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Artisan Whimsy UK Challenge – Island Memories

on November 11, 2012

Artisan Whimsy is a new website for anyone involved in beads, beading and jewellery making and its components to share ideas, knowledge and chat.  The main UK contributors have set a challenge for all members of this site to design a piece of jewellery based on one of their home towns/counties – Southampton, Bath, Bristol, Liverpool,  Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

I’ve chosen the Isle of Wight as I have many happy holiday memories from there.  I first visited in 1953 (I must be very old!) and have returned many times with various family members including this year with my grandson.  My finished necklace is below


 Obviously being an Island there were lots of nautical themes I could have focused on and as a holiday destination there are plenty of interesting places to visit from Osborne House, a home of Queen Victoria to dinosaur island or butterfly world.  In the end I decided to focus on some of my best memories.  A major gateway to the Island is Ryde Pier, a very long pier which takes you to Ryde Esplanade by foot, car or train.  The long bead in my necklace(sarahdownton.etsy.com) reminded me of the pier structure with the criss cross gold pattern and the colours echoed the changing colour of the sea and the sand that can be seen from the pier, it’s length made it an ideal candidate to represent the pier.  This brought back many memories of the anticipation of arriving for a holiday or just a pleasant day out

Here are two photos, one showing the pier today and the other is me as a child, a very long time ago (!), with the pier in the background from a different angle. 



    The other beads represent the green landscape, the hills, abundant flowers, the fossils which I constantly looked for as a child and the sea.  The beautiful lampwork beads are made by Sarah Downton, link above.  The ribbon has similar colours to the sandy cliff at Alum Bay where you can fill various shaped bottles as souvenirs of your trip.  And the tied on ribbon reminds me of the streamers we waved at the many summer carnivals, these are still held today.  The Ryde carnival is the oldest in the UK and started in 1887.  Whilst the Island has changed over the years many things remain the same and the pace of change seems much slower, I’m sure this encourages familiarity with the surroundings and adds to the  enjoyment
Lastly the clasp and aqua melon bead were made on the Isle of Wight by Bo Hulley, one of our hosts (www.etsy.com/shop/Bohulleybeads.  The Island is roughly a diamond shape so the clasp seemed fitting to finish this piece.   Here is a sketch showing the features of my necklace laid out in the shape of the IOW and what they represent to me..

Artisan Whimsy

 UK Inspiration Challenge

Below are the blogs of those taking part in the UK Inspiration Challenge as at 11th November –

Please have a look at what everyone has made or go to the Artisan Whimsy UK challenge site http://artisanwhimsy.ning.com/page/uk-inspiration-challenge!
The Hosts
Lesley Watt Gossiping Goddess

Rebecca Anderson Songbeads

Pippa Chandler Pip’s Jewellery

Teresa Hulley Bo Hulley Beads

Natalie McKenna Grubbi

Jo Tinley Daisychain Designs


Gale White Bantering Bird on Flickr

Ginger Bishop Lilmummylikes

Cece Cormier The Beading Yogini

Therese Frank Therese’s Treasures

Cilla Watkins Tell Your Girlfriends

Sherry Baun

Kay Toodles and Binks


Therese Frank Therese’s Treasures

Kashmira Patel Sadafulee

Caroline Dewison Blueberribeads

Pam Sears Crazy Creative Corner

Sherry Baun

Leigh Thow Jewellrleigh

Lucy Haslam


Cynthia Machata  http://antiquitytravelers.blogspot.com

Pam Sears Crazy Creative Corner

Sherry Baun

Isle of Wight

Duane Clark Bizzy Bead

Sharyl McMillian-Nelson Sharyl’s Jewelry

Leigh Thow Jewellrleigh

Jean Wright Just Beadey

D Lynne Bowland Islandgirl’s Insights

Lisa Lodge Pine Ridge Treasures

Sherry Baun


Jean A. Wells  http://www.jeanawells.blogspot.com

Shalini Austin   Jewellery by Shalini

Doris Stumpf Glaszwerg

Sherry Baun

Lennis C Windbent


Sherri Stokey Knot Just Macramé

Sherry Baun

Leigh Thow Jewellrleigh

Kathy Lindemer Bay Moon Design

Can you create a piece of jewellery or a jewellery component inspired by where the UK Blog team live?


7 responses to “Artisan Whimsy UK Challenge – Island Memories

  1. I like your used of fabric way better than mine! Actually I really like your piece it looks really summery! I could see me wearing this on a tropical island! I haven’t actually bee n to the Isle of Wight which is another reason I chose it… I lived in Reading in 1959, but it wasn’t on the list!

  2. That’s a beautiful design Jean, you’ve captured it perfectly!

  3. Wonderful entry. The symbolism is perfect and your necklace is beautiful. The Isle of Wight must be a beautiful place to inspire so many beautiful pieces of jewelry.

  4. Beautiful necklace Jean, thank you for taking us down memory lane of the Isle of Wright.

  5. Jo Tinley says:

    A beautiful seaside necklace! And great that you used one of Teresa’s clasps in your design too. The lampwork bead actually reminds me of the coloured sands at Alum Bay on the Island and filling up a glass lighthouse with layers of coloured sand as a child on holiday there. For those of you who haven’t visited the Isle of Wight, look here http://www.theneedles.co.uk/sand_shop.php to see what I’m on about!

  6. windbent says:

    Your necklace has a very whimsical quality that makes me want to visit. Sometimes seasides can be depressing (seen better days or tourists only so it’s lost it’s soul) or austere (with imposing lines). This communicates your sense of fun in visiting. Well done.

  7. Kashmira says:

    Haha, so cute! Totally looks like an underwater scene 🙂

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