Nick Hubbard‘s work has been a best-seller at iapetus ever since we began selling it six years ago. That’s because it’s among the most original, creative and quirky jewellery you can find – plus Nick’s pieces have that extra special something that’s difficult to put into words but that seems to come only from those artists who work with their hearts as well as their hands. Nick’s work is amazing in its detail and intricacy; a figurative collection of oxidized silver pieces and charms bearing words and messages. Many lockets, brooches and rings have moving parts and small doors that open to reveal fine gold detail. It’s no wonder that Nick’s following of devoted fans is growing all the time.
We wanted to dig a little deeper into Nick Hubbard’s world, so we invited him to have a chat with us about his inspirations, background and passions. Read the whole interview below.
Q: Tell us a bit about what drew you to jewellery-making.
A: As a young boy I had a love of handwriting, which when it came to choosing a possible career led me to hand-engraving at the school of jewellery. Beforehand I’d had no conception of the jewellery trade, and when I arrived there I discovered a whole world of jewellery and silversmithing.
Q: Do you have a particular sort of wearer in mind when designing your pieces?
A: Possibly somebody of good humour who might like the simple pleasures of life, not necessary a specific person but more of an attitude or feeling about the world.
Q: What other artists/designers do you admire?
A: Paul Preston, Pete Blake, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Fragonard.
Q: What is your personal favourite piece from your collections?
A: The In a Magical World locket.
Q: What is the most difficult part of the jewellery-making process?
A: Getting new ideas finished in time.
Q: What was the worst job you did before becoming a jewellery designer?
A: Working on a rose farm – going along behind the man that put a small bud variety on the rose stem and I had to fix a small plastic cover over each one. I spent days on my hands and knees, going up and down a field.
Q: What would you be doing for a living if you weren’t a jewellery designer?
A: Dog-sitting or caring for humans.
Q: What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not designing/making?
Sitting at home reading with Jean (Nick’s wife) and the wee dogs, or cutting up small squares of paper for collage pictures.
If this has whetted your appetite and you’d like to explore the whole range of Nick’s magical work, visit his page at iapetus.co.uk.
Our latest artist to join us here at iapetus is Geraldine Murphy of Saba Jewellery, who makes gorgeous, bold necklaces inspired by our animal friends.
We’ve already had a brilliant reaction to the new pieces – animal-lovers in particular have been charmed by the original, colourful designs that include hares, kingfishers, foxes and more.
Geraldine says she’s inspired by ‘animals in action’ and that she aims to make her jewellery uplifting. With these gorgeous characters it’s difficult not to be cheered by her fab designs. Find the whole range here at iapetus.co.uk.
We recently packed up several cars with our newest stock, just about managed to shut the doors and drove down to the Cotswolds to take some fabulous pictures.
In a lakeside house just outside Cirencester, we set up a series of lifestyle scenes for our lovely photographer, Andy Hockridge, to capture with his camera. The house sat right on the water, with floor-to-ceiling windows, so it was ideal for showing our products in natural light and a contemporary setting. We wanted bright, decadent pictures with lots of colour – and we hope you agree we achieved it!
It may not have been Summer, but we were determined to create a warm and sunny feeling! Not difficult to do, with all the glorious textures and rich colours in the throws, glassware, cushions and lighting we’d brought.
So there you have a sneak peek at the results of our photoshoot – and keep your eyes peeled at the newsagent’s, because some of our shots have already been earmarked for features in House Beautiful, My Weekly, Ideal Home and Cloth over the coming months…
This Spring, we’re putting together a number of cunning plans to support Plan UK, a brilliant charity who help children in the world’s poorest countries to move from a life of poverty towards a future with opportunity.
First up is our gorgeous selection of gifts, 10% of the sale price of which is going straight to Plan. You can see all the gifts here, and when you shop from this range you know you’re not only treating someone (or yourself) to something fab, you’re also making a difference.
We’ve also put together a fabulous Pamper Hamper worth over £60, which could be yours if you enter our raffle. Just pop in to the gallery any time before Easter and buy your tickets at 50p each, then keep your fingers crossed! All proceeds will go to Plan and the draw will take place on 2nd April 2013.
As part of this initiative, we’re also sponsoring Matilda, who is 6 and lives in East Timor. We’re looking forward to getting to know her through her letters. To find out more about child sponsorship with Plan, visit their website.
Romance is alive and well, but sometimes our Romeos and Juliets are a little misguided, as these tales of heartfelt gestures gone horribly wrong prove. You have to feel for these hapless lovers whose efforts to impress have backfired spectacularly.
One young man saved up for a £4,000 ring and planned a surprise marriage proposal with a helium balloon. The plan was that he would pop the question by popping the balloon, inside which he had placed the ring. On leaving the balloon shop, however, he was hit by a sudden gust of wind and the balloon flew off, taking the expensive ring with it. The poor lad spent the rest of the day searching for it, but to no avail.
