Happy new year

2018

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It’s nice to be back after a little festive break, although I haven’t quite settled into a routine just yet! Have you set any goals or resolutions for 2018? I’m not sure I believe in resolutions, I always end up setting unrealistic challenges that I don’t or won’t stick to, then come February I have failed almost every one. There are some things I’d like to achieve this year though, like exercise and read more, learn a language, get up earlier, and I have lots of things up my sleeve for Kirsten Manzi Jewellery Design too! 

After some big changes in  2017, I've learned that things do not go to plan. I've learned the importance of being open to and embracing change as well as following my gut (and winging it a fair amount). If someone told me las year that by the end of 2017 I'd have bought a flat, lost my job and become full time self employed, I'd probably be terrified at the prospect but still wouldn't have believed them. So this year, I'm planning on dropping the unrealistic resolutions and will be going with the flow, embracing change along the way. I'm going to try and create the life I want and grow my business by setting small, regular habits and goals rather than trying to change lots of big things in January.  I'm hoping this will help me stay on track throughout the year. This month I’m looking forward to knuckling down and making some small changes to my business, working on more commissions and teaching myself some new skills. I’m also preparing for teaching my first beginners jewellery class which will be starting Thursday 8th February.  There are still some spaces available. If you are looking to try something new you can book your place here.
 

 
 

Although this January is a bit busier than usual I am still managing to ease back into things and thanks to an amazing Christmas gift, will be jetting off to Italy for a week too! We’re heading to Bologna, any recommendations are very welcome.

I hope you had a wonderful winter break and are having a lovely January so far.
 

 
 
 

Kirsten ManziComment
Christmas Market Guide

 

Where to find Kirsten Manzi Jewellery This Christmas

It’s that time of year again. There’s a chill in the air, the Christmas ads are on TV, songs are on the radio and we all try to forget that it’s December this weekend! If you’re anything like me, you’ll already be thinking about what to give your family and friends this year and adding festive events to your calendar for the next month.

I love a good festive market. There’s nothing better to get you in a festive mood than soaking up the yuletide atmosphere with a hot drink in hand, while you browse handmade gifts in a beautiful setting. As a jeweller, taking part in festive markets is a great way to spend a weekend out of the workshop. It’s always lovely seeing friendly faces, chatting to other makers and it's a fantastic opportunity to actually meet and talk to customers.
 
To help make your shopping a bit easier, I've put together a guide to all of the markets and pop-ups I’ll be taking part in this year, as well as my top picks for each one. Come along and say hello if you can!

 


Tea Green Pop Up Boutique
The Stables at Taypark House, Dundee
Thursday 30th November 5 pm - 9 pm
Friday 1st December - Sunday 24th December 10 am - 5 pm

Kirsten Manzi Jeweller’s first festive event of the year is Tea Green Events unique pop-up boutique, at the stunning Taypark House in Dundee’s West End. Taypark House is a unique historical building and one of Dundee’s breathtaking baronial mansions, with spectacular views across the River Tay. Tea Green will be taking over the gorgeous Stables, which has been recently renovated to be a truly unique and stunning space beside the mansion.

This boutique will open on the 30th of November with an evening of live music, food and drink, free tastings & of course shopping. There will then be a similar, special evening shopping events every Thursday until Christmas and the pop-up boutique will be open every day from 10 am - 5 pm until December 24th!

My Top Picks


CRAFTED MARKET
Dundee Contemporary Arts
Saturday 2nd December 12pm - 5pm

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Dundee Contemporary Arts' (DCA) CRAFTED Christmas Market returns on Saturday 2nd December at DCA with a fantastic lineup of contemporary craft and design exhibitors. My BALANCE collection will be available to buy at the market, however, I won’t be there on the day (I’ll be in Glasgow). My lovely friend Paula, will be looking after my stall and be on hand to help you find the perfect gift! Find out more about the artist’s who’ll be there in this blog,

The DCA is a hub for art and culture in Dundee, with its program of exhibitions, fantastic classes, cinema, bar and restaurant. Why not spend a morning or afternoon doing a bit of Christmas shopping and checking out the current exhibition, before relaxing in the bar or going to see a film. There is a great selection of films on throughout December, take a look at the Cinema Guide here.  That’s your Saturday sorted!
 

My Top Picks


I.D Pop - Up Store
The LightHouse, Glasgow
Saturday 2nd December 10:30 am - 5 pm
Sunday 3rd December     11am - 4:45pm

Coming together with Granny Would Be Proud; the I.D store presents you with a new way of shopping local and supporting independent businesses. The 6 floors in this historical building will be filled with brilliant artists, designers and makers creating a unique Pop - Up shop throughout the whole building. I'll be there with my new B A L A N C E  Collection, in the jewellery department! 

