Friday, 17 November 2017

Winter Jewellery 2017

9 years ago or so I posted about some new charm bracelets I'd made inspired by the wonderful Cold Mountain, a novel by Charles Frazier.  I'd been studying it with my A-Level English Literature class and all those the dark/light contrasts of snow and bark and crows and sky were very important to their study and to me. 

Those charm bracelet days were right at the start of self employment for me followed by moving to Scotland and moving on to work with silver and sea glass. All that time I've wanted to make a set of monochrome black and white sea glass, pottery and silver jewellery, still thinking of the contrasting tones used so expertly by Frazier. 

Finally I've done it and they are on show at the splendid Number Four Gallery's winter exhibition.

If you've been with me all this time from early wire experiments, through various online shops, wisdom teeth complaints, house moving complaints, name changes, disappearance when I went off to run a gallery and sporadic posting since, thanks muchly!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Blue Willow's Secret

You are probably familiar with the blue willow pattern and perhaps even aware of the legend created in conjunction with the tableware in the late 18th century. However, the pattern holds another secret within it's blue and white decoration which I only noticed recently.

The chequered section found near the edge of blue willow crockery looks like this:

However, if, like me, you take a hollow core drill to a shard of blue willow patterned pottery and cut a circle out you will discover that this chequered look looks like it is made up from rows of heart shapes ↓

I know, mind blown, right?! You are welcome!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Enamelled Copper and Sea Glass Earrings

What do you get if you mix old water pipes with some cold fire enamel, sea glass and recycled sterling silver wire? 

These dangly earrings emerged through the layer of tools, off cuts and shards coating my work bench and I did enjoy pairing a pop of colour with the pale, white sea glass.

The aforementioned studio clutter forced me to find an alternative photographing position and lo I discovered that if I open the bathroom door, our landing gets light from two windows on opposite sides of the house thus squeezing as much possible light out of the not always bright Scottish skies. Sprawling out on the landing with camera atop elbow propped hands may become my default jewellery photographing style. We shall see.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Recycled Sterling Silver Wedding Rings

What an honour to make wedding rings!

 I love making such special pieces of jewellery and it delights me that more and more people are taking into consideration where the precious metal for their precious wedding bands comes from. This pair are made from 100% recycled sterling silver and were exchanged in a super special sea side ceremony on the east coast of Scotland this summer.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Spring Stockists 2017

Spring has been rather fine in the Borders this year and brought me new stockists. I have updated the list on my website and for Spring 2017 you can find my work at these fine establishments:

Chirnside Gallery, Scottish Borders

Creative Recycling Gallery, Chorlton, Manchester

Harbour Lane Studio, South Queesnferry

Number Four Gallery, St. Abbs, Scottish Borders

Tweedside Gallery, Newtown St Boswells

White Fox Gallery, Coldstream, Scottish Borders

Friday, 17 February 2017

Laura Johnson Jewellery at Tweedside Gallery, Newton St Boswells

This lovely lot have been delivered to Tweedside Gallery in Newton St Boswells and as well as enjoying making the jewellery I had a fiddle with some display cards.

A very pleasurable hour with ink, card and tape framed in the use what I've got mindset produced these:

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Sea Glass Bottle Stopper Necklace

Finding bottle stoppers on the beach is one of the most exciting discoveries! Especially when they are beautifully weathered but whole. Over on instagram I have been enjoying sea glass posts from across the world; in a sea glass challenge, yesterday's prompt was stoppers and instagrammer posted an image of the most wonderful collection of stoppers including a purple one. Purple!

I made this pendant from what I believed to be the base of a bottle stopper and finally got round to photographing it with a complete stopper R found at the beach at the weekend. I must say it is very nice to have actual weekends again!

You can see the central round impression on the pendant piece of sea glass where, at one time, the rest of the stopper would have protruded. If stoppers are a rare find, perfectly rounded stopper bases are even rarer; this is the only one I have ever found.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Winter Warming

Now we are into January, the media warns us of impending thundersnow and, even if there's only a sprinkling of snow it is distinctly chilly.

My lovely mother in law treated herself to a sumptuous woolly poncho before Christmas and this week declared it was no good as she didn't like the flappiness of it all. So, the poncho was kindly given to me, the daughter in law of frequently purple hands with a penchant for drapery; it's lovely!

Before the cat spotted the poncho lap of joy I took a few winter inspired shots of some jewellery. I then spent the afternoon editing them with the laptop perched on the arm of the sofa with the cat claiming her rightful spot on my lap!

Wishing you all a very happy new year!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Scottish Borders Christmas Gift Guide

Having spent the last two years running a gallery I have had the immense pleasure of encountering loads of wonderful creative work. As it is coming up to Christmas I thought fellow Scottish Borders folk might appreciate a brief list of who is making gorgeous gift ideas and where they can buy them.

This list is by no means comprehensive so please don't be offended if I've missed individuals or venues out; there is a distinct lean to the Eastern Borders )and Berwick) as that's where I'm based.