Hiding an engagement ring in a piece of cake isn’t a new idea, but Reed Harris chose a milkshake in which to disguise his ring, and patiently waited for his girlfriend to reach the bottom of the drink and discover something shiny. Sadly, her friends couldn’t wait that long and challenged her to drink the shake down in one – which she did, and swallowed the ring along with it. Harris ended up proposing with an X-ray of her stomach showing the missing ring as a prop – not exactly the scene he was hoping for, but she said ‘yes’ anyway.
Not so lucky was James Miller, whose gesture may have been fuelled by one too many pints. At a football match, he stripped down to his underwear and streaked across the pitch, while shooting roses from a bow and arrow, Cupid-style. Not only was he arrested and banned from matches for 3 years, but his girlfriend was so unimpressed she finished with him.
So it’s not all plain sailing when it comes to impressing the love of your life, and if your partner is prone to grand gestures, we would advise extra caution around milkshakes, balloons and football matches this Valentine’s Day!
Win a romantic hamper worth £50!
We’d love to hear your stories of romantic gestures gone wrong. Maybe an ill-advised Valentine’s Day gift, a proposal that didn’t quite go according to plan, or a romantic surprise that fell flat…post your tales on our Facebook page before 14th February and our favourite will win a super-romantic hamper of iapetus goodies worth £50. To save blushes, you can change the names of those involved!
The beautiful, heart-warming art prints by Freya have caught the attention of the press lately, and it’s not surprising. Natural Health magazine picked out the Our Harbour print as a perfect Valentine’s gift for a chap, with its un-girly colourway and wonderful, warm message. New magazine The Simple Things recommends The Dreamers print for those with poetic souls. Check out the full range on our website here.
When we had our Christmas photoshoot back in October with the lovely Andy from Imagemaker Photography, it did feel a little bit early to have the mince pies and brandy out, but by the end of the day we were in full festive swing.
Now the results of the shoot are making their way into the press, not least this fab front cover of Worcestershire Now magazine, who’ve chosen to feature our Narnia-themed Christmas table:
Visit us at iapetus gallery or explore our kitchen & dining department online if you fancy recreating this shimmering, wintry look this Christmas in your own home, or just adding a touch or two of Narnia magic to your decorations.
Hot on the heels of our Portfolio exhibition with Shelly Perkins (see previous post), comes brand new work by another of our most loved Malvern artists, Tia Lambert. Tia has been known for some time for her wonderful watercolours of the Malvern Hills and has gained quite a following among locals and visitors alike. For Through the Long Grass, though, Tia has produced some extraordinary oil paintings quite unlike anything we have seen from her before.
This is a bold new direction for the artist, and we’re really excited to have it on show, here at iapetus gallery and online at iapetus.co.uk from Saturday 6th October. Alongside the oils will be 20 new watercolours, each depicting a view of the Malverns through the grasses and wildflowers.
iapetus gallery is open from Monday to Saturday, 10.00am until 5.30pm, and you will be able to explore the exhibition at iapetus.co.uk 24/7 as soon as it opens.
You’ll also have a chance to meet the artist in person on Monday 8th October, as Tia joins us for a demonstration and talk here at the gallery. Call us for more information on 01684 566 929.
We’re gearing up for our next exhibition here, and a fabulous one it’s going to be too. Local artist and illustrator, Shelly Perkins, is returning to iapetus gallery on Saturday 8th September with work from past and present. Portfolio brings together the quirky depictions of Cotswolds, Herefordshire and Worcestershire towns and villages that have already gained her a devoted following, new illustrations inspired by children’s stories, detailed wildlife pieces and brand new interpretations of our local area.
The exhibition runs from Saturday 8th until Saturday 29th September, here at our gallery in Great Malvern, and all the work will be available to view and purchase at iapetus.co.uk throughout the exhibition.
For a chance to meet the artist in person, come along to our artist talk and demonstration with Shelly Perkins here at the gallery on Monday 10th September. Shelly will give a talk and demonstration to a small group and you’ll have a chance to ask any burning questions. Tickets are £12.50 including wine and nibbles and are limited, so please phone us on 01684 566 929 to book.
To view Shelly’s current work available on our website, click here.
This is really something you won’t want to miss!
We’re sure the calendar says it’s July, and Wimbledon’s just finished, and yet we don’t seem to be donning our sun hats and eating lunch outside every day. What’s up with that? Well, we’re cheerful sorts here at iapetus and we don’t let a bit (or a lot) of rain get us down. No, instead we’ve been gazing at beautiful new things in the gallery that are bringing a bit of sunshine in, regardless of what’s the weather’s doing outside.
Pop your factor 15 on, grab a deckchair and enjoy these bright and shiny new goodies.
To see all the new products at iapetus, visit our ‘what’s new?’ page.