The Lighthouse, situated in Mitchell Lane, just off the Style Mile in the heart of Glasgow, is Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture. The Lighthouse was the first public commission completed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It now acts as a beacon for Scotland’s creative industries. Spend your Saturday or Sunday browsing the 6 floors of unique gifts and while you’re there visit the Lighthouse exhibitions and the Mackintosh centre!

My Top Picks


Tea Green Pop Up
Kibble Palace, Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Sunday 10th December

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Taking place at the tranquil and beautiful Kibble Palace in Glasgow Botanic Garden’s Tea Green’s festive market is open both Saturday 9th  and Sunday 10th December.

Kibble Palace is a spectacular 19th-century wrought iron framed glasshouse which opened in Glasgow in 1873.  Then its interior was lit by 600 gas lamps which could be coloured for effect!  It was initially used as an exhibition and concert venue, before being used for growing plants from the 1880s. Now, the building houses a large collection of orchids, carnivorous plants and tree ferns.

I’ll be there on Sunday 10th with a stall full of handmade silver jewellery for you to browse, try on and buy. There’s a jaw-dropping line up of artists, designers and makers over both days! Come along and enjoy a whole weekend of relaxed festive shopping surrounded by fabulous plants, in a stunning setting!

My Top Picks


 
A Litte Note On Rest 

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF SELF CARE WHEN YOU ARE SELF EMPLOYED AND SUPER BUSY

 
 
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It’s a busy time of year, that’s for sure–the fun sort of busy, usually. But with that fun frenzy comes a pile of to-do’s, a mountain of stress, all the daily pressures that build up, little by little, until one day you realize there’s a pit of worry in your stomach. There’s a knot tangled with all the things that unsettle you. And you see that somewhere, in the midst of it all, you forgot to breathe.

You think: No wonder they tell us to stop and smell the roses.
— –Little Things and Curiosities
 
 

Working for yourself, running your own business, being your own boss? It's great, isn't it? You're passionate about what you do and your job is extremely rewarding BUT it can be hard to switch off and make time for yourself, or even take time off when you need a break.  Especially at this time of year.
So these 3 tips are for anyone who has ever felt like they have no time, their to-do list is never ending and they are for me as I need to take my own advice too!

FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT THINGS
Schedule personal time into your week as well as any business or work-related thing and plan your week, every week, before the week begins.
Make sure those business or work-related things add value to what you are doing, focus on your big goals and important things first. This includes your personal life. Spending more time with family, exercising, having a date night or chilling in the bath with a book and glass of wine,  if it's important to you, get it in your Calendar and DO IT!  Create a routine that gives you some "me time" every single day.  This week's seminar at Acorn Enterprise, by Brian Macauley touched upon this. It was all about productivity and self-management and has me rethinking how I plan and prioritise my to-do list for the week.

GO OUTSIDE
If like me you work from home, you can get cabin fever as some days you don't need to leave the house. But try to make time to go outside, start or end your day with a stroll around your neighbourhood or take a break at lunchtime. Walking is great for your brain and body, it is a great way to get a little boost halfway through the day.

SAY NO
Nowadays, people like to brag about how busy they are and often take on more than they can feasibly manage, people feel like they should say yes to everything! As an entrepreneur, you'll have an endless stream of emails, people looking to meet up with or a list of little things that need to be done ,that maybe aren't that important. Say no to 90% of this. Say no to anything that is a distraction from your business and personal goals. If you are worried about offending someone, redirect them to another solution. If something can be answered with a quick phone-call or email rather than meeting, do that instead. Add an FAQ section to your website or refer people to blogs that answer their questions.  If something crops up that eats into your me time or the time you spend with loved ones, put it off if you can, schedule it into the next week, unless it is REALLY SUPER important. Here is a fantastic article on the power of saying no.

Stop focusing on all the things you should be doing, take some time out this week just for you and have a little breather. Most of the time (depending on your work) it's not life or death, things can wait and people are understanding, so give yourself a break. Have a little rest. You'll feel much better for it.

 
 
 





 






 

Shop Small This Christmas

 

I’m going to ease you all into the whole “Christmas” thing with a little blog about shopping small and local at this time of year. It can be so easy to only go to all of your usual large retail shops when Christmas shopping, or if you can’t deal with tackling the shops, grabbing your laptop and a cuppa and shopping online with big name online stores and there's nothing wrong with that. However I am going to challenge you all to try something a little different this year by shopping small and/or local, even if it's only for a few gifts.  There is nothing like finding the perfect gift for someone, something that will bring them happiness for years, something they didn't even know they wanted. This year enhance your gift buying with soulful shopping and meaningful purchases from some small independent brands, makers and designers....

