Thursday, 19 November 2009


Its that time again! The annual Jewellery and Metal Design Christmas sale opens from 10th - 15th of December. Where we offer a variety of handmade jewellery which have all been beautifully created by our current 4th year girls. We will all be exhibiting a few pieces each and are offering a 10% discount on the marked price for the opening night of the 10th of December in the Crawford building at the main foyer where free wine and munchies will be provided. Come along, bring friends and family and treat yourself or buy some last minute Christmas presents.

There will also be an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for your chance to win a beautiful silver charm bracelet with each individual charm created by a different Jeweller. As well as a chance to win runner up prizes of beautiful silver pendants. The raffle will be drawn on the 15th of December and tickets are available for any 4th year jewellers.

If you haven't already been invited then please accept our invitation at our Christmas Sale's Facebook page and to add your RSVP! Everyone welcome and hope to see you all there :)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Its All Happening!

Shame on me, iv neglected my blog for far too log. Moving flats, starting back uni and a couple of changes of jobs have kept me so busy recently. And I'm sure things wont get any easier anytime soon.

So let start with uni... that me reached my incredibility scary 4th year. Its all self directed, so iv decided to take off where I started off last year. Im going to keep going with the narrative theme, look into simulating senses and hiding meanings. Im still at the beginning stages so as once as I have something half decent ill get some sketches and samples up. We also have a lot of competitions on the horizon...oh the we need more work.

Im now living with four other jewellers this year... and the antics have already began! We are still prettifying the place, but were getting there! But unfortunately we have managed to kill all four of our gold fish. This is now a pet free flat!.

If you need cheering up...or are like me and have a thing for Jim from the US Office, then you need to see 'Away We Go'. Its definitely the best film of the summer fo sur!!

:0) x

Monday, 27 July 2009

Wonderful Words Of Wisdom

During my very productive!!! dissertation research journey today! (now girls don't be too shocked by that :)) I came across a inspiring artist and designer, Stephanie Syjuco....who had some great word of wisdom for this years graduates at UC Berkeley Art Department. But i think what she has to say wouldn't go a miss with all us current undergraduates :D

"Now, perhaps more humorously, I offer the class of 2009 some tips that helped me immediately after graduating from a BFA program fourteen years ago and an MFA program four years ago. There is nothing super original about these tips, they just worked for me. You may have already discovered these things for yourself. Parents, you may not want to hear these, but I’m sorry.

–Dumpsterdive. It’s amazing what you don’t have to pay for, especially on a limited post-school budget. Just make sure you pull only the least expired food out to eat.

–Decide that sacrifice is not a sacrifice. If you are choosing to be an artist, don’t do it halfway. A painting teacher once said to me: “If you’re driving around in your car complaining that you don’t have enough money for oil paints, you’re nuts. You should sell your car and buy oil paints. Simple as that.” This isn’t about romance and living a quote-unquote “artist lifestyle.” This is about the necessity and the discipline it will take to focus as much time and energy into your work, that problematic and at times nebulous thing that you have been shaping and honing the past few years here. If you don’t take yourself seriously, no one else will.

–Don’t stop. The odds aren’t in your favor, there are so many distractions, so many things calling for your attention. But don’t stop making work.

–Compromise your living situation to afford a decent studio. Make peace with the idea that you will be crammed into a flat with more roommates than you can handle and that’s the tradeoff for paying for your own studio, your own bit of space to make work. See it as an investment, and not an option.

–Treat others in the artworld with respect, no matter what position you think they occupy. There’s a lovely saying that you should always be good to that gallery intern because they will one day be the museum director. This is not a joke.

–Find a job that you are either totally uninvested in emotionally or one that allows you access to ways of working on your own art while on company time. In other words, sometimes that cafĂ© job isn’t the greatest career choice but it’s a means of making some money, getting free coffee, and allowing you more time in the studio. I spent nine years working at a museum because of the free woodshop and fabrication facilities, which I quietly took advantage of as often as possible, sneaking my own work onto company time.

–Honor your intangible labor in the studio, even when you or others don’t see apparent results.

–Don’t always know what’s fully going on in your work. Despite what your formal training is probably telling you, leave some “X” factors to both confound yourself and give the viewer something to grapple with.

–Never be more interesting than your own artwork. Period.

–Love others and take care of yourself. It’s so easy to be selfish for the sake of “the work.” Take the time to invest in your relationships because they will nurture you in more ways than you can imagine—lovers and partners, especially. Balance your love of solitariness with your love for them. There is nothing sadder than a lonely art star.

–Change the terms under which you exist. To pilfer a few economic recession terms currently in vogue: Dismantle. Restructure. Reorganize.

Finally, I think it’s funny that the term “practice” is used when referring to having an art “practice”. This whole thing is not practice. THIS. IS. FOR. REAL. Now go and live like it’s the only reality you’ve got."

Friday, 26 June 2009

Boy Oh Boy!!!

I have seriously been neglecting my blog recently but in my defence I have very good reasons for my absent! With the Westend Festival in the middle of June, which unfortunately this year didn't do as well as I expected! The credit crunch really has hit home :(. But hopefully the next craft sale will do better :).

