Jewellery can be art!!

Some of you have been following the progress of the new glass jewellery on here or on my FB page so you will know how wet and messy I got in pursuit of a new style of glass jewellery! Thanks for the encouragement along the way – it was very helpful and I’m pleased to say it’s the start of something new and exciting! For me it’s where art and jewellery have come together – I’m so excited!

I delivered loads of new necklaces, earrings, rings, bangles, cufflinks and one little (well biggish) brooch to Nucleus last Friday for the Bling Bling exhibition. It looks great all displayed in the cabinets and has received some great feedback so far! When the exhibit finishes tomorrow I will be sending it out to the Nucleus shops in Rochester and Maidstone, and taking some proper pictures of it with the intention to get my Etsy shop back up and running so I can spread the love beyond Kent!

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Here are a couple of pics to whet your appetite – more colour combo’s will be made soon, so any requests or ideas for colours you wold like to see swished randomly together, please comment here or on my Facebook page! (www.facebok.com/adornjewelleryandglassart)

The bottom picture is the original slab that all but the blue jewellery was made from – as you can see, I got impatient and decided to make three colours in one slab. This turned out to be a genius idea (I know,I know!) as the points at which those stacks melted together, gave me the most interesting chunks of glass, which I wouldn’t have naturally put together. YAY! Hope you like them x

On a slightly different note, I have decided to do a weekly or fortnightly recommend of a ‘Classy’ independent tea or coffee shop in my local, so if you have any ideas for nice establishments to visit, please let me know and I’ll do my best to go and eat cake and drink coffee and tea there! It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, if we want to support our lovely local independent businesses! 

Today I visited ‘Bruno’s French Bakes and Coffee’ which is at 12a High St Rochester, Kent – https://www.facebook.com/brunosfrenchbakes I have to say, the smell of fresh baking and coffee from the pavement outside was enough of an enticement to go in, but once there, the friendly staff and Bruno himself were the icing on the still-warm cinamon cake!! Bruno (who IS actually French) chatted away, happy to share his pastry recipe with a customer, and offered us tasters of the delicious rye bread, fresh from a little independent bakery in Maidstone, and delivered fresh every day – but you have to be quick as once it’s gone, that’s it till tomorrow! It’s a tiny shop, with an eclectic mix of seating and decor – local art on the wall and something being baked up throughout the day. It was a delight – especially as I bumped into a friend at the counter and then got to taste her salted caramel and chocolate tart too! Gosh, what a lucky girl I am! 

Do pop in there and let me know what you decided to have! I brought home a seeded sourdough loaf, which will go nicely with my tomato soup for lunch! Cheers!

Bev x

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A Crying Shame

Now I’m not one to get all political and shout about injustice and the wrongs of the world, but this week I can honestly say I have been so sad and disappointed in my local council that I totally understood the phrase ‘a crying shame’.

As you probably know, I am a small independant glass artist, lucky enough to be associated with a local charity that supports local art and I have volunteered in one of their retail/gallery spaces once a week for over 5 years now – Nucleus Arts in Rochester (Kent). Unlike most High Streets, Rochester, as well as having one of the oldest Castles and Cathedrals in the country, has the quaintest, most unique and friendly gathering of small local businesses – shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs. You could say that, along with being famously ‘Dickensian’ with it’s festivals and landmarks associated with the great man, these independent businesses are what makes Rochester, Rochester!

So it was with horror, but a sense that it surely wouldn’t actually happen, that I recently signed an e-petition (along with nearly 1000 other locals) to plead with our local council NOT to allow the massive chain that is COSTA COFFEE, to take over one of the most desirable, beautiful and best positioned buildings in the High Street! We already have (off the top of my head…) 10 fantastic, individual and welcoming tea and coffee shops – there may be more that I’ve forgotten. They rub along nicely together and fit in with the unique nature of our beloved Rochester extremely well. They connect with the local community, some providing space for artistic endeavours, and they are all owned and staffed by local people, who know who you are when you go in, and treat you with a sense of familiarity that these huge conglomerates never do.

So, imagine my distress when I read on facebook on Friday that our council planners in their 11-4 majority wisdom, have deemed that COSTA pose no threat or detriment to the wellbeing and livelihood of the High Street and it’s independent businesses! WHAT???? Sorry, didn’t they read the e-petition, the hand-written petition, the nearly 200 letters in objection to this application? Apparently not – apparently they read the ONE letter in support and were clearly dazzled by the corporate spin (and dare I say it, money) of the COSTA PR machine, who, I might add have already got permission  to put another COSTA unit into the new Rochester Station that is being built over the road from the high st and probably 150M away from this delightful old building. Grrrrrrrrr!!!!

Sorry, but my rant is not over – I could cry at the sense of disappointment I felt when I realised that money speaks louder than the local residents who pay the wages of the local SERVANTS who represent their interests. I can draw no other conclusion…. call it cynical….. call it whinging….. I am so outraged I can feel myself thinking I should organise a march of protest!! And that’s really not me lol I have messaged @MarkReckless MP and asked him how this has happened – no reply and no comment on his FB page or twitter.

I guess that the conclusion I have therefore reached is that independent small businesses actually have nobody but themselves and each other to look out for them. Medway is fortunate that the arts scene is strong and lively and supportive and we will do our best to support our local cafes and tea shops and vote with our purses – we will NOT be visiting Costa Coffee – and as one of my friends said, maybe we will pick up their discarded take-away cups off our historic flagstone pavements and post them back to Costa through their antique letter box!

There you have it! When I have calmed down (maybe tomorrow) I will tell you all about Bling Bling and show you some lovely pictures of the new jewellery collection x