 
 


Step out of the shopping centres and get to know your local community this year. Explore some of the smaller independent shops in your local area. Small shop owners know that the items we surround ourself with can be a source of joy and they stock their shops with items that do just that. You'll be sure to find unusual, quirky gifts that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else on the high street, making it easy to find the ideal gift that you know the recipient won't already have. Independent shops also have their own personality and atmosphere. Rather than feeling busy and hectic they have a more laid back vibe, making you feel a bit more relaxed in the midst of frantic festivities. 

Evidence from numerous surveys shows that people receive better customer care and service in local shops. These shops survive through recommendations and repeat visits so they will want to give you the best possible service. Independent retailers are passionate about what they do, they KNOW their shop and their products, it is likely that the have personally made, designed or handpicked the lovely gift you are about to buy. So if you have a question or aren't sure about something, they will be more than happy to help you with their knowledge and expertise, often going above and beyond. Great service, often with a personal touch means less stress for you! 

If you are in Dundee make sure you check out Dock Street Studios, Quirky CooIndigo HouseBella and Pretty Fly Workshop (for unique gifts, accessories, homeware and handmade items), J.A Braithwaite (for coffee lovers), Abandon Ship, MC Boutique,  Cartocon, Haylay Scanlan, M Boutique (for clothing and accessories) as well as Grouchos, Assai and This Way Up (for the music and book lovers).

and head to these stockists to shop Kirsten Manzi Jewellery in person. (Keep an eye out for new stockists coming soon!)

Whether you're searching for a last-minute decoration or desperately seeking inspiration for your gift buying, local christmas markets and pop-up shops will have you covered!  Forget getting stressed while traipsing through the same old shops, head to a market or pop-up, grab yourself a mulled wine and opt for something a little more laid back. These kind of shopping events offer a unique experience to buy directly from a variety of independent makers and designers.  Meaning you can meet and talk to the actual person who made the gifts you are going to buy! Makers and designers put HOURS of work, love, care and craftsmanship to ensure you receive beautiful high quality pieces that you won't find anywhere else. The meaningful purchase of a handmade gift can enhance the gift giving experience. Imagine waking up on christmas morning and being able to tell a little story about meeting and talking to the makers who personally designed and made the gifts your friends and family are opening.

You may also be surprised by what you can find at the markets; giving you new ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Buying from independent makers often means you can get things customised, maybe add initials to a pair of cufflinks or commission a design using your loved one's favourite colours. 
You’ll end up with gifts that can’t be found elsewhere and I guarantee your friends and family will be impressed.

You can find Kirsten Manzi Jewellery as well as a number of other wonderful makers at the following events this year:

Tea Green Pop-Up Boutique at Taypark House 30th Nov - 24th Dec
The I.D Pop - Up Store at The Lighthouse 2nd & 3rd Dec
CRAFTED Market at Dundee Contemporary Arts  2nd Dec
Tea Green Market at Kibble Palace 10th Dec

 
 

If you do want to do your christmas shopping within the comfort of your own home why not look for independent makers. Almost everyone has their own website. If you're not aware of many independent makers at the moment you can explore Craft Council's Makers Directory or browse sites like Etsy, Folksy, Not On The High Street,  Made By Hand Online and shop through ASOS Marketplace rather than the main site to find pieces by independent brands. Take a look at the makers who are exhibiting at markets and pop-ups, or stocked in the shops  in your local area and look them up online.  You can also shop online with independent brands and galleries like Home by Kirsty, Tom Pigeon, DCA  who will stock a variety of lovely alternative gifts!  Many small businesses make products by hand, often with years of expertise behind them.

Browse my online shop here for handcrafted silver jewellery.
 

I will probably be making a lot of gifts this year, it’s fun and can be done on a tight budget. If you have a bit of time you can DIY a lot of gifts, they don’t have to be complicated or expensive! Make up a little spa with homemade bath salts or shower tabs, soap and a candle, create a terrarium or hanging planter for the plant lover in your life or try your hand at making your own gin or beer. Take a look at my D.I.Y Christmas board on Pinterest for inspiration.

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What is My Ring Size?

 

How to FIND YOUR PERFECT RING SIZE

Whether you're trying to surprise a loved one or treating yourself, buying a ring can be a bit daunting if you don’t know your ring size. A half size too small and it may not fit over your knuckles, half a size too big and it might move around too much.