And the second and main reason for my absent was because on June 23rd I became an Aunt! A beautiful baby born on a beautiful day! Little baby Nathan Reid made a surprise arrival almost 2 weeks early (definitely not a trate he got from his mum) weighing a tiny 6 pounds 8 ounce, but boy does he have the longest finger and legs. Both Mummy Sharon and Nathan are doing well and Daddy Stuart has a constant smile on his face. And the rest of the family are all completely smitten by him...especially me :). Auntie Nic intends to spoil him rotten no matter what mummy says :). So I intend to try and travel down home a bit more to spend time with Nathan and my sister...but it feels like iv been working non-stop since finishing up for the summer.

I have been feeling very unproductive in the dissertation department too :(.Really, Really, REALLY need to get my finger out and get on with it! Anyone fancy giving me a shake lol. It also doesn't help when you seem to have no time management skills. So if anyone has any tips, please share...Any help would be good.

Off to work at T in the Park on the 10th...That feed my new habbit....spoiling Nathan :)

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Etsy and babies....its been a busy week!

My Etsy Banner.....

Over the last few days I have been setting up my Etsy page. Since things at the Hannah Zakari website didn't exactly take off....I'm thinking now it just wasn't the write place for my designs. But I'm hoping this might be little more successful. I have a couple of friends already on Etsy who have giving me some useful info on selling and tips on how to promote yourself. So ill cross my fingers!


Baby reid at 5 1/2 months......

Iv been back down home at my parents for the last few days and its been lovely catching up with everyone! Went for a nice wee lunch with my friend Sam on Monday and the rest of my time iv been spending with my huge (well huge bump) sister....shes and baby have been growing lots since I last saw them. Got my first feel of the baby kicking tonight and i got such a lump in my throat! I now just cant wait till baby Reid is here! Just another few months to go! I'm betting on it being a girl :)


Heading back home to Dundee tomorrow, fully loaded with food....i think my mother thinks us students don't eat enough....but I'm not complaining. I will need get my head down once I'm home. With lots of deadlines on the horizon there will be no Easter fun for me! We can do that once 3rd year is over :)

Night all


Friday, 27 March 2009

The start of my 4th year journey!:S

Today i had a meeting with my main tutor for my 3rd year projects. As we have pretty much finished for the summer, the tutors thought it would be a good idea for us to start thinking about where we would like to go with forth year, which will ultimately lead to our degree show (scary thought). After out last Narrative project (which i really enjoyed) I think i would like to create a collection of piece withing the 'Narrative Theme' and looking into incorporating some kinda of textiles. I would also like to research the idea of jewellery which evokes the sense...looking into touch and smell.

In my meeting my tutor suggested that i would be better starting with an idea and developing through making, which i totally agree with as i was just drawing from source and getting nowhere. So my next step will be to start a selection of samples that will hopefully develop into pieces i will use in 4th year. I have been playing around with stitching recently and i will hopefully be getting the use of one the free hand sewing machines from the textiles department...thanks to ash :D.

me and ash...

So a little more development throughout the weekend but for tonight, I'm off to ash's for dinner...yum yum :D


Friday, 20 March 2009

Done and dusted!

All my hard work is finally over and has paid off. We presented our Narrative project yesterday and it was really nice going round every ones pieces and seeing how other people had interpreted there theme. Everyone piece looked really can really see where some people might be going for forth year...where as me, I'm still baffled. Its really scary to think that forth year is coming in so quickly. Hopefully ill be able to pull it out the bag like i have done for third your. Above is the brooche i made for this project and this is my artist statement...

Nicola Wyllie – Life after death

My three brooches have been hugely influenced by the theme of ‘Life after death’ where I focused on using mainly Victorian mourning jewellery as my source material, as well as looking into the sense of touch.

I wanted to create a piece that kept the traditional style and theme of Victorian jewellery but also incorporate a form or texture that could enhance the wearers sense of touch. I focused on using the traditional shape and form of Victorian jewellery by using the oval, which is widely seen in Victorian jewellery, and including layers of fine chain. To create the wearers sense of touch I developed the idea of the skins reaction to touch, which led me to try and create a texture that represented Goosebumps. I did this by centre punching a design on very thin silver sheet, which gave the silver an almost brail affect. I wanted to make these designs very fragile looking, so I kept the white finish on the silver, instead of polished finish. I also wanted to create a soft texture, which would tickle the skin and in theory give the wearer Goosebumps. To achieve this I used thin, soft gold thread, which I loosely stitched into the silver. I liked the look and feel of the stitching so much that I decide to combine my layers of silver sheet by stitching them together, rather than just riveting them.

.....this piece is the one that i got picked to be presented, with 5 other girls pieces, to a retiring lecturer as a gift. We find out on Tuesday who's piece he picked and whoever wins a nice little bungle of cash (well £50, that buys a few drinks lol). And below is two other brooches that are slightly simpler.

