Introducing myBearHands

It’s always exciting news when we get new products and when we met Sally Haysom from myBearHands, we knew her jewellery would fit right in. With a strong ethical stance and great eye for design myBearHands will become a firm favourite.

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For seven years Sally has been making jewellery in her Bristol studio. With a background in illustration and a passion for playing around with new materials and techniques, she aims to make jewellery that is contemporary and wearable with an element of fun.

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Soldering elements for the Geometric Shapes range 
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The finished Geometric Shapes Necklace

We are very pleased to be stocking myBearHands not only because it’s so gorgeous, but because of their strong ethical values. It’s something that we are very conscious of here at Of Cabbages and Kings. What’s better is they have a maker’s eco-pledge!

“As a maker, I want my jewellery to be beautifully designed and well made.  But I don’t want this to be at the expense of the earth or people who live in it.  Jewellery is a luxury item, and there is really no justification for damaging natural environments or exploiting workers in it’s creation.” Sally – myBearHands

As myBearHands develops Sally has implemented, and hopes to develop further, the ecological footprint of the company.  By trialing things like Bio-Resin: a resin made from sunflower seed, and soya bean proteins. This is a more ecological resin, though not 100% plant based yet, research is going in to improve this field and every step towards Bio-Resin helps.

She is also beginning to replace the silver with recycled silver. To avoid the environmental impact of mining for new silver, recycled or eco-silver is reclaimed from the jewellery and electrical industry, and melted down to be reused. It is exactly the same quality as regular silver, but better for the environment.

Even the boxes used to package myBearHands jewellery are made from recycled and sustainable board.

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Take a look at myBearHands on our website. We are currently stocking jewellery form two of their ranges. The Shapes range, a brass and resin series, with bold colour and striking design and the Line Dot range, a brass and silver collection of elegant and minimal pieces.

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Milk Tooth Statement Earrings at OC&K

It is no secret that we are pretty much all earring lovers here at Of Cabbages & Kings. Simple studs are great and everything, but to be honest we have a hard time turning down big, bold, statement earrings! We’ve just unpacked our first delivery of a new brand specialising in just that, and they do not disappoint.

Milk Tooth LDN is a fashion house dedicated to exceptional earrings and specialising in standout vintage pieces. Their first original range, The Pluralist Collection certainly creates impact.

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Inspired by striking cultural moments the designs combine a passion for gold and power dressing with contemporary patterns and bold shapes evocative of post-modern architecture. The result is a brilliantly fresh range of earrings that are both wearable, and of course, statement.

The brand’s philosophy is simple – embrace your style, wear things you love, feel amazing. Their belief is that bold fashion choices celebrate strong women and champion confidence. And with a statement earring, you have a hugely versatile and wearable option for creating a signature style.

The Pluralist Collection is a limited edition new range of gold-plated jewellery that offers distinction alongside great value. We have started our range with 4 styles, we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

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A Taste Of Morocco

That summer holiday may already be a distant memory, but some hazy recollection of glorious, sun-soaked interiors could be lingering. We’ve just received the latest collection of jewellery from Chalk House, all inspired by Moroccan tiles. These pieces sit perfectly between hot summer nights in Marrakech and the rich jewel tones and gold sparkle of the holidays.
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The tile work that is associated with the regions around Morocco, North Africa and Spain is an art form called Zellige. The mosaics are traditional created from coloured tile blanks that are cut into exact shapes and then assembled into complex tessellated designs. The highly geometric style originated out of Islamic faith, where the depiction of living things was forbidden.
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Chalk House’s Moroccan collection is inspired by a journey to Marrakech where they fell in love with the geometric patterns and bold colour combinations of the tiles. They have extracted and abstracted the patterns to create a range of necklaces and earrings at various sizes from small everyday earrings and pendants to large statement necklaces.
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Chalk House

From Malaika and Hazel: “We met while studying architecture. While at university, we started to make jewellery for ourselves applying materials and techniques used to make architectural models. We found that the pieces were very popular and the business took off from there. It helps that we have very similar tastes and we enjoy working as a team, constantly designing and bouncing ideas off each other.”us 4

All the Chalk House collections are inspired by architectural design and pattern. They like to play with scale and patterns to make ideas work on a relatively small jewellery platform, which is very different to the scale of a building.
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Know Your Silver?

Here at OCK we are very interested in sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly practices. We share a space with a yarn shop focusing on the same things in textiles. It is one of the reasons we work with so many local and independent artists. We know that these businesses are ethical because we work directly with them, supporting local jobs and economies.

One of our newest editions to the OCK family is Wild Fawn, a London based jeweller working with ethical silver. But what on earth is ethical silver?! Having chatted with Emma and done some research of our own, we are happy to report back.

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These circle studs are part of the newest pieces that we’ve received from Wild Fawn.

Mining in general is an incredibly harmful and toxic industry. The process of extracting resources from the earth for human use goes back centuries and has a history of environmental destruction, bad labour practices and general dodgy dealings. As we found in our research, information is very difficult to come by, so it is hard to know even now what the true status of the industry is, or even where exactly a lot of the silver comes from. We have come away with more questions than answers, but we believe that raising these questions is what makes us all better consumers.

We did manage to find out a few interesting things though. Most silver (approx. 75%) is used in the production of computer electronics and other industrial items, which has made public pressure difficult. This is in contrast to gold where only 20% goes to non-jewellery uses. This means that it has responded well to campaigns for better regulation and industry change. Did you know that 70% of new silver production is a result of mining other minerals like copper, zinc and gold? The other 30% comes from dedicated silver mines. This is a tricky idea ethically. Some say this byproduct silver is more ethical as it came out of the ground anyway and may as well be used, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was mined in the first place.

