Jen and Mike Smith's Wedding Rings

After a wonderful weekend in North Berwick celebrating two friends getting married; I can finally share these images of the time they spent in my studio space creating their beautiful wedding rings for each other. What an experience and I'm so glad they asked me to show them how to make their rings- lovely to be a part of it!

Jen has three silver skinny stack rings, all slightly different which sit comfortably next to each other. Mike has one oxidised silver band.

Jewellery by Lizzie Armour, Jen Smith and Mike Smith.

Photography by Jen Smith

DCA Print Studio: 3D Print Drop-In Day

                    

      Images by Claire McVinnie

     Images by Claire McVinnie

From 12-4pm in the Print Studio on the 11th of April, 49 people attended the 3D Printing drop-in day. With great interest in all of the available technology, we gained very positive feedback.

The 3D Printer, 3D Scanner, 3D Pens and 3D Print- Printmaking hybrids all proved popular with visitors. Everyone enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the drop-in day, which was mostly seen in the queue for the 3D pens (almost all adults!) Whereas kids loved swapping around the 3D Printed ‘Mr.Potatohead’ style fruit and veg body parts/gadgets and using the 3D scanner to produce digital portraits.

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The attendees covered all age ranges and abilities; mostly beginners, a few hobbyists already learning about 3D Printing (one who is currently building his own printer), interested groups and individuals.

Print Studio Members and artists/makers were particularly curious about the Printmaking area; combining 3D Print with traditional Printing. One of our members even started creating Collograph textures with the 3D Pen to add to her next Collograph plate! It was really pleasing to see that people were being inspired and creating at the drop-in day, plus thinking about how they could use these techniques for future projects.

What kind of class involving 3D Printing would interest you?

“Mixing 3D Printing with other printing methods.”

“Intro course possibly combined with Printmaking”

“Creating collograph, etching boards and embossing with 3D prints”

The drop-in day provided a taster session for all. After looking around the various stations for themselves, some of the more popular questions included ‘How do I get from a drawing/an idea to the 3D Print?’ For this we would need to have gone through the process of ‘Initial design, create on 3D software and 3D Print’. At the Drop-in, demonstrating design software would have proven difficult as it turned out to be so busy, however if this was incorporated into a workshop, members would get the chance to learn the whole process.

What kind of class involving 3D Printing would interest you?

“DESIGN->MODEL->PRINT”

“Understanding the basic; from set-up, 3D capture; 3D design etc.”

“Sculpture proto-typing, 3D scanning and cleaning up the model. Using design programmes.”

As well as learning the 3D design/print process, quite a few people were asking how much materials cost for one print, what design software is available and if there are any intro sessions coming up. I think it’s important for future workshops to provide at least a little information about open source websites (Thingiverse) and service bureaus for material options (Shapeways, i.materialise) so they know the different services that can be tapped into online and the 3D Printing options currently available.

In the studio at the moment in terms of design software, we have ‘Cubify Sculpt’ which I think is the most user-friendly for complete CAD beginners available in here. We also have Cubify Invent, Blender and Rhino 3D. These three are more specialised and take a while to learn the commands by going through tutorials. I’m recommending sticking to Cubify Sculpt for intro workshops or classes (and Cloud 9 haptic software for a more hands on experience!)

The 3D Pens were extremely popular, with several people asking me if these were bookable to use, when could they do this and how much would it be. They  add an extra element to the drawing and design process and can be used in Printmaking methods (collograph, relief) so perhaps these should be available to book out themselves and also as an option to use in Printmaking courses as an additional process. 

Workshop ideas from the most popular suggestions:

·         Intro course and Printmaking

·         Design->Make->Print

·         Design and 3D Print your own letterpress/relief blocks

Bookable resources:

·         3Doodler

·         3D Printer (after one-to-one)

·         3D Scanner/Computer with 3D software.

 


Cloud 9 Master Classes and Workshops for October!

Cloud 9 Master Classes and Workshops for October!

October is almost upon us! 

If you'd like to get 3D modelling fast and understand the principles of 3D Printing in a friendly environment, the 1 day introduction or perhaps the 2 day masterclass on 3D modelling software 'Cloud 9' by Anarkik 3D could be just for you! 

