Dear readers, welcome to Friday. It has been a difficult week, with the passing of one of our dear DUSTy team leaders Julie-Ann. I truthfully am still coming to terms with this, as are so many others. I think when one is feeling a tad under par emotionally, the small things can seem to be so much bigger than they really are. Work seems to have been a little more stressful and I have felt a little more on edge than normal. I guess it is a coping mechanism. I am incredibly thankful to have "met" and shared an online friendship with dear Julie-Ann and she has given me inspiration to pursue my handmade dreams.
This week I want to share the work of a new Friday Friend and DUSTy diva - meet the exceptionally talented Sharon of KiahDesign.
The more I have read about Sharon and her crafts, the more intrigued I became to learn more about what Sharon creates. This may have something to do with my love of pretty crafting papers, with their splashes of colour and fine designs. I do have a special affection for beautiful japanese papers(which I think I may have mentioned at some other time) and I adore the creations of KiahDesign. I want to share some of my favourite things with you now.
Look at the beautiful colours and designs in this Recycled Papier-mâché Brooch
and the kaleidoscope of colour that makes these delicately intricate Paper Bead and Sterling Silver Cone Earrings, aren't they just gorgeous ?
Dear readers, I invite you now, to take some time out of your busy lives to have cuppa, put your feet up and escape for a little while, exploring the KiahDesign Kaleidoscope. Be kind to one another and have a wonderful weekend xo
The KiahDesign Kaleidoscope
Hello, my name is Sharon Armstead and KiahDesign is one facet of my creative life.
As an artist, I work mainly in mixed media, making papers and textures which I incorporate into larger works. Most times, I can be found in my studio, preparing work for exhibition.
The landscape has always been the source of my imagery- layers of human and natural history which I find fascinating. Layers, things hidden, half seen or sensed are elements which hold my attention. Like most of us, I pick up the things that catch my eye - pebbles, shells, bones, perhaps stones or leaves. Often, I will make moulds from these objects and make paper versions which will end up in my paintings. I make papers from the leaves and plants I collect.
"Strata" is one such work. It is made up of numerous layers of leaf papers which have been made from leaves collected from the forest floor.
"Pages from a landscape" is one of my books and it is part of an exhibition at East Gippsland Regional gallery in Victoria.
Sometimes jewellery seems the way to go, hence Kiahdesign.
My love of paper and colour led very naturally into making paper jewellery. I enjoy the inherent contradiction- the "preciousness" of jewellery versus the everyday material of paper. My materials range from the exotic to the mundane; from beautiful marbled and hand silk-screened Japanese and Italian papers to weaving newspaper.
It takes various forms, from brooches made from papier-mâché that I make from computer paper, to paper beads which I make into earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Most of my jewellery sells through Regional Gallery shops around Australia but I do enjoy it when I am asked to make a necklace as a gift for someone, as that makes it very personal and special.
I think the japanese aesthetic of gift giving has rubbed off on me because the presentation of my jewellery is very important to me. Perhaps it is because everything is made of paper, just in a different form. The making of the box, putting in the silk paper and japanese lace papers. They are like a ritual at the end, the finishing touch.
Even leaves make their way into my jewellery, along with easter egg foil and leaf skeletons!
I live, with my husband, also a painter, in a beautiful secluded spot in Milton on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. I am originally from England and Gavin is from Zimbabwe. Where we live now is the longest either of us has been in one place so it's home. When we were first married, we lived in a tent, travelling around Australia. Gavin made us a large painting tent out of unstretched canvas on a hand sewing machine, somehow connected to a fan to drive it! It worked and we had a neutral painting space- all the other tents gave a greenish tinge to everything! We would set up in National Parks, stay a few weeks painting, then move on. It was a lovely time. Now, years later, we are equipping a van for camping, so who knows, perhaps we will be off again!
I have painted since I was a child- all I ever wanted to do but not very sustaining on a practical level!
I did a Fine Arts degree in England, have done a lot of waitressing and worked in the theatre, mending and painting sets for English National Opera, Sydney Opera whilst on tour and Theatre ACT, Canberra.
I aim to continue painting and I would like to develop Kiahdesign . As I said, most of my jewellery sells where people can view it for real. So perhaps I need a new line for my etsy shop. I don't know, I'm pondering...
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