One of the best things about silver is its longevity. Since it doesn’t degrade it can be re-used. Silver is easily melted down and turned into something else. Recycled silver therefore is very environmentally friendly if the initial mining process is taken out of the equation. The demand for recycled or ethical silver from the jewellery industry is un-surprisingly high. As Emma put it when she was telling us how she buys the silver that she uses in her jewellery, why wouldn’t you? It is more expensive to buy wholesale, but you can always melt and recycle your own.

Wild Fawn’s recycled silver jewellery includes a line of earrings and necklaces are simple and classic designs, which makes them perfect to wear everyday. Not to mention that the recycled silver makes you feel good about it too! We particularly love the more unusual design of these hammered studs that snake up the ear. Another aspect of silver that we have been learning about from Roderick of Rodology is hallmarking. This is a process where pieces of silver are given a certain set of official marks to prove their authenticity and purity. Any silver items that weigh more than 7.78g (a fifty pence piece weighs 8 grams) must legally be hallmarked by an Assay office. The oldest such office is The Goldsmith’s Company, which has been providing the service since 1327!

We have pieces in again from Daniel Darby, including this Silver Anvil Pendant. The hallmarks on this piece are on the bottom of the anvil.

Silver Anvil Pendant

Last on the list is sterling silver? We use the term the all the time in our product descriptions as a mark of quality, but what does it signify? Sterling silver is in fact an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by mass of silver and 7.5% by mass of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925.

So there we are! Thanks so much to Emma of Wild Fawn and Rod of Rodology for talking to us about recycled silver and hallmarking and bringing it to our attention. We are sure to keep an eye out for more information to share with you.

 

Metals by Lovely Pigeon

From an old net loft on the East coast of Scotland, Kirsty Thomas tries to avoid the distraction of the beautiful view as she beavers away in the Pigeon Studio. The Lovely Pigeon is a maker of prints, stationery, jewellery and things that to Kirsty resonate people and places. On this occasion I would like to show you the metal collection: Earrings, necklaces and notebooks with clean lines and shiny geometric shapes.

First we have the ‘brassy’ Brass range. Gold and bold and primary coloured these pieces make a statement! The handcrafted jewellery is made of geometric panels of brass and bright yellow and coral Formica.

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And then we have the stylish, more subtle Copper theme. Brushed copper panels are layered with mint, soft grey and navy to create a fresh contemporary look.

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Kirsty has also created a set of A6 notebooks with geometric copper foil designs:navyset_150 group_2_150_1

Introducing Rosita Bonita – The Toledo Collection

Rosita Bonita is an independent designer with a speciality in leather jewellery. Each piece is lovingly handcrafted in her East London studio, beginning as original illustrations which are then screen-printed or foil-embossed onto fine leathers & carefully assembled into unique & collectable treasures. Inspired by a glamorous fantasy of past times & faraway lands, from stage sets & costumes from Hollywood’s golden era, carnivals & magic shows, the vintage graphics of posters & packages & the icons of myth & legend, Rosita Bonita aims to design striking but wearable pieces to bring a touch of the frivolous fun of dressing up into everyday life.

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Rosita Bontia

New for Autumn/Winter 2013, The Toledo Collection is an elegant, yet playful take on the traditional damascene jewellery of Spain & Japan. Delicate illustrations fusing the two styles are embossed in shining gold foil onto smooth, lightweight leather in bold Black & regal Ox Blood, & dressed with golden chains & swinging tassels.

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Medallion Bollo and Coin Disc Drop Earrings

A versatile, unisex piece, this bolo can be worn as a tie, or a necklace. The leather medallion is foil – embossed with a pair of golden birds framed by an ornamental hoop and mounted on a gold plated slider, on a braided leather bolo cord with graduated golden tips.

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Creole Earrings in Bold Black
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Fan Empress Collar
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Medallion Bollette and Large Hoop Earrings

 

The Woodland Collection

Feeling autumnal? As the leaves fall from the trees and the darkness of winter descends, we’ve got a new collection of jewellery from Layla Amber perfect for this time of year: The Woodland Collection.

The Woodland Collection
The Woodland Collection

For some time Layla had been toying with the idea of working in wood. She had the spark of an idea to use geometric patterns in some way, but what form was that going to take? Layla began just sketching out ideas and always seemed to naturally gravitate towards drawing animals, and in this case it was an owl.  Experimentation led her to remove all of the unnecessary features, replacing what was left with geometric shapes and patterns. From here the idea was developed across some of her favourite woodland animals.

Woodland Fox Brooch
Woodland Fox Brooch
Woodland Leaf Studs
Woodland Leaf Studs
Woodland Feather Necklace
Woodland Feather Necklace

Weaving with the Navajo

Over the weekend we had some new jewellery designs by Alice Bosc arrive on our shelves. Alice’s geometric statement necklaces by designer Alice Bosc have taken from the patterns of Navajo folk art, so I thought I’d take a closer look at some Navajo Indian craft just to get a bit of background to the pieces.

The Navajo, the largest federally recognised tribe in The United States of America, are famed for their weaving. I stumbled across this short film of elderly Navajo Clara Sherman carding and spinning. She was one truly skilled lady!

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Clara Sherman, Navajo Weaver
Alice Bosc Jewellery
Alice Bosc Jewellery

 

Get Ready For Adventure Pioneer

Go on a journey of self discovery with these absolutely incredible Titanium Quartz pendants.

Titanium Quartz, also known as Rainbow Aura Quartz, is the perfect stone for the mind. It is said to centre scattered emotions and aid clarity of thought, clearing unnecessary thoughts and helping you discover your life path.

We also tend to think that these pendants look a little bit like the far flung reaches of the universe. What better way to expand your horizons!

More details here

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