If you want to support local artists and give handmade gorgeousness this Christmas I highly recommend checking out our wealth of galleries. Many of the galleries will be running winter opening hours so it's worth checking out their websites for opening times. 

For paintings, printmaking, photography, furniture, wood, sculpture, ceramics, glass, jewellery, cards and even gift vouchers do check out our local galleries.

First up, The White Fox Gallery is taking over our gallery space on the High Street in Coldstream and up until Christmas Stephen and Virginie will have both the High Street and Hirsel galleries open. 

Number Four Gallery in beautiful St Abbs houses a huge range of contemporary arts and crafts plus you get the chance to go for a stunning coastal walk when you visit! If you are heading this way on a Friday make sure you pop into the St Abbs Market at the Ebba Centre too.

Kinsman-Blake Gallery, Smailholm, near Kelso, hosts the work of the Kinsman-Blake family including pottery, wood, jewellery, paintings and print making.

The Flat Cat Gallery, Lauder also has a lovely cafe to enjoy when you visit, or if you can't make it in person they have just started selling online.

The Crafters, Market Square, Melrose, hosted by a core group of makers with different guests showing work each month.

Not far from the Crafters is the brand new Melrose Gallery which opened last month.

Julia Linstead Glass Gallery, the Hirsel, Coldstream, home of Julia's workshop and a whole array of glass wonders.

Photographer and framer Ian Oliver at Tweedside Gallery, Newtown St Boswells.

Chirnside Gallery and Framers.

Online Shops

If you are shopping for festive gifts from the comfort of your own home here are a few Scottish Borders and Northumberland based artists and makers with web shops.

Wildlife artist Hannah Longmuir whose calendars make a lovely present.

Dave Watson and Morag Eaton of Foldyard Studios in Berwick-upon-Tweed have a selection of artist prints available to buy online.

Harris Tweed textile art, print and cards from Bright Seed Textiles.

Jeweller Fiona Luing makes beautiful jewellery with prices starting at under £10.

Prints from artist Sylvia Quinn Home.

Orwell and Goode the fabulous creators of home decor, art prints, fabric and accessories.

Kiki's Chocolate is delicious!

Beautiful beasties from Linda Lovatt.


For those who would prefer to gift an experience it is possible to choose from a wide range of visual art and creative writing workshops for all ages at Allanbank Arts, near Allanton.

Maybe you know somebody who would like to make a willow chair, a rustic stool or carve spoons, all available at The Big Tree Society, Buy Design Gallery, Harestanes.

Weaving workshops in Swinton with Janis Embleton.

Mill Pond Flower Farm has an online shop where you can order flowers for local delivery, heirloom silk ribbon, natural dyed fabric and you can also book onto two flower farming workshops.

Lastly, for something a bit different; for the drivers there are gift vouchers available for 4x4 experiences or training with Farx4

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Pop Up Christmas Market at the Granary, Berwick-upon-Tweed

Next Saturday I'll be joining the lovely folk of 56 Degrees North studios at their pop-up market.

I will have a selection of sea glass and pottery jewellery, some enamel buoy jewellery and maybe even a bargain basket. This will be the first event I've done in ages as running the gallery did not leave much time for other events so it'll be fun to pop up somewhere different next weekend.

It will be a festive occasion and yes, if you read the small print that does say mulled wine and mince pies! See you there! 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

November 2016

November has been my first month back in the workshop full time which is a good place to be.

I have made lots of new work which has gone out to galleries for Christmas exhibitions and my own web shop is live and filling up with new pieces including this set of aqua sea glass and silver pieces of jewellery.

I have had this gorgeous round piece of sea glass for quite some time and am delighted with this lovely clean silver setting; I've left the back open to let the light shine through the glass which I guess is the base of an old bottle stop.

Sunday, 27 November 2016


The first set of my buoy inspired jewellery has hit the shop

Spending lots of time on the coast the brightly coloured or weathered and faded buoys always caught my eye and earlier this year I started to make jewellery echoing these coastal sights. 

Enamelling round silver and copper discs to create earrings, necklaces, bangles and rings with a pop of colour I offer these in a shiny new-buoy or matt been-in-the-sea-a-while-buoy finish.

So join me in exclaiming in fine Norther Irish fashion, buoys a dear* would you look at those colours!

*'boys a dear!' = a common mild exclamation in  Northern Ireland along the lines of 'Oh My goodness!'

Sunday, 30 October 2016

October 2016

October 2016 brings to an end our time running Coldstream Gallery, a jam packed two years and we are so grateful to all the fantastic artists who showed with us and all our visitors; for popping for coffee, buying, chatting and being lovely! 

Now it's back to the workshop full time for me getting ready for winter exhibitions and to fill with new jewellery.

We managed to squeeze in a wonderful trip to Edinburgh which reminds me I have a memory card of photos to look at.

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