Thursday, 21 December 2017

Thursday 21st December: Emma Aitchison Jewellery workshop for Hackney Arts

We're all watching Blue Planet from the comfort of our couches, witnessing Polar bears and Walruses struggling to find some ice to sit.  It's heart-wrenching facts that we feel totally useless and unable to do anything about in reversing the effects of devastating pollution.  It shouldn't take a David Attenborough documentary to really bring these issues to our attention.   I'm sure if the world's leaders didn't have anywhere to rest, they would do something about it straight away, but until it's on their own doorstep its going to be scarily slow progress.  

So it's encouraging to see that it's not only campaigners communicating this situation but also artists and craftsmen.  Here is the studio of Emma Aitchison who is a dedicated "planet conscious sustainable brand" and bases her designs on weather systems.  Here you can see bangles formed from NASA satellite maps of lost ice and glaciel retreat.  They are beautiful shapes derived from natural narratives such as mountain gradients or volcanic lava molten rock.  Emma's interpretations of natural phenomena are hand crafted from fairtrade materials for a completely ethical package.  Her ethos and methods start from the hand-made domestic process to the wrapping in recycled packaging.  As a member of NDG (No Dirty Gold) all sourcing of metals and gems is sustainable to ensure conflict-free materials.  In this way she's simultaneously promoting ethical practise in addition to her concepts of climate change patterns in the aesthetic.

Each collection and commission is unique as every piece is individually hand-crafted.  Thanks to Hackney Arts I had the opportunity to learn some of these traditional jewellery techniques with Emma at her wax ring workshop tailored for the programme.   Her talents are just one from a wide range of multi-disciplinary designers teaching their skills via the Hackney Arts platform.  The scheme has been set up to give creative opportunities to residents, providing a platform for local artists to share their work. The social enterprise uses the power of creativity to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals within the community by bringing everyone together.   Studios are opened for viewing and local landmarks host the events such as the Geffrye Museum for the wax ring workshop.  Closed spaces are opened for investigation and there is even a session of wild wood foraging in the next term of classes!

Head over to the site to see the full listings from floristry, herbals, Henna design, graphics, ceramics and poetry to tie-dying!  There's also another chance to take part in Emma's workshop .............. see more in the next post.

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