I want you to be able to find your perfect fit so that your rings will arrive ready to wear. Here are some tips, tricks and tools to help you find out the ring size of any finger you like. Once you know write it down or save it in your phone so you don’t have to worry next time you want to buy a ring.
 

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Go to your local jeweller
If you are in town or at a shopping centre, pop into a jewellery shop. Most shops will be happy to measure your finger with no obligation to buy. If you’d like me to measure your finger size, get in touch. I’d be happy to help. This is the most reliable and accurate way to determine your ring size. All jewellers in the UK use the same standard sizes and jewellers will have the correct tools to accurately measure your finger size.

Use a plastic ring sizer
If you don’t live near a jeweller you can use a plastic ring sizer to measure your finger. Slip the sizer onto your finger and adjust it (like a belt) until you have a comfortable fit - snug enough so that it won’t fall off but loose enough to JUST slide over your knuckle. The size the arrow points to when you have a comfortable fit is your ring size. Order one, keep it and reuse it whenever you need to know your ring size. Pass it along to friends and family too, I bet you're not the only one who doesn’t know your ring size!

Although this won’t be as reliable as metal ring sizers it will give you a good idea of your ring size. Just make sure you follow the instructions. You can always double check with a jeweller if you need to.


Use a printable ring sizing guide
To get the most accurate and reliable results I’d advise using this alongside one of the options above. Measurements taken from a piece of paper will give you a rough idea of your size.  Follow the instructions carefully and make sure that page scaling is set to "100%" on your print dialog box before you print.

  • Print out your ring sizing sheet.
  • Double-check the ruler on the PDF against a physical ruler. If the measurement is not accurate, your ring size measurement will not be completed properly.
  • Carefully follow the instruction to determine your ring size.

    Download your printable sizing guide.
Handmade Silver Rings


If you want the ring to be a surprise
If you are surprising someone else with a ring there are some ways to find out their ring size without them knowing. Ask their best friends and family - they might already know their size. If they already have a ring they wear on the correct finger “borrow” it and use the printable sizing guide or take it to your local jeweller. If they will notice the ring is gone, you can carefully draw around the inside of the ring or make an imprint of it in something soft like a bar of soap. A jeweller can make a good guess of the size from there.

Things to consider:

  • Your dominant hand may be slightly larger so make sure you measure the correct hand. (If you’re measuring for an engagement ring that's the left ring finger - the one next to the pinky finger.)
  • The best time of day to measure your ring size is in the evening when your fingers are largest.

  • Avoid measuring when you’re cold as your fingers can be at least half a size smaller.

  • Wider bands will have a slightly tighter fit and therefore less “give” for slipping over knuckles. Consider ordering half a size larger for bands 3mm or wider.

  • When in doubt go up half a size.

  • Make note of your ring size so it’s there when you need it.



If your ring doesn’t fit
Hopefully with these tips you’ll end up with a perfect fit every time. However if you end up with a ring that doesn't fit, don’t worry. I can resize almost any ring to make sure it fits perfectly. Just get in touch.

Now you're ready to buy a ring that fits you perfectly. Take a look at my range of rings online here or get in touch if you'd like to commission one.

 
How to Commission a Piece of Jewellery
 

9ct White Gold Wedding Rings

9ct White Gold Wedding Rings

COMMISSIONING A PIECE OF JEWELLERY

 
 

Jewellers (and other makers, artists and designer) often talk about ‘commissions’, but what does this actually mean?  For me, working to commission means that I work with customers to create bespoke, custom and unique jewellery pieces. Think of it as a collaboration between you and the designer. It allows you to have some input into the design of the piece and become part of the making process.  

So...have you ever thought about commissioning a special piece of jewellery but aren’t sure how to start?  Here are some top tips to help you achieve your dream design…
 

First things first, what do you want to make?  
Although I can work with you to figure out exactly what you’d like, commissioning works best when you  already have an idea. Think about who the jewellery is for.  What do they like? What do they wear? Do they have any interests or hobbies you’d like to incorporate into the design?  Is it for a special occasion? Do you have a preference for the type of metal or stones in the design?  The more information you can give the designer the better.

 
NYC Commission using clients own photos.

NYC Commission using clients own photos.

 


Get to know the designer.
You want to choose the right designer who can turn your idea into something tangible.  Get to know their work and choose a designer whose style you like. Many designers like to add their own influence into commissioned pieces so let them know if there are elements of their own designs you’d like to include in the piece. Make sure the designer you choose will take on commissions, if you’re not sure just send them an email - most jewellers will be happy to help and even if they won’t do the work themselves they may pass you on to somebody who will.