I learned how to design, create and 3D Print my models using this software and now regularly use Cloud 9 to create my jewellery collections and other projects. 

 

The October dates are going in fast so book quickly to avoid disappointment! 

We have:

        15th of October-

  • A 1 day Introduction to Anarkik 3D Design 'haptic (touch technology) 3D modelling package. 

       Upbeat masterclass: 3D modelling for 3D printing for creative people who are non-CAD users, focussing on the        potential that 3D printing offers you. 

       16th and 17th of October-

  • A 2 day course 'Create Passionately and 3D Print perfectly'

       Intensive and upbeat masterclass: For applied artists/creative people, focus on 3D modelling with Anarkik 3D,           information about CAD, 3D Printing and modelling for successful 3D  printing.

 

Head to: www.anarkik3d.co.uk for more details and how to book you first workshop or master class.

Jolly Good Studio reviews Scottish Jewellery Week

Jolly Good Studio reviews Scottish Jewellery Week

A fantastic write up from Helen at Jolly Good Studio for Scottish Jewellery Week! Thank you Helen! :) 

You can still see this amazing exhibition and there is MORE to come!

Friday and Saturday we have Jewellery Trail guided tours! I will guiding on Friday the19th at 1pm starting from the exhibition space at the Old Flour Mill! If you would like more information on this and how to book your free guided tour visit: www.scottishjewelleryweek.co.uk 

We also have the '15 Years' Exhibition at the art college Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee celebrating 15 years of fabulous Jewellery Designers work! 

To see the Jewellery Trail Exhibition head along to:

The Old Flour Mill, 

Exchange Street, 

Dundee

We would love to see you there and if you have any questions about how to book yourself on to a tour or how to find the exhibition...or any other queries about our work, do not hesitate to contact me :)

Enjoy the show!

Lizzie x

A New Site, The 3D Printshow and Scottish Jewellery Week..

First new blog post on the new website!

 

Everything has been fantastically busy here in Dundee with Scottish Jewellery Week opening on the 12th and continuing on until the 21st. The week before I was at the 3D Printshow in London again with Anarkik 3D doing software demonstrations for visitors and exhibitors!

I have been mentioned on a blog post by i.Materialise in there review of the Printshow which is great, take a look and see all the amazing work, technology and new exciting things on show! 

I will write up a review of the 3D Printshow (mostly the cool bits:) )  and of course a huuuuge one with lots of pictures from Scottish Jewellery Week! 

For now check out i.Materialise- a friendly bunch to have been working opposite at the show :)

http://i.materialise.com/blog/entry/2014-highlights-and-wrap-up-for-the-london-3d-printshow

 

Lizzie

Dare to be Digital: Countdown has begun!

3 weeks until the Dare to Be Digital Ceilidh in city square Dundee! The next stage for my accessories project is soldering 200 LEDs onto my little aurora model to make them glow. The models will be given to each guest to wear at the ceilidh, light trails with follow them as the guest dance around..

Keep updated on here with my projects progress and if you'd like to experience this for yourself: Dundee City square, 10th of August at 8pm 'The Northern Ceilidh' will begin!

Dare To Be Digital

I've been working on and prototyping an LED accessory for an exciting project for games company based in Abertay University! The project brief is based around Finnish folklore and the Northern Lights; I've created a contemporary and slightly alien looking model inspired by the aurora borealis's bursts of light, and a little reminiscent of a fox (all will be revealed at DTBD's project event!)

Here are the latest prototypes :)

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Cloud 9 Skillshare class in Vanilla Ink

In Vanilla Ink we are hosting a Skillshare fortnight with..each other! We're taking individual skills and techniques that we use in our practice and sharing these skills with the jewellers who make up the Vanilla Ink workshop. My Skillshare was a relaxed Cloud 9 software class, sessions of 1 1/2 hours of exploring the program and a tutorial 'making a giant strawberry!'

However because of the nature of the program, I find it's best to just play around with Cloud 9 and see what creations happen naturally, which is what the students did and got right into it!

