I started documenting and sharing pictures of my drawings, paintings, illustrations on Instagram. Follow https://www.instagram.com/sylvaine.sketchbooks/
Craft Festival Cheltenham returns for its fourth event on 11-13 March 2022, with a hundred of the finest designer makers from across the UK exhibiting at Cheltenham Town Hall. Buy directly from designer makers of jewellery, ceramics, furniture, textile artists, glass and many more.
More info: https://www.craftfestival.co.uk/Cheltenham/
Tickets are available to buy in advance only: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/craftfestival-cheltenham
I recently created this unique commission as a special gift from a husband to his wife. She fell in love with a large painting I did a few years ago, « The World upside down », as it was on display in a local café. She, later on, visited the workshop during the Brighton Open Houses Festival, where I had a few Jewel-Objects on display. For her special birthday gift, his partner wanted a unique Jewel-Object on this theme so we decided to do a miniature replica of the large painting.
I enjoy painting on wood, it is a completely different experience from painting on a blank canvas. There is a challenge to match the beautiful natural pattern of the yew wood with an equally beautiful and subtle design. Each piece is sculpted and sanded to a smooth finish, the curvy and smooth surface is very tactile and just a perfect surface for painting. The wooden piece is inspiring in itself and I like to leave it unpainted for a while before I decide to go for it and progressively cover the surface with acrylic paint, section by section. It’s a slow process, I feel there is an expanded awareness when working with a natural material. It enhances the meditating feeling and flow in my work when I cover the subtle patterns and golden colours of the wood with my own colourful patterns, it tests my use of colour. The drawing lines are guided by the wood grain behind them, it’s like a conversation between me and the wood.
I created a first Jewel-Object version of “The world upside down” years ago with a more minimalist design so it was a great challenge to scale down the large acrylic painting, keeping the same colour palette and mood and translate most of the original details onto such a tiny surface.
I made my first Jewel-Object back in 2010 to combine my 2 passions: illustration and jewellery. This concept gives life to a jewel when it’s not being worn; the piece ( pendant, ring, brooch or earrings) is embedded in its painted wooden display and becomes the heart of a colourful world or supplies the missing fragment of the story… It’s a way to add meaning to a piece of jewellery. It also adds a sense of wonder. A lot of symblols can be incorporated into a piece for a unique personalised gift.
The reversible pendant is handmade is silver with wood inlays. The display is carved in a block of yew. Its painted with acrylic and ink, covered with a matt varnish.
Here is my latest commission ! A Mermaid chilling on a bloc of amber. traditionally made by hand using the lost wax casting process, working around a piece of amber. The design idea came from the customer who asked me to give a new life to this beautiful piece of amber for his partner. He imagined a mermaid lying on a rock. It was great to work on a slightly bigger scale and build this one of a kind piece like a mini sculpture.
Here is a 4 minutes video of the making process and A few more pictures of the pendant from different angles by Marek Machlowski.
This locket was a commission holding many secrets. The customer wrote down some anecdotes that had special meanings in her life, she wanted to have a locket made especially for her. It would hold pictures of her children with family members’ names and dates on the inside. I first did sketches with the shape of the locket I had in mind and a couple of illustrations translating her stories, these would be engraved on either side so the pendant would be reversible.
I enjoyed designing and making this piece very much because of the story hidden behind every aspect of the design. It is a very special experience to create a piece for someone who shared glimpses of her intimate life for me to translate into a unique piece.
This design is completely unique and handmade from scratch in sterling silver. Discover every step of the making process below.
#jewellerymaking #stepbystepjewellerymaking #jewellerymakingprocess #bespokejewellery #custommadejewelry #handmadesilverlocket
Last year, I re-discovered charcoal drawing. I was drawn to create bigger to break with the tiny scale I usually work with at the bench. Charcoal is a bit of a messy technique but what I like about is that no lines are definitive. The image is in a constant movement, it evolves progressively.
