A MARMITE MEETING OF SORTSPosted by Ellie Ingram on
It began with a stall at the Paperdoll's Christmas market. Just before Christmas. Funnily enough. If you don't believe me - here I am. Hitting things with a hammer and everything.
The Paperdolls Christmas Market 2017 from Sarah Chaundler, Jigsaw Pictures on Vimeo.
If you haven't heard of the Paperdoll's Handmade market - it's not a market full of dolls made out of paper, it's also not the 1960s British female vocal trio, from Northampton. It's a super awesome bunch of creative lovely people selling the things that they design, make, draw, print, sew, paint, fire, grow.... You get the idea. If you'd like to see for yourself, some of these marvellous creations that I speak of, you can do so by having a nosey at their very pretty Instagram.
It was at this very market that the Beans sparked a twinkle in a certain someone's eye.
A couple of days after the market I opened quite possibly the most excitable email I have ever laid eyes upon. A very lovely lady by the name of Bee had ventured onto the website in search of the Beans but instead she stumbled upon her one and only. Her one true love. THE ALMIGHTY MARMITE. Sincerest apologies Beans but in this instance you're not cutting Bee's mustard.
I knew Bee was serious when I saw her Marmite collection. I was in awe. Just look at this. This is taking Marmite love to a whole 'nother level.
I felt a little intimidated truth be told. I didn't realise there were people out there this fanatical. I mean I always knew I wasn't alone in my personal Marmite patriotism, but I've since been informed that there are some pretty crazy obsessed marmite fans out there. There is even a Marmite collectors community. Who knew?
Straight away I knew that this girl needs her Marmite necklace. And I was honoured to be the one to step up to the plate and deliver this mighty challenge.
There was too much excitement for emails. Bee visited the workshop and we exchanged recipes. Her favourite being a hefty dollop mixed into her beans (ah now I understand why she sniffed out those beans at Paperdolls). And mine being 'Baxter's Brunch' from Leon's Fast Vegetarian. A mind-blowing marmitey garlicky cheesy poached eggy creation which I thoroughly recommend for a Sunday morning feast.
We designed the necklace over a cuppa and I let her know that the construction process will be pretty much as demonstrated in the homepage Marmite video. Except possibly minus some crumpet consumption based on available kitchen cupboard breakfast stock at said time of making.
I also reassured Bee that my jewellery making skills are better practiced than my sketching skills.
If you've not yet seen the Marmite making video, then here it is below. Enjoy.
Making Breakfast from Bug on Vimeo.
I enlisted the help of Andy Pilsbury to create the video. He stuck a Go Pro on my bonce to film the whole making process and I applaud him for trawling through eight odd hours of footage (including more than a couple loo breaks) to extract the bits worth watching. I'd wanted for some time to create a video of the whole jewellery making process from flat sheet metal through to 3D model so that customers can see how the pieces in my jewellery collections are created.
My favourite kind of making is model making. I love the challenge of constructing an object. It didn't take too long to decide on the subject matter. I bloody love Marmite. And it was sat there peeping at me out of the workshop kitchen cupboard. It was meant to be.
I make pretty much everything this way. Why? Hmm, well. It's really the only way I know how. Wax is too squidgy for my liking and I don't know CAD. Plus god help any CAD designer who dare to enter and extrapolate my brain. Sometimes I'd think that because I don't know any other way, that this is the most obvious or easy or crude. But I've since decided that this is now just 'my thing'. I love model making from scratch. I love the challenge of working out how I can use the metal in it's raw form. It's this process that gives the piece an aesthetic I can call my own.
Starting from a flat square piece of silver sheet means the jar is completely customisable. Bee chose to have a red enamel heart and the label raised up with 'Marmite' lettering pierced out. I was nervous about piercing out those teeny tiny letters. I think it may be the fiddliest piercing I have ever done. I took my time and luckily they turned out okay. Going too far with the blade and sawing through to another letter had me most worried. Then filling the mistake with solder and flooding the whole letter would have been another disaster. But that didn't happen (high five). The lines are a tad wibbly-wobbly but that imperfection is all part of the charm. A common phrase amongst us handmade folk.
On the back Bee had the lettering 'Belle Stew'. I've managed to get a half decent photo of the laser hallmarking. I'm still getting to grips with using the macro lens so this was good practice. You realise how much you shake when focusing on something so tiny. The hallmark is less than 1mm tall so it's pretty little. I've gone for a couple of extra marks being as this is a special piece. As standard a hallmark comes with the maker's mark - mine being 'ELI' the metal identity 925, and the anchor for Birmingham (don't ask, we are nowhere near the sea). The extras are the Lion which also means silver and the date letter. Figure they could do with the extra help on the Antiques Roadshow someday.
MISSION MARMITE COMPLETE
This extra special little jar is now sitting pretty in Bee's kitchen cupboard and by the sounds of things she's pleased with her new mate.
I wish them a life time of beans, cheese and happiness together.
- Tags: creative journey
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