On an internet browsing mission,
I happen to stumble upon the wonderful
wirey creations of Nicky Kennish
from Spiral Fountain Jewellery.
Her work is packed with originality and
character, especially her animal and
Sit back, enjoy and be inspired
when you read on and see some of
the stunning pieces she has created!
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND?
I'm a married Mum with two children, living in the lovely rural
countryside of Cumbria (United Kingdom). I didn't always have
such a settled lifestyle though! I was originally born in
Warwickshire, but left home to go to University in Wales.
I qualified as a doctor and then joined the RAF for 7 years and
got to travel to places such as Germany and the Falkland Islands.
Those were exciting years, but not very compatible with family
life and so I pretty much gave it all up to have a family, although,
I did return to working part time as a doctor.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO SET UP SPIRAL FOUNTAIN
The jewellery making started a few years ago after seeing the book
'Bead & Wire Art Jewelry' by J. Marsha Michler. I was totally
hooked after reading it! The inspiration to actually start selling
and to set up Spiral Fountain Jewellery occurred after, combined
with a middle aged crisis, I decided to enter a jewellery competition
at a local Agricultural Show. To my astonishment, I actually won
first place! That's when I finally began to wonder, what if I could
sell this? There's a bit more detail about this on my BLOGSPOT.
My shop name derives simply from the fact that I love spirals
and create oodles of them in my work!
DO YOU HAVE ANY FORMAL TRAINING?
No, I do not have any formal training at all. Everything I do
has been learnt from various books (including two of Linda's!)
and watching 'how to' videos on the internet. There's such an
enormous amount of advice out there, which doesn't have to
cost the earth. However, I think I would like to try a course
one day, when I'm ready to expand my expertise - just waiting
for the time when the kids will let me away!!
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
Most of my inspiration comes from the magical nature of Cumbria
where I live. Whether it's birds and bunnies in the garden or
magnificent mountains and lakes, or the seaside. It's all here,
inspiring me, anytime I head outside. I also love history,
especially Egyptian, Anglo Saxon and medieval times, which I
think are where my love of chainmail stems from and inspires
pieces like the 'Eye of Horus' (see below).
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TECHNIQUE AND WHY?
It is hard to choose one, as I love it all! Pushed to make a
decision though, I think I would say it is weaving with wire,
as this has enabled me to 'draw' anything I want to, whether
it's a set of bagpipes, or a humming bird.
DO YOU TEACH YOUR CRAFT?
No, I don't teach as I'm not self-confident enough to do that yet.
Maybe one day, when it's no longer worth me trying to hide
those grey hairs!
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE AND SELL YOUR WORK?
I first sold my work in a local gallery, Lowes Court Gallery, who
are a local charity run gallery that promotes local Cumbrian
artists. They were very helpful in supporting me to make that
first step. Once I had gained confidence that my jewellery
did actually sell, I approached another gallery and started doing
some local craft/agricultural shows and then started selling on
FOLKSY as my first online selling site. This then led me to
starting up my own WEBSITE and also selling on
Promotion really is needed though to make this work.
Family and friends can be great at spreading the word about
you (with business cards at the ready) and online sites such as
FACEBOOK, Twitter, creative connections, craft juice and
having your own BLOGSPOT (free with blogger.com) has been
invaluable! I'm not a natural business woman, busy searching
for mass sales, but I've had to accept that this is what you have
to do to make a few sales!
Thank you Nicky, from SPIRAL FOUNTAIN JEWELLERY!
Keep creating your wonderful pieces and I hope this will provide
you with extra confidence to believe that YOU have an immense
amount of talent to be an even more successful wire artist and
achieve your wildest creative dreams!