Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Some new custom work!

First of all, apologies for the radio silence these past few months. Things have been so busy, the blog has just sort of fallen by the wayside... however, I intend to fix this! I am busy compiling content for the next proper entry but for now I'd like to share with you all a recent custom order that I thoroughly enjoyed working on and am very much hoping/looking forward to seeing it on its new owner soon!

I won't go into massive detail on the brief but the main influences were Pirates of the Caribbean, Michael Jackson influenced styling and Tim Burton. At first it seemed like an odd combination and one that I wasn't sure how I'd pull off, but as soon as I started work on it it became apparent just how well it was going to work! Anyway, enough from me, I'll let the photo's do the rest of the talking!

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

Saturday, 31 July 2010

I don't want to set the world on fire...

"...I just want to start a flame in your heart".

So, here we have something a little different. As a lot of you will know, Sacré Coeur means 'Sacred Heart' in French. The name is most commonly associated with Sacré Coeur Basilica in Paris which is an absolutely stunning cathedral set up high on a hill, visible from miles around. So, obviously, the name has religious connotations as well as a literal meaning. I chose the name because, as well as having a pretty sound to it, the Sacred Heart has always been a favourite image of mine, despite my lack of religious leanings of any description. I may not be religious but that doesn't stop me from having a fascination with religious imagery and symbolism! Anyway, as such, I decided it was high time I introduced a Sacred Heart into my repertoire... which got me thinking about a mini-collection of other heart inspired designs. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce the first in a new line of cameos...

The Sacred Heart and Locked Heart cameos, set on an antique effect, dry-brushed cameo setting are reproduced from my own hand carved designs here in my studio and then hand painted individually by myself. This ensures that, though they come from the same moulds, no two will ever be identical! The fact that they are hand painted also allows for a certain degree of customisation so, should a customer require a pink heart, for example, I can provide. These cameos are large so no detail is lost. They are guaranteed to stand out and are definitely eye-catching enough to make a statement. Available on 16" chain or mounted on a length of ribbon to allow the length to be adjusted.

These will be available shortly from my Bigcartel store and my Etsy store and will also be on sale, as well as other upcoming new designs, at the London Tattoo Convention & Whitby Gothic Weekend later on this year.

As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Upcoming travels, events and plans...

Having just spent a blissful week in one of my favourite cities, Berlin, I am now back in my studio and contemplating which direction to point myself and everything I do next. I am extremely happy in what I am doing but I feel it's time, or at least the time is approaching, for me to step things up a notch and move things on a bit further. My work is coming along nicely, I am mastering new techniques in my spare time which I hope to start using in my designs very soon, I am exploring options in terms of where to take my work and who to show it to next and I must say, it's all going swimmingly. However, I cannot help but feel like I am stagnating here. My options as it stands are to move back to the town that I studied in (Worcester, UK) or to up sticks completely and move out of England. All of the options have their pros and cons so this will take a lot of thought. I, thankfully, have at least the next 5 months to do said thinking.

In the meantime however, I will be attending a couple of events for definite between now and the end of the year as well as hopefully arranging a regular pitch at one of the markets in Brick Lane, London. You will definitely find me at Whitby Gothic Weekend in October and quite possibly at the London Tattoo Convention in September. There is also word of some independent exhibitions and events so keep your eyes open for any info on those... I will, of course, be posting full info as and when I know.

And now I turn to you all with a question. I know there are many of you who have put in requests for mens items and, as such, this is already being looked into/worked on, but I am curious to hear what else you would like to see from Sacré Coeur. Cameo designs, new styles, different hat designs, fascinators, other accessories... anything at all, I'd like to hear it! Feel free to email me on tea@sacre-coeur.co.uk if you'd like to keep it to yourself or go into more detail than a blog comment will allow, but if you'd like to leave a comment here with suggestions, I'd like that just as much!

Oh, and also, before I forget! Look out for Sacré Coeur in this issue of Alt NOIR magazine as well as on the upcoming cover of Alt Fashion. Also, I am waiting to hear back on publications in a couple of other mags. Again, I'll keep you posted.

Apologies for a rather dull, text only entry. I will be posting a new artist feature and some pretty pictures this week to make up for it!

Monday, 28 June 2010

I'm on a roll...

I've finished another new collar and am ready to get on with the next one now! I have to admit, collars, cuffs and similar accessories are my favourites to make I think. I feel like I can really get creative with them and they just seem to, I don't know... happen! It comes naturally from the moment I start pinning leather and other miscellaneous scraps together. I feel like a nice style is developing with my posture collars and this one is certainly no exception.