I focus first on the composition, then it’s a play with light and shadows to bring life and depth to the drawing. The rubber is constantly in use to bring back the light or adjust the lines that define the contours. I enjoy the room for mistakes and the progressive improvement of the image, The result is always different from what I had in mind but it’s part of the game!
I recently created a new page on Instagram dedicated to my sketchbooks, follow it to discover new pages regularly: https://www.instagram.com/sylvaine.sketchbooks/
the heart of my creative practice are my sketchbooks, I collect them
first sketchbook was more like scrapbooking, a way to gather
drawings, small paintings, photos… I did the bookbinding and the
cover. I enjoyed the process so much that I decided to keep going.
About one small sketchbook per year, Always messy and colourful. Even
if they were private, when filling them, I had the finished object in
the back of my mind, which had to be cohesive and pleasing to look
through. These small books are like time capsules, looking through
them can take me back to very precise moments in the past.
relation to those sketchbooks evolved through the years. I started to
buy them instead of making them. I would do mostly pencil sketches,
quick watercolour illustrations, ideas for pieces of jewellery along
with notes about the making process.
For the past few years, I use larger size sketchbooks, with spiral binding as they are comfortable to hold. These are cheap so it enables me to feel totally free and use as many pages as I feel like. I became more prolific, I probably used a dozen in the past 2 or 3 years. They became less precious and mostly a way to process ideas, thoughts… Less pleasant to look through but the feeling of freedom when using them is bigger. They are mostly filled with very quick pencil or ink sketches, a few landscapes, some personal texts and quotes, they are still very messy (like me!) . Some pages have a calm and minimalistic look, others are more expressive doodles. By allowing myself and letting it all out, I discover recurrent ideas coming back and these are the ones that will eventually become something: a more polished drawing, an illustration, a painting or most of the time, a piece of jewellery. I keep a few sketchbooks at the same time: one by my workbench, 1 or 2 at home, a small size one in my handbag. It looks like I became rather addicted to them! These books became a way to process emotions and maybe a tool to access the subconscious mind because of the freedom they offer.
This crisis comes with its own set of challenges, big or small, different for each and every one of us. It makes us feel smaller and more vulnerable but it also forces us to look at things from a different perspective. We go back to the essential. Like trees, in appearance isolated from each others, but below the surface, it’s a complex underground network, trees share water and nutrients through this networks, and also use them to communicate…
For the past few days, I see artists of all kinds reaching out online, thinking of creative ways to go through the difficult times. All of us, artists or not, will need to use creativity in many different ways to adapt to our current daily lives. The act of creating “something” (whatever it may be) is a fulfilling experience and can have a ripple effect on other areas of life. However, the creative practice can be hard to get into at first, on a regular basis when you start to work on something new or simply when in the wrong mindset.
I am inspired by nature and tales but not only, seeing artists developing their own ideas and skills is like a journey through their minds. “Imagination at work” is for me a great source of inspiration.
I’d like to start sharing more of my creative process, work in progress, along with my inspirations, thoughts, and quotes on creating as a therapeutic exercise. In my own minuscule way, I want to highlight that the important thing in Art is the process that brings joy to the artist, after all, it is the reason why a piece of art comes to life. It will be a good reminder to help my own creativity flow and I hope I can inspire some of you, maybe give a push to some people who might be thinking of trying something new.
Keep dreaming, keep creating if you can, especially in the tough times, as it can be such a boost and it’s good for the soul!
Imaginarium Atelier will be exhibiting at the Desire Jewellery & Silversmithing Fair, Chelsea from 28 February – 1 March (see below for full details).
A Private View will take place on Thursday 27 February (4.30-8 pm) and we’d love to see you there! An invite can be downloaded via the following link: http://bit.ly/311VXbu
If you are unable to attend the Private View, this will also give you £1 off the admission during public opening times for two adults.
Don’t miss this opportunity to view and purchase work from around 100 of the UK’s finest designer-makers. Visit website