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History of the Welsh Lovespoon

Although the exact origins of lovespoon-making in Wales are unclear, we know that such spoons would have been shaped with great care and devotion by their carvers. Lovespoons were given as a token of love and affection and each spoon was unique.

The lovespoon collection at Amgueddfa Cymru contains beautifully ornamented examples both historical and modern. It conveys the changing nature of the art through time and encompasses a wide variety of styles and designs all carefully handcrafted to the highest quality.

Presenting a decoratively carved spoon to a loved one as a token of affection has long been popular in Wales. From the Museum’s oldest dated spoon of 1667 to contemporary examples by renowned present-day carvers, the calibre of the spoons is testimony to the makers’ skill and devotion in creating objects intended to be treasured by their recipients.

Read more from The National Museum of Wales…

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50 Shades of Autumn

Raindrops on copper leaves
Copper star triangle earrings
Copper star triangle earrings

Autumn has arrived in all its golden glory, bringing its cornucopia of colours and textures. However, as copper is a natural substance, the dampness that autumn also brings may also affect your jewellery.

Some of our most popular items combine the bright clarity of silver with the wonderful natural look of copper. This combination really does add that uniqueness  to your jewellery.

The variety in colours of copper is myriad, just like the autumn leaves. Whether you prefer it to be bright like rose gold or dark and moody, copper’s patina always brings interest to jewellery.

Earring charms
Earring charms

This patination gives copper its special quality. The dark patination works particularly well with our textured items and really emphasises the shapes and letters of the texture.

At a recent show we attended, it was really interesting hearing all the amazing comments on our jewellery and especially the variety in the copper.

Looking after your copper jewellery

The best way to look after your jewellery is to keep it in an airtight container. Copper reacts with moisture so  make sure it’s nice and dry before storing away.

Reviving your copper jewellery

However, if it does oxydise and you’d like to revive its bright copper colour, try this – and you don’t need any special equipment or products.

  1. Mix equal parts of table salt and lemon juiice.
  2. Dip your copper jewellery in the mixutre and wipe clean.
  3. Polish with a dry cloth and you’re done.
Infinity Love Heart earrings
Infinity Love Heart earrings

If you love salt and vinegar crisps, you can also substitute the lemon with vinegar and mix into a paste with some flour. Very, very effective but rather smelly!

Whether you love your copper bright and shiny or dark and moody, your jewellery from Daphne & Molly will always make a statement.

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Prepare to be wrong

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”

Sir Ken Robinson

I just love this man! If you’ve never watched any of Sir Ken’s talks, you really should. Not only is he a very charismatic and engaging speaker, he speaks so much sense.

It’s been particularly pertinent this week as I’ve definitely had a bit of Imposter’s Syndrome and there’s quite a lot of stuff in my ‘gone wrong’ pile. But if I hadn’t gone wrong, I wouldn’t have half the best-selling designs I have now.

Just watch this snippet from his amazing “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” TedTalk. It’s important to remember that it’s not just about ‘artsy’ creativity but just about allowing creativity (in children especially) in everyday things be allowed to flow.

Do schools kill creativity?

I think what Sir Ken says about allowing people (adults or children) to make mistakes is so true bit remember this is not necessarily about schools – it’s about creativity.

You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.

Richard Branson

About Sir Ken

Sir Ken Robinson works with governments, education systems, international agencies, global corporations and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations to unlock the creative energy of people and organizations. He has led national and international projects on creative and cultural education in the UK, Europe, Asia and the United States. The embodiment of the prestigious TED Conference and its commitment to spreading new ideas, Sir Ken Robinson is the most watched speaker in TED’s history. His 2006 talk, “Do Schools Kill Creativity” has been viewed online over 40 million times and seen by an estimated 350 million people in 160 countries.

Read more…

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Driving a Craft Renaissance with Daphne & Molly…

It’s been a busy few weeks at Daphne & Molly designing and creating some new pieces and collections especially for Craft Renaissance Gallery in Usk.

Daphne & Molly display stand
Daphne & Molly at Craft Renaissance Gallery in the beautiful Usk Valley

After a lovely visit and chat about hair colour with Hele, Owner and Director at Craft Renaissance Gallery, Daphne & Molly went headlong into designing and creating their new collection. From lovebirds to starfish, we carried through the theme of simple and elegant sterling silver and copper jewellery at affordable prices.

The first delivery of items arrived at the gallery ten days ago and included geometric necklaces and lovebirds together with some really amazing locally made display stands by Woodbug Dai.

In the first weekend, we sold four items – small steps but great work by Daphne & Molly and Craft Renaissance. Why not make an afternoon and visit the beautiful Usk Valley and pop into the gallery to see our pieces in situ.

Otherwise, you can also check out our new pieces here.

ART & CRAFT IN THE BEAUTIFUL USK VALLEY

Craft Renaissance Gallery
Craft Renaissance Gallery set in the beautiful Usk Valley

Craft Renaissance Gallery is a lovely art and craft gallery situated on the main Usk to Brecon road in the glorious Usk Valley on the road to Brecon and Abergavenny. They hold a range of beautiful local items from wood turned objects to colourful pottery and a wide range of jewellery. In addition, there are a number of artists-in-residence there and a lovely little coffee shop selling locally ground coffee and homemade produce.

And we even had time to talk hair colour!

Daphne & Molly are very privileged to be amongst these beautiful pieces and look forward to continuing our journey with the gallery.

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Who are we?

You might be asking yourself who Daphne and Molly are. Well, they’ve both come into my life recently and made a massive change.

Daphne the Campervan came into my life in July 2015 after a number of years dreaming of travelling the world in a VW campervan. Well, I haven’t quite managed the world yet but she has certainly changed my view on camping.

Molly the Jug came into my life almost exactly a year ago. All my life, I’d wanted a dog but work committments put paid to that…until last year when I just said to myself – DO IT!! And what a difference she’s made. She might yap alot (especially today) but I wuv her!

I’d love to hear from you. What or who has made a massive change to your life in the last few years?