It was also Sally, one of our part-time tutors, last day. I think all the girls are really gonna miss the big help that she has been this year. But she off to do bigger, brighter things :)

Had a bit of bad news this week with my job. I thought that because I'm a student the recession wouldn't affected me...but i was wrong. My hours at work are being cut, so iv been on the job hunt the past week, but I'm thinking i should put my craft into practice and take the scary decision to create my Etsy page. Iv been putting it off for the past year and i don't know why. So I'm gonna make a start on some new piece and see how it goes down and if it doesn't work, i haven't really lost anything.

Off for a well deserved lazy night :D x

Friday, 13 March 2009

A very productive day indeed :)

Wooohoo! Managed to finish my Narrative brooch today. I think this is a first for me, finishing a project almost a week early. Who'd of thunk it lol. No picture of my piece as such yet, but will try to get a few on during the weekend. I think i might use next weeks spare time to make a similar locket version of my brooch and maybe even knock up a little something for my mum....since its nearly Mothers Day!

My friend Sandra Cassidy has just launched her new website, Ruby Loves Red, where you can see her latest work as well as order custom made Birds, Cats or Rabbits....the bunnies are my favourite :D!

Thursday, 5 March 2009


Had a bit of a lazy morning today... but my excuse for it was i was waiting in for the postman. I ordered some lovely fine chain from Cooksons, which ill be using in my Narrative piece, and thankfully it came this morning, meaning....tomorrow I can get my head down in the workshop.

These are a couple of pages out of my narrative sketch book. First off is a quick line drawing i did, taking inspiration from my mind map. Another image is trying to represent this idea of capturing memories as well as trying to find a way to give the wearer a sense of something spooky almost. I was once told by a clairvoyant , that when you have a sense of something tickling your skin, almost like walking into cobwebs, which gives you goosebumps, can mean a spirit is close by. So I'm going to try and incorporate a way to create this in my piece.

Today I also visited the Visual Research Centre at the DCA, where they have a lovely collection of artists has giving me some really good ideas on how to present my drawing and sketch books in a more unique way.

Off to do more work :D

Saturday, 28 February 2009

All work and lots of play...

I hope everyone has had as much fun on pancake day as me and a couple of my friends did! As we are all pretty inexperienced in the pancake making department which resulted in lots of mess but lots of fun. We had all the ingredients but no idea how to mix them, but with a quick phone call to my mother (who i must say is an amazing baker) we got there in the end :D! But the aftermath did make my poor little kitchen look as though a bomb had hit it!

I have been in the design department all this week getting on with my Narrative project. Iv started to collect inspiration from Victorian Mourning Jewellery.....looking at the way they used 'keepsake' to remember the dead. Some of the piece iv seen are very pretty crossed with being a bit creepy, as they tended to use a lot of human hair. A contemporary take on the uses of mourning jewellery is shown by Julia Deville, who uses gold and silver, as well as materials which were once living, like jet and taxidermist animals

Meliane Bilenker is a designer who uses small pieces of hair to create line drawing in her brooches.

Both these designer have really made me think about using a mixture of different materials in my piece, altho....i cant see myself using dead animal!

This month is going to be a very busy one at university! Lots of hand-ins due as well as dissertation proposals :(....but i hope to get a move on with my designs for the Westend Festival. As soon as I do I'll get some pictures up :)

Off to enjoy the rest of my lazy night


Tuesday, 17 February 2009


I was back in the workshop today to make a start on my new brief, which is to design a narrative brooch (basically a brooch which tells a story). We were give a few topic heading to get us started and iv decided to base mines around the heading 'Life After Death'. So to get the creative juices flowing we have been asked to create giant visual mind maps! He's mine...

Im really looking forward to getting into the workshop with this one!!! Might make more than just the one brooch!

I have also heard back from the organisers of the Westend Festival... and I am soooo excited to say that I will be taking part again this year! In the next couple of weeks ill be getting up some design that I will be making.

Off out to my friend Rhiannons for some chocolate cake and a dvd session :)

Byeee for now! x

Friday, 13 February 2009

Busy Bee!

Ooops! I have managed to abandon my blog for over to months....tut tut! Thought it was not through laziness as i have been a very busy bee the over the last two months! With a trip home over christmas and new year, then a university trip to the NYC!!!

And then straight back into the workshops with our most recent breif, which was my research project. The outcomes of this project were to investigate a designer and there methods and inspirations they uses within there work. Then to produce a piece using there methods or inspiration (and not a direct copy). As well as a 10minute presentation to the rest of our class and tutors. I must say i was dreading this project at first but after i recieved my designer, Yoko Izawa, who i was really interested in...seemed to made the presentation feel a lot easier to do! (im usually terrible at public speaking!) below is the piece i produced, a long unattached neck piece

And one of my favourite example of Yoko's knitted bracelets.

So now im just wait to get hold of my next project, which i think is going to be a narrative piece :)....i can see me doing a lot of photo etching fun! But with the way the weather has been the last couple of day ( a snow day on Thursday as it got that heavy they closed the univercity!!!) who knows!

Im gonna try keep a bit more up to date with my blogging....:D

ta ta for now!