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Lucie Hunter's amazing elf shoes- only took her 10 minutes to make these! 10155375_696359383739874_1355772655792568226_n

Scott and Ilya were so engrossed with Cloud 9 they even planned out some of their designs by sketching on paper too! This crazy fish was later given a top hat and moustache.. 10247476_696150110427468_5352558212569098551_n

Sally took a break from making her jewellery to create some lovely rings with stretched and rounded shapes.10252014_696150080427471_1912915469627116328_n

 

Joanna Bletcher and Pam from the V&A Dundee joined us in our morning session for a play and a cup of coffee!

Everyone that tried Cloud 9 yesterday really enjoyed themselves and seemed to get lost in the amount of time they spent on the program. Successful day I'd say with some very interesting and intricated designs :)

Fun with thermochromics

A few months ago I travelled back in time (OK maybe a slight exaggeration) to discover the future; smart materials! Myself and Kirsty Stevens (another '14 Inker) were invited along to a pop-up workshop along with 3 other designer/makers attending in Duncan of Jordanstone within the textile design department; the new Smart Materials hub, set up by Sara Robertson. I 'd been in contact with Sara before about the possibilities of using heat-sensitive and light sensory dyes within my work, I wasn't too sure how to use them, what the constraints would be etc.

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We were introduced to the other makers and their work; two textile designers and one jeweller, fantastic designs and uses of the thermo and photochromic dyes. Really beautiful and interesting work itself;  for example Beth Spowart has been exploring fixing thermochromics permanently onto metal which is incredible (im not even sure if that's been done before!) and laser etching onto the metal afterwards in beautiful geometric patterns.

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Here are my practice attempts at applying the dyes onto little plaster models I cast from a 3D Print. These were carefully sprayed with an air gun and then dried with a hair dryer. The best way to 'fix' the dyes onto a surface is actually to bake them in a kiln/oven at 130c for 5 minutes. The plaster is pretty cold so the dye took quite a long time to change colour once touched; this is a learning curve though. This particular dye reacts to heat temp at 31c, the company that mixes these dyes can make it a specific temperature for you, hooray!

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This the air spray gun and Kirsty trying out samples in leather: amazing effects once dry!

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I had a go with a material called Buckram as well, a material normally used in millinery. This worked amazingly, possibly because it was a very light and 'warmer' material than say, the plaster.

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Thermochromic powders can be mixed into materials like silicone which wouldn't work particularly well with the liquid dyes (silicone is so temperamental) so I had a little experiment with a blue powder.

I've ordered some dyes to use in my exciting new collection, which will be at quite a low temperature so they'll be very sensitive when worn! Air spray gun has arrived, pieces are ready. To be continued!

At Vanilla Ink so far

   

Via Vanilla Ink Facebook page:

Elizabeth Armour tells us how Vanilla Ink helps her make jewellery work: "One of the aspects I really appreciate about being in Vanilla Ink is that we help each other out; being in a workshop/studio space with so many professional jewellers is rare so I take full advantage of the fact that we all have different skills and if I ever need any advice, there’s bound to be somebody who can provide it.

I feel like my jewellery path is more focussed; knowing what I don’t want to do is just as important as knowing what do want to do. My confidence in my work has been lifted. I really enjoyed our recent Branding workshop with Create 48, it’s made me consider my brand for the first time and I will use these ideas in the statement collection that I’m currently making."1653682_728638000503868_1736802869_n 1966732_728638013837200_1807383809_n10002919_728638010503867_1648191761_n

Vanilla Ink Social Media Week: Meet the Inkers!

Today's Inker is Elizabeth Armour Designer/Maker : "Designer and Maker of weird and wonderful creations; I’m a Scottish Contemporary Jeweller who graduated from Jewellery and Metalwork at Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee in 2012. Since then my creative career has been an amazing mash-up in various areas of design, but my extended path is creating bold pieces of ‘statement’ jewellery! Fueled by my avid curiosity to explore and mimic natural structures found in flora and fauna; mostly underwater plant life and microscopy. Finding that these fascinating forms such as corals and anemones resonate tactility and beauty.

I use a playful mixture of silver, nylon, rubber and currently pearls, reflecting the sources of my inspiration through symmetry, repetition and suggestive elements.

Poke it. Prod it. Feel it!"

Got a question for Lizzie? Tweet her @LizzieArmour#asktheinkers

Check out ‘the making of’ journeys and watch out for the release of her upcoming collection on the facebook page: www.facebook.com/LizzieArmourDesignerMaker website: www.elizabetharmour.com and Instagram: @LizzieArmour

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Needing a lift?

