Friday, February 5, 2016

Intern Wanted!


Wanted: a jewellery intern! 


Rochedale, Brisbane. 9am -2pm Tuesday. 


Creative, reliable, passionate about jewellery, some experience an advantage. Tools not necessary.

My previous intern went on to undertake a jewellery apprenticeship and has stayed a close friend. So I'm looking for someone who is interested in learning, or furthering their skills as a jeweller, while helping me fill orders. Duties will include finishing and polishing castings, then progress from there. Training in jewellery design, creation, small business, industry contacts and bench time in exchange. Suit someone looking for experience to gain an apprenticeship, or someone looking to start their own small business. 


Please email me at Christina-lowry@hotmail.com with some info about yourself and any examples of your work - even in another creative field. Know someone who might be interested? Please point them this way! xx

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Goodbye


How foolish I was thinking I could prepare myself for the death of a loved one in the hope of easing the pain. Neither time or knowing it's inevitable make it any easier. I've been learning this with my lovely old cat these past few days. For all his sixteen years, and all my adult life, he was my dear black cat. Then suddenly, it was his time. I had kidded myself in to thinking I would cope better when that time came, knowing he had had a good life, knowing he was an old cat, knowing the time was coming sooner rather than later. But it did nothing to lessen the pain.

Saturday night he lay about the house in his usual cat like manner. He was a cat that knew just where you wanted to put your feet, and so there he lay. He was most fond of sleeping in front of the fridge while we attempted to prepare dinner. I think he just loved to feel involved (and annoy my husband.) Amongst the hustle and bustle of bedtime on Saturday night, he had an accident inside the house, but I thought nothing of it until the next morning. When I saw him, his little tummy was blown up like a balloon and I knew something was terribly wrong. 

We sat on the back deck with him while I waited for the Vet to open. Crying and cuddling him. Part of me still hopeful that it was just an infection and a table was the answer. But in my heart I knew it was time. I called my husband, my sister. I called my neighbour and arranged for her to look after the children. Then I called the Vet. I explained the situation and she told me it was time.

I brought a baby blanket to the Vet with me. It was a baby shower gift when I was pregnant with my first born. I've wrapped each of my babies in that soft blanket. After the needle did it's work and the Vet helped me lay Seth down, she wrapped him in that blanket too, and tucked him into my arms like a newborn.

He's buried in the garden now. Wrapped in our love, our memories and a baby blanket. 

-

More of Seth's story and my Goodbye letter to our dog, Odin, in this post.

Monday, February 1, 2016

'The Wilderness Collection' Release!

The Wilderness Collection
Botanically Inspired Fine Jewellery



 "Reconnect with nature through the botanically inspired 'Wilderness Collection.' Each piece in this range has been created using twigs cast by way of the traditional burn out method. The organic shoots are surrounded with plaster, which is heated until they are completely burnt out and only a hollow in the plaster remains. Molten metal is poured in to these cavities to produced finely detailed replicas of the original twig, meaning no two are alike. Designer and jeweller Christina Lowry then transforms these precious metal pieces in to beautiful, textured jewellery."

Product photos: Christina Lowry

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bright and Beautiful


I stared at these underwater marvels for ages when we visited the Solitary Islands Aquarium in Coffs Harbour. I really wanted to share them with you, as surely there is nothing else comparable in terms of colour, shape, movement and strangeness? They waved, nodded and undulated as the water moved. So alien to this affirmed land dweller. I can't tell you what each is called, though the last picture is a crown of thorns sea star. I hope you find them equally mesmerising. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Collections, children and crowns

Sneak peek from Friday's photo shoot with Trudi Le Brese Photography

There is so much to learn about running a small business, and I am definitely still learning. I was listening to a podcast at the end of November last year, which mentioned that small businesses should be beginning preparations for Valentine's day. I think I nearly choked on my cup of tea. Late November I was preparing for Christmas! With a photo shoot completed, Christmas cards for clients printed and ready to be sent, orders coming in and an 11 day holiday in Coffs Harbour on the horizon, Valentine's had not been on my mind at all! Until that point I thought I had been really quite organised. Thus, when January began, I was home with three children, planning and prototyping a new collection with the hope of having it ready for Valentine's Day.  

I set a goal of releasing my first collection for the year on the 1st of February, to give my lovely clients time to purchase for Valentine's Day if they so desire, and so I had a deadline to work with. I find I work well with a deadline. My husband and sister said I was crazy. At this point there were two weeks left of Janurary (and I was looking after three children full time.) One week to make and finish all the jewellery in the collection, and organise a photoshoot, during nap times and night time. Followed by one week for the photographer to edit the photos. 

