Monday, 15 October 2012

By Laura Johnson

Hello all!

Due to my ownership of expiring very soon I am switching to my new website now! I had planned to launch in the new year to give plenty of time to design and stock the new website but I don't want to renew a domain name for just a few months.

So, after a busy afternoon I have the bones of my new website and blog all wrapped up in one handy place. I know it is tedious to follow me on to somewhere new but I really hope you will come visit at:

Thank you for hanging out with me here right from the very beginnings of my creative venture, leaving teaching, moving to Scotland and now marrying the writer!  Thank you for your comments, chats and encouragement, see you on the new site!

UPDATE: This site is now live again! Hoorah! April 2013

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Laura Johnson

The name changing continues and during the website re-design my main shop is over on Folksy at  

Today I've been trying out polishing silver using polishes and mops. I have been put off going for this due to standard polishes having animal products in them and, as a vegetarian I wasn't going to use them.  However, I found a range of polishing compounds which contain no animal and so far so good.  Once I get the better control over my multi tool and avoid nicking the metal with the actual tool I'll have super shiny silver suitable for vegetarians!

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Blue Sea Glass Rings

Two ready-to-polish blue sea glass and recycled sterling silver rings.  I love them stacked together like this and have been sorting through glass to make more in greens and aquas.  Yum.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Garden Pottery

I was approached about making a pendant using a piece of blue willow found in the customer's garden.  A really lovely piece and I wish I had taken a decent picture!

I've used a solid silver back for greater stability and as, unlike the glass, there is no benefit from letting the light come through the back.  Working with sheet silver is great and I've started two little bezel settings for sea glass rings which I'll get the chance to finish later on in the week.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

ReSide - Scotland / India Textile Residency

Calling all fans of textiles!

Some of you may know the Border Tart, well Lindsay is off on an adventure with knitwear designer Jenni Allison  as the Scottish part of the exchange and you can read all about their exciting adventures here .

I had the joy of meeting Swati and Murji who have been in Scotland for a month or so before heading back to India with Jenni and Lindsay. The group came over to Paxton House to have a look at the 18th century costume and the costumes created this year by fashion and textiles students at Heriot-Watt university.

photo courtesy of

Such an exciting exchange and I look forward to hearing and seeing more!  

Changes in Season and Online

We've moved the living room into winter mode with the sofa closer to the fire place. The curtain over the front door has been pulled closed at night.  Wood has been chopped and the fire lit.  No sign of the first frost yet but it is autumnal and rather lovely to be at home.

Despite the roaring storms last week I am enjoying the season; we went to the beach to collect some glass today and got a good soaking. It filled me with joy for some reason. Possibly because it wasn't particularly cold out there and possibly because it's a blooming brilliant part of my working life.

Looking upstream and downstream near Allanton during last week's floods.

I do feel like I'm having to fight for time for my own work at the moment and my online presence is suffering. I've had such great support from customers online and I really don't want to lose that or let anybody down. I know nobody needs my bloggy rambling or to buy my work online, but it's important to me that the option is there; especially for people searching for ethical alternatives for jewellery purchases. And I simply want to make a living from my work and you, the people who read my blog, buy my work, attend workshops and chat with me are the ones who will make it happen and I thank you for that.

So, I've decided to go all out and change my online name; I've only been married a few months and am finding it confusing having two names! R was very happy for me to keep my maiden name but it was important to me to share his name. I was planning on keeping Cameron as a professional name, however, it suits me to just have one name what with being easily confused and all!  Over the next few months there will be changes; the first one being twitter as I figure out preferred domain names, website redesign etc.  It's exciting to be having a much needed re-vamp!  Hopefully by the new year it will all be done.  I will be concentrating on the festive build up getting extra pieces made so the website won't be making an instant appearance but I have been playing around with some designs.

In other news Hester kitten is getting bigger and Molly cat is marginally less angry about the whole situation.

Hester's first venture into the garden.

Speak to you soon!

*Thanks to R for the photos!

Sunday, 23 September 2012


 We have a new beast in the house; a little tabby girl of just nine weeks old.

The list of potential names grew ever longer until we spotted the letter A she has; ginger on one side, black on the other.  So, Hester it is and she is beautiful.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Crossing Borders Art Trail 2012

We have just finished our first ever open studio event as part of the Crossing Borders Art Trail.  The lovely people at the Chain Bridge Honey Farm kindly invited Rich, Tony and myself to set up there.  We had our art trail sheep pointing the way.

It was great to be able to set up at the Honey Farm as it is such a popular venue and over the weekend we had well over 150 people visit.  Rich and Tony had prints and paintings and I had a display of my recycled jewellery and a workshop table where visitors could make their own wire wrapped sea glass, pottery or pebble necklace.

Thank you to everyone who came over to see our work, buy pieces, chat and participate in workshops and to Felicity who brought in her rock tumbler for us to have a play with!

More photos over on the book of face.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Crossing Borders Art Trail

From Crossing Borders Facebook page

Rich and I are both taking part in the Crossing Borders Art Trail which is an annual Open Studio event run over two weekends.  First up artists in the Western side of the Borders, from about Peebles to Chesters and Jedburgh way and lots in between, will be opening their studios on Friday 31st August until Sunday 2nd September.  

The following weekend of Friday 7th to Sunday 9th September artists on the Eastern side of the Borders all the way over to Berwick upon Tweed will be participating.  This second weekend includes us!  Rich, his Dad and myself will be setting up our studio space in a wonderful room at the Chain Bridge Honey Farm.  We are so grateful to all at the Honey Farm for letting us use the space for the weekend and I'm getting really excited now!

