieve with my designs.
I use traditional jewellery techniques to form and make my pieces; a proportion of my work is completely handmade with other pieces mixing cast components and hand processes.
My jewellery ranges have been inspired heavily by the natural world, with recent inspiration exploring matter that evokes strong emotional responses. I draw on microscopic imagery of bacteria and disease, finding beauty through the form and colours of these images.
What will you be demonstrating at NCCD?
I will be demonstrating the enamelling process at NCCD. Vitreous enamel is finely ground glass powders mixed with other compounds and oxides that can be fused to a metal surface with heat.
I will be showing how I prepare and apply the enamels to pieces of jewellery, firing them in a kiln and build additional layers to achieve pattern and surface textures.
Why did you join Design Factory?
I joined Design Factory to be involved with a network of makers. I wanted to be able to access opportunities to show at events as part of a group, attend relevant seminars or skills workshops and have another channel through which to promote myself and my work. As a member I have attended workshops and networking events. I have received exhibition opportunities and gained new customers. I enjoy receiving Design Factory newsletters and correspondence, having access to a regional group and opportunities to participate in events as part of a group.
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Centrepiece Christmas Exhibition Birmingham November - December 2017