Two hours before the shoot I was still polishing the last pieces of jewellery. I felt really nervous and was questioning all the creative decisions I had made for the shoot, from the location to the model, from the theme to the props. I didn't want to waste the photographer and models time. But as soon as I saw the first pics on Trudi's camera, I knew it had all fallen perfectly in to place and I relaxed and enjoyed the shoot. I was so proud of both the first and second shoot, but I think this one is the best yet and I can't wait to share all the photos - it's so hard to wait until the 1st of February!

Meanwhile I have been working all the behind the scenes things one does before a launch - photographing and editing each product image for the shop, creating new Facebook and blog headers, designing a catalogue and order form for my suppliers, writing product descriptions, blog posts, newsletters etc. in between trips to the park, building blocks and referring my seven and three year old - who are struggling to see eye to eye after six weeks together without the daily enforced break school brings with it.

So stay tuned, there's one week until the launch and I can't wait! 

If you want to be the first to see the new collection, sign up to my newsletter and keep an eye on your inbox! xx

Friday, January 22, 2016

Casting Nature


Ideas, inspiration, designs, they are all strange things, aren't they? How do you work with them? Quite often I find I design my jewellery first in my head and it stays there for awhile before I put pen to paper. A concept will float around in my mind for weeks sometimes before I pin it down and write a few words in my journal, or sketch a quick sketch in my notebook. I'll keep musing on it, adding to the jottings and sketchings, before starting to play with my ideas in metal or wax. So often the designs change direction as they make their way from my mind to my hands. So often once I begin I suddenly 'know' the answers I was asking myself about texture, scale, gemstones etc. The key is always just to begin.

What a joy it is, this whole process. This way of living in my creative mind while doing the dishes, having a shower, feeding the cats - tasks where I can let go of my focus and allow my subconscious to express it's self. What a joy it is to notice the details in the day to day, and absorb their beauty. A yellow leaf against a grey gutter. A white pigeon perched on a hills hoist. Spilt milk like a comet surrounded by constellations. Or the delicate detail of a twig, which will become lost forever amongst the leaf litter, except for a scarce few which have now been cast in silver.  

And so my new collection is coming to life, capturing the organic detail of a handful of twigs, to create jewellery to be treasured.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Childhood Musings

My dear Oscar, almost 20 months old
Empty, thankfully. A victim of the wind.
My clay creations, while attending a children's workshop.
The babies shelf
My view while breastfeeding

I love the way the third baby is just so at home in whatever space he occupies. He just seems so comfortable. At home, at friends houses, at the shops. He climbs up in to laps for cuddles. Chooses the most comfortable seats. Sits himself in his bed and sucks his thumb to admire his books. Last week he fell asleep sitting in a shopping trolley - arms folded, head on arms - to the delight of several older ladies! He is just as comfortable and fearless at playgrounds. Following in his sister's footsteps as if he were equal to her three years in age. I think pure joy is the look that radiates from his face as he slides down a slippery slide all by himself.

Next month Emerson turns four and she will no longer be my toddler. Instead, Oscar will well and truly assume that title when he turns two in May. Until then, he is still my 'baby'. It only hit me last week as we drove to the library that this is my last year with Emerson at home. (She's not going to kindy, just as Cohen didn't.) Next year she starts big school. Just last month it was still two years away, suddenly it's just one year away! And just as she is nearly four, all too soon she will be turning five. Oh how true the phrase - 'the days are long but the years are short'. She really is the middle child, I find myself thinking of her as one of 'the big two', when she is with her older brother, and one of 'the little two', when she is with the baby. Her moods and communication skills swing between their skill levels. One moment kind and articulate, the next frustrated and loud. With a little space though she is sweet, imaginative and loving with a slight obsession for pink and dolls.

My sweet seven year old can't wait to get back to school. He pours over his school pack as though it were a gift from Santa, and treats his first calculator like a Gameboy. He adores school. He loves being surrounded by children, playing at lunch time and all the new and interesting things each day. He has learnt so very much these holidays though - spending time in nature, exploring galleries, museums and aquariums, and reading, reading, reading. He won't leave the house without a book. Sometimes it's his favourite book about snakes, other times it's extreme weather. His seven year old obsessions are Pokemon and Lego Star Wars, and he has encyclopedias for both, which he carries with him everywhere. The names and details he can recall amazes me. 

My sweet children. I hope one day they read these little sketches about their lives and it brings back memories for them, or at least gives them a glimpse of how very much I love and adore them.
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