Monday, 31 January 2011

Ancient arts and crafts

We'll be adding lots of new courses to the the website over the next few months and we'd like to introduce you to our newest recruit Marta Cunha, who makes the most beautiful jewellery from Origami.

After developing a passion for origami, she soon realised that origami could be more than a hobby and the designs could be made small enough to be worn as unique items of jewellery and so Dark Horse Origami was born.

Starting initially with traditional Japanese Washi papers, she has recently moved from folding paper shapes to folding silver and below is a picture of her pure silver origami lily earrings, which she also makes as a pendant. 

Featured on her blog dark horse, these minuature fushia flower earrings with Swarovski crystals are so delicate, yet pretty. I so wanted to treated myself at Christmas!

If you feel inspired then Marta is teaching our new Origami jewellery class where you can learn how to create origami shapes and the art of shrinking what you learn into a pair of earrings, pendant and brooch.

Friday, 28 January 2011

'Making' magazine feature!

Ministry of Craft's very own Sam Sterken is featured in this month's January issue of Making magazine! Making is a great new publication that offers fantastic tutorials and inspiration for all you crafters out there. Take a peek for some insight into the history behind and aspirations of Ministry of Craft. Enjoy!

Monday, 24 January 2011

First guest post by Rachael Elwell...

I'm really excited to be making my first guest post for the Ministry of Craft blog!  
For my first post I'd like to share my new found love of knitted and crocheted jewelry; what I have been making; and how other designers are also using similar techniques to create some stunning pieces of Jewelry.

L: Ministry of Craft tutor Rachael Elwell

On April 16th I will be delivering a short workshop at Ministry Of Craft, teaching participants how to create their very own knitted bracelet , complete with beautiful beading and ready to wear by the end of the class.  Click here for more info.
I have been experimenting, researching and creating many samples using different colour wires and beads to find the perfect combination to create knitted jewelry that can be made with the most basic of techniques. I must say that the inspiration for these pieces came from The Bead Shop in my home town of Todmorden, West Yorkshire.

Here are some examples of what I have been making...

Work in progress

Detail of bracelet being made

One of the finished bracelets.

When I started knitting with wire I decided to take a look on the internet to see how other crafters have been making their jewelry creations with knitting and crochet too, and i found these beauties...

From the 'Entangled' Collection by Niiro of Izola, Slovenia: Found here

Unfortunately the Esty Link for this piece no longer exists

Using yarn, cabled bangles by Klytemnestra : Found here

This could work so well with pleated wire knitted tubes!!
By A Alicia (check out her portfolio, it's amazing!!)

Quirky little knitted mustache pendent by Nanouke

This piece is exquisite! I must find out how those beautiful side boarders have been made: 

That's all for now. I really hope you have enjoyed reading my first guest blog post on the Ministry of Craft blog. 

Happy crafting, Rachael :o)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Time to shine

To mix things up a bit our very talented knitting tutor Racheal Elwell of Art yarn is teaching a knitted jewellery course, next Saturday (22nd January). Mmmm.. sounds a bit frumpy knitted jewellery. Not this kind.

Using our selection of fine coloured wires and bright sparkly seed beads and glass bicones, you can create a gorgeous ready to wear bracelet like the one below. All you need to be able to do is a basic knit stitch and to cast on and off. It's all done and dusted in 3 hours and ready for your Saturday night out (or in)! Click here for more details - Knit it now! - Stunning wire bracelet

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Pretty as a picture plate...

One of our very creative tutors Nico Dawson, who runs the Manchester Craft Mafia's Lo Fi DIY night, recently taught people how to draw on china with some impressive results.

Esther Coombes has taken this a whole step further, with her beautiful hand illustrations on everything from plates to vintage tea towels, upcycling once forgotten things into beautiful items. I love the seed markers, which would make great gifts for green fingered friends.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Christmas buys from Manchester Craft Mafia Craft fair

I love treating everyone else at Christmas, but I always feel that a little treat wouldn't go a miss for me, so I couldn't resist the ring and necklace below from two of the many stalls at the Manchester Craft Mafia Christmas Fair.

The bird ring was made by a friend, Clare, who also sells through her lovely website Redd& and has already attracted lots of nice comments.

The necklace is from Madam CC, another talented maker and I have to admit I've worn it plenty over Christmas. It's simple but effective, with wording saying "another song for your approval'.