Tag Archives: design

So, what have I been up to?

Deanne Holden 1

It’s all been rather busy since I graduated. ¬†And, as the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun ūüėČ

So, what have I been up to?

Well, there was New Designers of course, which was an amazing (if frenetic) experience). ¬†You can read all about it on Pinso ¬†ūüėČ

I’ve also been working on developing my Body of Work series using different media. ¬†Here are some examples ¬†of my work in progress brooches, based on abstractions of surgical incisions.

Deanne Holden 1 Deanne Holden 2 Deanne Holden 3






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Joy in Motion: The Wonderful World of Tom McPhee

Rustle - Tom McPhee -¬ģ Joint Effort.

I really wanted to share a post with you I wrote for Pinso a week or two ago, just because the work it features makes me so gosh-darn happy ūüôā So, here it is, and I hope you enjoy! For the record, the image above, Rustle, is my favourite piece and I’ve put in a request for a 6ft version to be created so… we’ll see ūüėČ


Tom McPhee’s work really caught my attention at¬†New Designers¬†because it’s so playful!

Using metalsmithing techniques, he creates interactive automata and kinetic sculpture pieces which entice the viewer to interact and play; encouraging curiosity in the details that surround their lives.

Zephyr 2 - Tom McPhee -¬ģ Joint Effort.

Tom’s work is inspired by the moments in the everyday, ¬†“like when a leaf blows in the wind or a flash of sunlight causes you to become distracted from the often hectic nature of our day to day lives, creating a timeless moment when suddenly, we become transported by the things we see and enter a place where contemplation occurs, captivated by the meditative beauty we see.”

Slow Pace - Tom McPhee -¬ģ Joint Effort.

The pieces featured here are from his Degree Show Collection at University of Falmouth – I’m looking forward to seeing the direction he takes with his future work.

You can find out more about Tom and his work here and follow him on Twitter here!

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Exciting times for new designers

Cthulu cat, will you be my sole source of income?

I’m old. ¬†Well, maybe not old, but I am a mature student. ¬†Which means that I probably spend more time than most wondering what is to be become of me once I graduate. ¬†Will I be able to pay my mortgage? ¬†Will I need to send my cats to work in sweatshops to fund my falafel habit? How much money could I get if I sold my boyfriend on the black market? And so on and so forth.

But the truth is, there’s lots going on out there. ¬†And lots of opportunities for creative peeps too.

Vanilla Ink for one.  A fully equipped workshop space in Dundee for jewellery graduates, Vanilla Ink  also supplies tailor-made business training, mentoring, support and advice as well as an exhibition space. Helping graduates develop practical skills Vanilla Ink is helping new graduates find their feet.  And their launch night is tomorrow Рso if you can make it, go!

Another one to watch is the Edinburgh based ACS Jewellery Studio, which is currently fundraising to get tools and equipment for its Graduate Kick Start Programme.  Check out their video on Indiegogo.

ACS ¬†want to support graduates by¬†holding open days and annual exhibitions, exhibiting students’ work in their gallery, offering business advice and a creative and supportive environment.

Another interesting opportunity that I became aware of recently was the Edinburgh Contemporary Craft Workshops.  Aiming to launch in January 2013, they are also looking to support recent graduates.

The overwhelming message here is that there are opportunities out there to help you launch your career!

It’s exciting and inspirational times and I’d be really interested to find out more about what’s going on out in Scotland for creative graduates. ¬†Please let me know and it’ll be blogs ahoy!

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Watch Sculptures by Dominic Wilcox


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You may have seen a series of blog posts recently where I started off a bit of a debate regarding the use of Computer Assisted Design (CAD).  Part of the issue raised has been as to whether or not using technology to complete a process detracts from craftsmanship.

I would like to change the parameters of the debate slightly to include the T shaped practitioner. ¬†There is an idea that being a specialist in any given field limits your creativity, however,¬†when we need to come up with creative solutions for our business challenges, we are often asked to ¬†“connect the dots” like Apple’s Steve Jobs and combine unrelated fields to form a “novel solution”.

It is considered normal and indeed beneficial to collaborate with those with specialist knowledge in order to get the job done.  However, to come up with a workable solution, we still need to go back to that specialized knowledge.  We just do not need to have it ourselves.

Anthony Bibby, in his former¬† role as Creative Director of Tangible,¬†raised the issue in a presentation¬†he gave¬†to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). ¬†He told a rather charming story about how he was slightly dismayed that his son was able to¬†get an A for designing a product for his product design class… that did not actually work.

His son’s teacher (and I’m paraphrasing from Anthony’s presentation here) explained:¬†‚ÄúDon‚Äôt worry about his designs, – he‚Äôll learn that sort of stuff on his degree ‚Äď especially when he gets out on industry placements.‚ÄĚ In other words, he would get someone from his father’s generation, with the specialist knowledge, to ultimately get the idea to work.

Many of the comments I have received about the role of CAD in craftsmanship have alluded that you do not need the knowledge of the materials in which you are working in order to create – that you can work collaboratively with those with the specialist knowledge required to make your product. ¬†You use this skill at working with others to become a T-shaped practitioner. ¬†However, you are still creating a disconnect between you and what you hope to achieve, by allowing someone else (or something ¬†else in the case of CAD) ¬†to bridge the gap for you. ¬†If you view yourself as “the craftsman” in this scenario, what does that make the person plugging the knowledge gap?

Are we using¬†tools such as CAD to build on our own knowledge and expertise or hoping that software will magic up the idea as opposed to working through ideas yourself? ¬†Or using others to bridge the gap between our concept and what it actually takes to make it a reality, a process which we often separate ourselves from…? And given this, how much of what is ultimately constructed as the end product can be said to be ours?


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Inhorgenta 2012

Now then, I might be a little bit quiet for a few days… because today I’m off to Inhorgenta!

It’s the international leading trade fair for jewellery, watches, gemstones, design, technology, and everything else! And with¬†more than 1,100 exhibitors from 38 countries, I suspect I’ll be kept out of trouble for a little while…

You can find a link to the Inhorgenta programme (please read that as the link to all the things I’ll be bankrupting myself with…) here.

No doubt a blog, and of course, the entire contents of my camera will be circulated when I’m back in the UK.

Try not to miss me too much…

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Put it on the table

B.A in design you say?

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