The pressure is on to get a good selection of pieces finished, especially with having a second job and getting a reminder about a month long exhibition of my work over in Peebles which I'd shamefacedly forgotten about!  I got all in a rush and a panic yesterday and ended up bashing my finger with a large hammer which reminded me to calm down and just keep going steadily.

As well as my silver, copper, sea glass and pottery jewellery there will be a new range on show for the first time ever created in collaboration with my husband! Art Trailers you will have the first look!

Furthermore, I'll be running drop in workshops throughout the weekend if you would like to have a go at creating a wire wrapped pebble or sea glass necklace then come on over!

For more information on the Art Trail and to request a copy of the guide to plot your route around the artists go to .  There are loads of guides out and about and I have some left so if you'd like one just let me know!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Sea Glass Jewellery Workshop

A few Saturdays ago I ran a workshop teaching a great group how to make jewellery with wire and sea glass; no drilling required.  It was fun and each participant made a pair of earrings and a pendant using wire wrapping techniques.

Thanks to Berwick Arts and Crafts Group for organising the festival and for some of these photos, I'm looking forward to seeing what's next from this new and exciting group!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Berwick Arts and Crafts Festival

From Friday 3rd until Monday 6th August the Berwick Arts and Crafts Festival will be running at Dewar's Lane Granary.  There will be lots happening throughout the long weekend and the full timetable of workshops, demonstrations and craft stalls can be found here.  I'll be running a 3 hour workshop teaching basic wire wrapping and how to use the technique with found sea glass and pebbles.  

The picture shows my workshop at last year's event where I look utterly shattered and ready for a holiday! I fear I may look similar this weekend! The Festival has grown and will be in a great new venue of The Granary which recently opened after a major restoration project which brings Berwick new gallery space, youth hostel, bistro and meeting rooms.

You can book workshops directly through the website or at Berwick Library tomorrow, July 30th between 10am and 4pm.

Looking forward to it!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Bracelet Chain

Today's work in progress, all scruffy and ready for the pickle pot.

Looking forward to seeing how this cleans up with the combination of silver and copper.  Again I'm playing with the shapes of seaweed and in particular the lovely rounded pods.  I was really hoping to get this completed today but soon it will be revealed in its finished form.

Friday, 20 July 2012

New Jewellery: Recycled Ring

Good evening!

Since coming back from honeymoon it has been tough to get time at the bench for all sorts of reasons but today I was free to crack on and it felt great!

I've had designs brewing for a good while now, echoing shapes of seaweed pods and strands.  These first came to me when I was melting copper just to see what happened and on our trip around the Scottish coast I saw lots of seaweed and it all sparked off in my mind again.  I even got the chance to introduce my beloved to childhood seaweed games my siblings and I inflicted on each other; mainly tangling seaweed around the legs of whoever you are paddling with!

So, back to today and the first image of the pod range.  It's not actually called that yet, ideas are still formulating and a rather interesting chain is half done, but for now a little stacker ring.  It is made using recycled sterling silver and copper.  Even the solder is recycled which pleases me greatly. This little one is ready for a tumble and final polish to bring out the sparkle in the hammered surface. 

Both time for my own work and the sunshine have been seriously lacking these last few weeks and it is great to have them back.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Wedding Stationery

My very talented husband designed all our wedding stationery . . .

and he did a very fine job! So much so that one friend clutched the RSVP to her and said "Can I just tell you I'm coming so I can keep this and put it in a frame?" The very same lady who transformed my wedding dress as a most generous gift.  We have been surrounded by such kindness and love in the run up to and over the period of our wedding and feel truly blessed.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Hello World

Over the last two months I have fallen off the blog orbit thanks to problems with redirecting when I renewed my domain name and not having enough time to deal with it as we were drawing ever closer to our wedding day.

I have still been taking lots of photographs although I freely admit the photo a day for my first year of being thirty has suffered and I will just have to refer to it now as the lots of photos in a year project!

My domain name problem is not yet quite resolved so I have reverted to the old blogger address in the hope that somebody out there will actually be able to see my blog.  Hopefully, both addresses will work again soon.  If the nice people who flogged me the domain name in the first place will help me. 

So, since my last post lots has happened!

Lots more sea glass collecting and we even found a lovely, rusty old spoon.

 The fluffy one continues to be endearingly fluffy.

Some grand salads have been consumed.

Beautiful tulips enjoyed.

Sport Relief mile ran.

The cat got a cave.
The Re-Dress Exhibition at Paxton House was launched.

     I had a laugh wearing a bum roll.

My hair was cut and curled and put up in many ways to see what an indecisive bride wanted.

Our Museums at Night event at Paxton House involved tales from Morris, Music and Myth.

and there's more!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Re-Dress: Fashion Unpacked

On 5th May, Paxton House launches Re-Dress, an exciting new exhibition of recently conserved 18th Century costume, coupled with stunning contemporary fashion inspired by our collections from students of the School of Textiles & Design at Heriot-Watt University.

There is much excited activity in work around the launch of this new exhibition; it is going to be fantastic!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Woodpecker, River and Frock

Hello lovely readers, how are you all?  I've really been missing reading all your blogs regularly so today I had a wee half hour with a cup of tea for a peruse and an update here. 2012 is continuing at a brisk and busy pace with jewellery making, workshops, Paxton House and planning our wedding!

Day 237 - woodpecker in the garden.

Day 238 - Molly explores the mini greenhouse. It's not usually there and she has been looking at it for a few days until at last she conquered it. Nothing to fear here.

Day 240 - St Patrick's Day and opening day at Paxton House! My first taste of working at Paxton when it's open to the public and it was great to see families enjoying themselves and see the reaction of little people to Paxton Ted! More of him later!

Day 241 - Regency costume for Mother's Day at Paxton House and yes that is face paint on my hand, there was a rush of tigers to be painted just before closing time!  I think this was the week of four different costumes! Whew!

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