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Cathy creates bespoke jewellery commissions and is happy to discuss any ideas you may have.

         

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Blog

Photography with friends

Cathy Sutherland

Wrapping up warm for jewellery photos.jpg

Good photographs are so important. If you can’t see a maker’s work first hand, then the next best thing is a photograph!

I am very lucky to have a very talented friend who is a photographer & so I send my jewels to him to be captured on camera. Almost all of the images on my website were taken by Mr Stuart Stafford– go check out his website www.stuartjohnstafford.com- he also writes & creates ace animations amongst other lovely creative projects.

So when he asked me if we could do a photoshoot, outside..of my jewellery.. being modelled.. I said “YES! Of course! That would be amazing!”

However, it then took a good year (or so) before we got round to actually going out & doing the shoot. I take full responsibility for the delay- work was never ready, other things got in the way etc etc. But then one day, we got a date in the diary & two of my beautiful friends agreed to come & model my work!

We picked Autumn time for our first official “jewellery photography photoshoot”! I was so excited! Luckily, I have a few friends who live in London, so when I go down I can have a great time catching up with people, as well as doing a bit of “work” at the same time.

Here are a few cheesy snaps of us throughout the day…

So once we had decided on the general area (London) we had to narrow it down to a location. My work is inspired by the natural world & so I wanted a woodlandy, organic feel to the shoot. After going through several options we settled on Richmond Park - it is such a huge park with a really gorgeous area within it, full of lush trees & ponds. As it was autumn time, a lot of the leaves on the trees had turned beautiful shades of orange & red. My fab friends braved the chilly temperature (even though the sun was shining earlier in the day, it was still nippy out there!) in support of me & my work & I’m so so grateful to them.

A few shots I took whilst hovering in the background & an fun pic caught by Stu of me arranging the jewellery on Laura…

I have really enjoyed looking back through the photos from the day & remembering how we tackled setting up each shot- I felt very much like I was winging it & a bit out of my depth. I lent on my friends knowledge of photography & modelling to ensure we got some amazing photos, which we did! I learnt a lot from this first shoot & fell I know how to plan & prepare for next time..

It was also really exciting to see Stu’s vision through the lens in contrast to what I was capturing on my phone. For example in this dreamy shot of Tess, the difference is amazing -

So from my limited experience & with no real expertise, I have a few tips to give anyone planning a photoshoot like this:

  • Get a good photographer

  • Find models that fit your style & are comfortable in front of the camera

  • Choose a theme or style to carry through the photoshoot

  • Plan outfits ahead of the day & how they work with the jewellery/ fit the style you are going for in your images

  • Think about the time of year you are having your photoshoot if you are planning an outdoor shoot, as this will affect colour/weather/light etc.

  • Do it with people you like & you will have the best day!

So finally I will share a few more of the stunning images that Stu took for me. I will be forever grateful to him & my pals for being so ace.

 

That’s a wrap!

That’s a wrap!

That’s a wrap!

#MarchMeetTheMaker

Cathy Sutherland

I have just completed the latest challenge on Instagram for the creative community, where we share a little nugget about our small business every day throughout March, under the hashtag #marchmeetthemaker & following the prompts set out by @joannehawker the creator of this challenge...

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At the beginning of the month I see it as a great exercise in posting on Instagram everyday, as I often begin with good intentions & then drop off.. During the month I have shared images of me at work, the materials & tools I use on a regular basis & shots of work in progress.

As the month goes on I find it more of a task having to stick to the specific guidelines & not just post whatever I feel like that day! Hence sometimes posting two pics a day! I do find it a good way to share info on me, so people can see that I am a real person behind the photos.

As the month goes on I find it more of a task having to stick to the specific guidelines & not just post whatever I feel like that day! Hence sometimes posting two pics a day! The prompts do push me to engage in different tasks & ways of taking photos that I don't usually do, like flatlays (something I had never done before this challenge!) It's quite fun, as it gets me to view my work & making processes in a different way.

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So, thanks to Joanne for the challenge- it's been fun seeing even more makers taking part this year (I also took part last year) & finding out more about other people's businesses. It can be very easy to have tunnel vision when you are a maker & it's good to remember you are a part of a wider community of makers.

I must admit that as the month went on I was a little fed up of seeing the hashtag!! & felt worried that I was annoying my friends with it...hope not! I'm going to keep posting daily or bi-daily on Instagram so people can see what I'm up to & hopefully enjoy my feed.

The Sheffield Makers Shop

Cathy Sutherland

This year I became a part of a great group of people who have been working tirelessly for the past year to make the Sheffield Makers Shop a success. It began life as a pop up shop last Christmas and has grown from strength to strength into this fantastic, vibrant hub where you can buy work created by all local Sheffield makers, and you will be 100% sure to meet one of them when you stop by!

We now also sell our wares online so be sure to take a look!....www.sheffieldmakersshop.com

The perfect handmade wedding rings...

Cathy Sutherland

Wedding and engagement ring commissions are always really lovely to do because you know you’re making something that I so special to the couple- something they will wear every day, it will be treasured and most likely be a family heirloom. It is also great to get to meet different people, get to know them during the design process and help to create exactly what they had envisaged.

The design process can sometimes be really quick, when a couple know exactly what they want. In other cases I do stages of sketches and designs, mixing and matching different shaped bands to different shapes of stones and working out the right combination for them.


Below you can see some sketched ideas, including sapphires and diamonds in the engagement ring design. I would then go on to work out how the wedding ring would sit beneath it.

The image above shows a silver model of an engagement ring design, using some paper to show how big the diamond is and where it will sit!


This engagement ring is 18ct white gold with a princess cut diamond. The wedding ring was made to fit around the diamond. I loved making these rings as they were for a friend, making them extra special! 

Below you can see the finished ring, a photo of the engagement and wedding ring together and an image of the collection including the groom's wedding ring, which was made from 18ct yellow gold and had the wedding date engraved on the inside...

World of commissions...

Cathy Sutherland

So recently I have had a few commissions which is always good fun- challenging at times- but also exciting to make a piece of jewellery that is really special to someone! Our workshop is situated in Butcher Works behind the shop All Good Stuff, so we sometime get people popping in to see us if they are looking to have a bespoke piece of jewellery made.

I had a lovely lady come in to see me who wanted her wedding ring made. She knew exactly what she wanted, which is quite unusual! But also great. the ring was a challenge as there were so many solder joins combining gold onto silver. It was an interesting one as I had to mathematically work out (not my strong point!) the exact pattern and placement of the gold triangles whilst the ring was flat!

Above are a few process pics- I went through many stages to create this ring. It was pretty fiddly but I think it turned out really well...Lovely hammered line pattern and textured, detailed gold triangles....

My new jewellery blog!

Cathy Sutherland

Hello! And welcome to my blog...this is going to be the place where I share photos, inspiration, my working processes, snippets of my life and the world of a jewellery maker living and working in Sheffield. Here we go :D

Quartz ring