Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Emily Swift-Jones: Sparklewren Boutique Opens

I found this photograph on the internet on the Geishaface blog by a lady who came to the opening - resplendent in her kimono and corset. Which was quite a feet considering how humid it was that day!

 I designed the panels to be removable so that they could be easily transported and used as backdrops or as a screen. Jenni Sparklewren Hampshire has used them as a backdrop for several fabulous photoshoots of her exquisite work and as a bonus I get lovely pictures of my work illuminating hers!

My signature "mon"

these are my "mon" - signature tags which I apply to my larger work. The mon is a symbol used in Japan to represent a household in the same way as the coat of arms was used in europe.  I originally had them made for a guest wc I designed for my client using posished plaster (see the pictures below). I have 3 different designs which I use individually or in combination. I have a classic japanese chrysanthemum, an alchemists symbol which represents gold  and a design in which my namesake the swift flies through stylized waves representing my home by the sea.
Here they are gilded in 22 carat gold. The next process is to pick out the background in matt black.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Details of work in progress

Whilst I am waiting with baited breath to see the pictures taken by the professional photographer I thought I'd share some pics I took to show Jenni of Sparklewren how the panels were progressing.

at this point we decided to make the charcoal a fissure so I began to fill in the top left with textured gold. this also helped to make a more natural shape as I felt the slope was looking too even and unnatural.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Sparklewren Boutique Opens

Emily Swift-Jones: Emily Swift-Jones: New commission

so after a 4 hour drive in a very cramped car with three large gilded panels and a couple of 2m long gilded mirrors  I arrived in Birmingham to deliver and hang my precious cargo. It couldn't have been more humid...just what you want when you are up a ladder trying to hang large, heavy and fragile things onto mystery substrates, but they are all still hanging solidly and beautifully so it's a win.
Jenni was really excited to finally meet the pieces I'd made for her. I sent regular photos to show their progress, but didn't send final shots because I didn't want to spoil the surprise.
As is so often the case it proved really hard to get good shots of them because of the lighting and reflections so I have my fingers crossed that the lovely photographer from the Birmingham Mail has worked some magic with his enormous camera.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Emily Swift-Jones: New commission

Emily Swift-Jones: New commission

Jennis' window is empty and awaiting displays. The ceiling and background will be painted a charcoal grey and we are painting a black border directly onto the big curved glass window. The materials are ordered.
This is the basic mock-up I created for approval from Jenni
3 large panels which can also be used as a room screen or display background and two slightly aged gold verre eglomise mirrors to reflect her gorgeous creations in the window.
It's so frustrating that the bank holiday means I won't have my basic materials until next week. i can't wait to start

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Trying things out

I was doing some samples for my day job and came up with this. I think I'm going to have to make another to replace it now because I have a black lacquer frame languishing upstairs which I think will really suit this!
I did just that and made another in black and one with red bole showing through. One of my interiors clients likes it so much that they have commissioned me to do their formal salon in Rio de Janeiro in this finish with an arsenic green base colour. I've never been to Brazil before! I need to source most of my materials locally as their import duty is very high and restrictive.

this is a close-up of the texture. The colour in this picture is rather more peacock than the reality and those blue bits are actually white gold!

New commission

Through my blogspot and Pinterest page I met the lovely and extremely talented Jenni Hampshire. The designer and creator of fabulously elaborate corsets and gowns at Sparklewren I think she came across my work whilst researching a project she had in mind and posted some pictures of my work on her Pinterest boards. I got in touch to thank her and we have been in lively conversation about collaborating in the future - no details yet, it's top secret,  you'll just have to wait and see!
 I can tell you that Jenni is preparing to open a gorgeous boutique in Birminghams City Centre in June and has asked me to create some verre eglomise panels and 3 large gilded pieces for her fabulous window display. How exciting! I can't wait to get going on them....

Monday, 21 May 2012

New website for the new me

I have been beavering away in my attic to create a new website. I think the new one represents me a lot better with a portfolio of my work in interiors and a separate one for my artwork. Soon there will be a shop where my decorative furniture, verre eglomise mirrors and artwork will be for sale directly over the internet. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012


The first verre eglomise splashback I did using a mixture of gold, lemon gold, white gold and palladium leaf!
A wee bit of verre eglomise for the splashback of a clients guest wc - making the most of a small space! My client loved the contemporary finish, but wanted it fit in with the tradition mahogany fittings so I grained the frame to bring it together.
A verre eglomise mosaic backsplash I installed in my kitchen. It gave me an opportunity to play with a few techniques. 

Recent verre eglomise commission

This is a recent commission which I completed for a London client. The client actually prefered the back of the glass to the front so I had to work out how to seal and protect the leaf for use as the surface. What you can't see in this photograph is that when the dressing room lights are on (behind the glass) the lights filters through the glass where it has been rubbed through to achieve a semi-transparent effect. This is water-gilded moon gold and silver leaf.

Monday, 19 March 2012

getting going again

it's been quite a while since I posted last or started a new piece, but with spring literally sprung I feel creative again. Here is a new piece I'm working on which was inspired by love of Japanese gilded lacquer. It's a very abstracted version of what is usually created with very intricate and precise work.
A winter view of wetland