Our collection consists of distinctive and original ceramic and glass jewellery, a collaboration of two artists, Cherie Irwin, who works in ceramics and Gayle O'Duffy who works with hot glass. We have known each other for years and both have worked on jewellery making independently. We decided it would be fun to work together and see what we could accomplish by combining our talents. We both love making the components with our hands and find the varying processes relaxing and satisfying as we work. There is also wonderful and exciting thrills in the process, a lot of room for experimentation and risk taking with colour mixing, new shapes and designs and never quite knowing how it will all turn out. We both love opening the kilns to see what has happened!! We live in Methven, New Zealand, and our studios are within walking distance of each other making our creative collaboration easy and fun.
The porcelain elements start with raw, soft porcelain clay, it is often coloured first with mason stain pigments to get depth of colour. It is molded and shaped by hand into the blossom, leaf or flower shapes. It is lovely using the colours of underglazes, glazes and finally lustres to see what magic may or may not happen as the possibilities combine during the multiple firings.
The glass elements are made by the ancient process of lampworking, by melting and working glass cane in a hot flame. The beads are made on a mandrel and the headpins on a sterling silver wire. Cane, frit, stringers and fine silver are used for varying effects. The headpins and beads are then annealed in a kiln overnight. After the fire scale is removed from the wire they are ready to be made into jewellery.
Cherie has been working as an artist for many years, painting and sculpting as well as jewellery making. She lives in Methven, New Zealand with her photographer husband Bill. You can see his work at www.billirwinarts.com They love to travel and spend time with their grown sons, daughter-in-law and small grandchildren. They also like trying to keep fit with walking, hiking and biking.
Gayle is a doctor by day and enthusiastic glass artist by night! Lured to Methven by the skiing, time has gone by and golf replaces skiing. She spends her days fixing people and trying to redesign the health system, melting glass and creating beautiful things has become an essential outlet to balance the day’s work.