Here she is. 'Mildred' as I have named her. She's now up for sale in my Etsy shop along with the Lolita collar/bonnet as seen in my last entry. The collar itself is made up of vintage patterned leather, salvaged from an old leather jacket. It was a very lucky find as this sort of patterned leather is not something I happen across very often on my travels and, luckily for me (and, indeed, whoever ends up owning this piece!), this particular stuff happens to be very fine and comfortable and the inside is beautifully soft on the skin. I have used my usual press stud fastenings for the front closure and to add a little decorative interest, have draped a couple of coated black chains and a string of glass pearls across them. These emerge from beneath the lace flowers situated on the left shoulder and are attached to a large jump ring which has been soldered closed. There is a tiny little hook on the right shoulder which this jump ring latches on to once the collar is on its wearer and done up. It easily unhooks for ease of removal. This can be seen in more detail in one of the photos.

Anyway, enough blather from me, this was only supposed to be a short showcase! Next entry from me will be another artisan/designer feature I expect so keep your eyes peeled and thank you for reading! As ever, your feedback is warmly received!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

A little preview...

The past few days have seen me busying away in my studio, working on some new collars. I've been meaning to get round to coming up with some new designs for the last little while but have had so much to do what with the cameo range, making up samples, orders, taking photo's, editing etc etc... it's been pretty mental. But, I have it all under control now which means that in the run up to my Berlin trip on the 14th of July, I can work on some new pieces and get them up for sale.

Anyway, I thought I'd stop by and share a little preview of my latest completed design with you all. I will be working on a leather piece tomorrow and will follow up with pictures of that as well but for now, here's my as yet un-named new design. It's all fabric and beads and what have you so it's veggie friendly :D It works either as a collar that does up with a big satin bow at the front or as a Victorian style bonnet... I'll let the pictures do the talking now!

Fully adjustable thanks to it's ribbon-tie closure. I am very pleased with how this has come out, I expect it will become a staple item in my online shops now. Expect an all black mourning version and a steampunk variation next...

As always I'd love to hear your thoughts! Thanks :)

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Makeover time and my first little feature!

I thought it was high time I made some proper use of this blog. First port of call had to be a makeover. With the help on my brother, I've now managed to get it somewhat how I like it! So now, roll on new content and interesting things...

In a bid to get more out of the whole blogging experience I will not only use this blog for its main purpose of documenting my own work and news relating to Sacré Coeur, but also showcasing other people's work that I find and appreciate along the way, posting about events and goings on as I go along my way. I would certainly welcome any input from you guys should you have any suggestions for features as I'm keen to use this to help promote other independent designers who are just starting up their businesses as well as those who are already established.

To kick things off, I'd like to share the work of a designer named Gisèle Ganne that, frankly, blew my mind when I was shown it by my brothers girlfriend (who will be getting a feature of her own very shortly). As my own work and my previous entries here will have demonstrated, I have an appreciation for symbolic jewellery (mourning jewellery in particular). Although Ms Ganne has applied her own very unique interpretation of the ideals behind mourning jewellery to create her own themed collection, it is actually her collection entitled 'Divorce Jewellery' that caught my attention. Quite rightly, she states on her website that people do not just mourn the death of individuals but also of 'relationships and decaying marriages'. Her divorce jewellery is symbolic of this aspect of mourning. Traditional symbols used in mourning jewellery throughout the centuries, such as forget-me-nots and skulls, have been used in a new and very contemporary fashion to create ostentatious, flamboyant yet curiously wearable pieces. Divorce and mourning the death of marriage and relatiosnhips is a thoroughly modern condition which is reflected by the larger than life nature of these pieces (think gleaming gold rings that span the entire width of the hand with lifesize bird skulls, brightly coloured enamelled flowers and gemstones). That's enough from me, I shall let you see for yourselves!

You can view more of her work, read her bio and find stockists on her website: www.giseleganne.com

Personally, there isn't much I wouldn't do to get my hands on one of those massive bird skull rings... Y'know, just saying.

What do you think? Seen anything similar? Feel free to share your thoughts and/or opinions!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Memento Mori Collection.

Ok, ok... sorry. I know this is really late! I have no excuse other than having been incredibly busy working on things and skipping off around the country to various work related engagements. It's been good though and now, here I am, about to post pictures of my new stuff for you to peruse.

Looking back at my previous entry you will see a few photo's that served as examples of my interests and inspiration for this new line of jewellery. I hope you will see some of this reflected in the pieces I have been working on recently. I have plans for much, much more along these lines but, for now... here it is. The Memento Mori Collection by Sacré Coeur...