I follow 'Zenhabits' blog and find it all kinds of useful; it reminds you to take a moment to breathe and enjoy the present moment. I hope this helps anyone feeling a bit 'meh' in the strange month that is January and that it's Ok to feel like that from time to time. Small changes can make a huge difference :)

"When You’re Feeling Self-Doubt & a Lack of Motivation

By Leo Babauta

This morning I didn’t feel like doing anything. It’s a combination of overtiredness from a few days of hard work, and a lack of sleep last night.

I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything important this morning, which is a rare thing for me. And I just felt bad in general. I started to doubt myself, and wonder whether anything I do is worthwhile.

I sat here in this funk and wondered how to get out of it. Should I just forget about today? Should I just give up what I do, because I’m not as good at it as I thought I was?

That was definitely what I was considering. But I knew this mild depression was temporary, and so I thought about possible solutions. And then some of them actually worked — little tricks of the mind that can have a real effect on reality.

Here’s what I did that worked, in hopes that it might help you if these feelings ever come up..

1. I stopped being so self-centered. I think we all have the tendency to put ourselves at the center of the universe, and see everything from the viewpoint of how it affects us. But this can have all kinds of effects, from feeling sorry for ourselves when things aren’t going exactly as we’d like, to doubting ourselves when we aren’t perfect. So instead of worrying so much about myself, I thought about other people I might help. Finding small ways to help others gets me out of my self-centered thinking, and then I’m not wallowing in self-pity anymore — I’m starting to think about what others need. I’m not doubting myself, because the question of whether I’m good enough or not is not the central question anymore. The central question is what others need. So thinking about others instead of myself helps solve self-doubt and self-pity.

2. I loosened my identity. We all have this picture of ourselves, this idea of what kind of person we are. When this idea gets threatened, we can react very defensively. People can question whether we did a good job, and this threatens our idea of ourselves as competent — and so we can become angry or hurt at the criticism. Someone can accuse you of lying and this threatens your idea that you’re a good person, and so you can get angry and attack the other person. My identity of myself as someone who is motivated and productive and has good ideas and so forth … this was getting in the way this morning. When I wasn’t productive, it made me despair because then I was worried I wasn’t who I thought I was. My solution was to realize that I’m not one thing. I’m not always productive — sometimes I am, but sometimes I’m lazy. I’m not always motivated — sometimes I am, but other times I don’t feel like working. I don’t always have good ideas. I can be many things, and so this identity of mine becomes less fragile, more antifragile. Then it doesn’t matter if someone thinks I didn’t do a good job — because I don’t always do a good job. I make mistakes, I am less than perfect. And that’s perfectly OK.

3. I remembered that this day counts. I only have so many days left on earth. I don’t know how many that is, but I do know it’s a very limited number. I know that each one of those limited days is a gift, a blessing, a miracle. And that squandering this miracle is a crime, a horrible lack of appreciation for what I’ve been given. And so, I reminded myself this morning that this day counts. That I should do something with it. That doesn’t mean I need to work myself into the ground, type until my fingers are mere nubs, but that I should do something worthwhile. Sometimes taking a break to nourish yourself is a worthwhile activity, because that allows you to do other worthwhile things, but just sitting around in self-pity isn’t helpful, I’ve found. So I got up and did something.

4. I created movement. It can be hard to get moving when you are stuck. This is how I felt in 2005 when I couldn’t change any of my habits. It was really hard to motivate myself when I didn’t think I would succeed, when I felt horrible about myself. But I took one small step, and it felt good. That’s what I did this morning — I took the smallest possible step. Just opening up a document, just starting a list, just getting out a notebook. These are so small as to be insignificant, and yet so easy as to be possible. And it showed me the next step was possible, and the next.

I’m still feeling tired, and so I’ll take a nap later. But I’m feeling better, because I took these steps.

I know some of you feel the same way from time to time, maybe more often than you’d like to admit. That’s OK. We all do. We are not machines, perfectly oiled and constantly charged up and ready to fire on all cylinders. We are human, which means we falter, we doubt, we feel pain.

And this too shall pass."

‘Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.’~Helen Keller