The pieces shown to the right are all from the first range in this collection. Named 'Corvus' because of the choice of a representation of the crow skull for the cameo, each piece is made by hand here in my studio. The cameo's are my own design which were hand carved and then produced one by one. No two are identical. The settings that they sit in are also handmade by me having spent months searching for suitable pieces from which I could make my own moulds and cast my own in whatever quantities I need.

On the far left of this picture is an example of the next line of hand carved cameo's named Death's Touch. Smaller sizes will follow as well as further new designs. Death's Touch is currently available as the necklace pictured and a miniature top hat like the Corvus hat pictured above.

These are all available to buy now from my online shop here: Sacré Coeur

Or, if you prefer, at my Etsy shop here.

Thanks very much for looking! I'd love to hear your thoughts :)

Thursday, 6 May 2010

New Collection!

So, anyone who follows me on Twitter (twitter.com/paradisaea & twitter.com/_sacrecoeur_) will have seen me hinting at a new collection of jewellery and accessories that I will soon be launching. I've got pretty much everything ready to go so I will very shortly be sharing pictures with you all and items will be up for sale in my Etsy store. For now however, I will let you in on a little more information about the new collection to give you a bit of an idea what to expect.

It is no secret amongst my friends, colleagues and acquaintances, that I have a longstanding interest in, and passion for, all things Victorian. Visually, culturally and historically speaking, I am absolutely infatuated with all things 19th century. One of the most prominent, distinctive and fascinating aspects of Victorian culture was their mourning 'ritual'. The ideals behind it, the photographs, the clothing, the jewellery... everything. It's just so wonderfully macabre! It was very much a part of daily life though. The use of jet in intricately carved brooches, pins, pendants and beadwork. Locks of hair from the deceased, delicately knotted and forever encased in lockets to be worn my grieving loved ones. Skulls and bones incorporated into beautiful designs made from gold, diamonds, pearls and other precious metals and stones. It's all so beautiful. Of course, it is worth mentioning that 'Memento Mori' was not a Victorian concept, it had already been around for centuries prior... but somehow, it tied in so perfectly with their way of life, it has become inextricably linked with the era. The pictures throughout this entry are some examples of the sort of thing I gather inspiration from. Compiled with the help of Google Images of course ;)

I have been working to combine aspects of this with my other influences. Mainly the natural world. Over the past few months, I have been working hard, carving, moulding, casting and polishing handmade components for my new pieces that will not be seen anywhere else. Encompassing the current appreciation for cameo jewellery, mourning aesthetic, the animal kingdom and the use of modern materials, my new collection will centre around all of the above but, most importantly, be wearable. The range will consist of ready to wear pieces such as necklaces, brooches, rings, earrings etc as well as couture and one off pieces. You can expect to see a lot of shiny black, bone hues, intricate scrollwork settings, lace, velvet and.... latex. I told you there was modern materials involved as well!

I'll post some pictures of it all up soon. Let me know your thoughts!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Putting In An Application For More Hours In the Day...

I have got so much to do it's untrue. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love it and wouldn't have it any other way, but it'd be good if I could either fabricate a few more hours for myself or just forgo sleep altogether!

Last night I sat up until 3am making new items to take with me to the stall in Camden (Saturdays in the `electric Ballroom for those of you who might be around!) and list on Etsy. I'm pleased with the outcome of that and it's kicked my creative juices into overdrive which is always a good thing! The new necklaces are available on Etsy now but since you're here, I'll show you a pic of them all together :) These are a bit different from the usual talisman necklaces in that they aren't adjustable length, they're on a thinner, more elegant cord with a clasp at the back. The feathers are a new addition to my jewellery as well... I've recently really started to appreciate feathers in jewellery so I expect we'll see a lot more of that.

On top of the usual stuff, I have started work on a completely new collection which is unlike anything I have produced before. I'm so excited to get all the first items made up! Spent yesterday working on prototypes and they've surpassed my expectations in terms of how they look and quality so I will be sure to share them with you all as soon as I've put them together! They will also be available via Etsy and the stall and, eventually, the Sacré Coeur website as well.

Now, for the rest of the day I will be working on the new line of hair accessories and more rings as I'm running seriously low on those at the moment. I will be listing some of them on Etsy too just as soon as I have taken the pictures. Since I mentioned hair accessories I think it's only fair I leave you with another photo. This time it's Nina Kate wearing a Sacré Coeur satin & peacock feather fascinator, charm bracelet and vintage leather posture collar.

Anyway. I'm out for now!