Ask how the designer works and make sure you feel comfortable with their commission process. I like to have an initial consultation via email, phone or in person. After this I ask for a £50 design fee and once the design is confirmed I will take a 50% deposit and begin making your piece. I will keep you up to date with the making of your piece via email. Ask the designer what their process is, if they provide sketches, how they will make sure the piece fits and anything else you can think of. Knowing the answers to all of these questions at the beginning will leave you feeling confident at every stage.

 
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Have a budget in mind.
If you are commissioning a piece of handmade jewellery it is important to value the time and effort they put into making your bespoke piece. When a designer prices a commission they take a lot into consideration. As well as designing and making your piece they will have to think about fluctuation of the price of precious metals, any hallmarking fees and the overheads that come with running a small jewellery business. Give your designer a budget as early as possible, if you are unsure what your budget will cover, don’t be afraid to ask, many pieces can be designed and altered to suit your needs by using different metals or stones. I work closely with my customers to ensure that I can create a beautiful piece that is within their budget. If you are looking for a bargain or just want the best price then a commissioned piece of jewellery is probably not for you. Most commissioned pieces are custom made and completely unique. Be realistic with your budget and never expect a designer to lower their commission price.

Work To a Deadline.
It is likely that you are commissioning a piece of jewellery as a gift for someone special. If this is the case and you will need the piece for a specific date let your designer know as soon as possible.  Be aware that designers can often have large workloads and the time it takes to complete a commission varies from piece to piece. It can take from 3-10 weeks to design and create from the first consultation to delivery, depending on the complexity of the design.

Be prepared, think ahead and have a deadline to ensure you get your pieces in time for all of those special occasions.

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9ct White Gold Cairngorm Engagement Ring.jpg

Silver & Yellow Sapphire Engagement Ring

Silver & Yellow Sapphire Engagement Ring

I hope you find these tips are helpful and now feel confident when commissioning a bespoke piece of jewellery.

Alongside my collections I do provide a commission service and can update any existing designs in another metal or to suit your style. Take a look at my commissions gallery and get in touch to chat about how we can make your perfect piece of jewellery.

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what happened in september at kirsten manzi jewellery?
 

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"And all at once Summer collapsed into Fall. " 
Oscar Wilde

 I love this time of year. It is the run up to all of my favourite holidays and I love getting wrapped up and watching the scenery change colour as the low autumn sun casts a golden hue over everything. Not only does everything look beautiful at this time of year, September can feel like a fresh start, a new season  full of optimistic possibility.

 
 
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The past month at Kirsten Manzi Jewellery Design has been all go with lots of new and exciting things happening. I’ve had not one but two launch events to celebrate the new B A L A N C E collection. I had an amazing evening event at Flamingosaurus Rex in Edinburgh followed by a wonderful weekend in Kathryn Rattray's beautiful studio in WASPS Dundee. I have had such a positive response to the collection so far and it was lovely to meet and chat to so many people so thank you very much if you came along to either of the events! You can now shop the
B A L A N C E collection online at www.kirstenmanzi.co.uk/shop

Creative Dundee were also back with Make/Share in September and when Claire asked me to get involved my initial reaction was “nope, no way.”  Make/Share is a monthly event that invites local creatives to talk about their work and processes. Hosted by The Beer Kitchen, Make/Share is super friendly and relaxed but my fear of public speaking still set in! However, I decided to “face my fear and do it anyway” (aka winging it) which actually seems to be the theme of this year so far. I stood up in front of a pub full of people and did a 10 minute talk, nothing bad happened and apparently nobody could tell how nervous and awkward I actually felt. I don’t think I will ever be able to watch it back but if you are interested you can watch the full evening of talks here.

Winging it as a full time self-employed jewellery for the past few months I decided I should probably learn a bit more about business. In my search for business related advice and information I came across Acorn Enterprise, a brilliant organisiation that educates and accelerates new businesses and entrepreneurs. Acorn have recently set up shop in The Old Flour Mill and have started their 8th business accelerator programme here in Dundee. I was lucky enough to be accepted onto the program at the start of September and so far it has been a fantastic opportunity to delve into the nitty gritty parts of running your own business. I’m excited to see how the next couple of months at Acorn will impact Kirsten Manzi Jewellery Design!

At the moment I am making work for a selection of NEW stockists who will be stocking the B A L A N C E collection over Christmas and I will be introducing them to you very soon, I am also now taking Christmas orders so if you are looking for a bespoke or custom piece of jewellery please get in touch. I have a few other things up my sleeve which I need to keep quiet for now...but watch this space, for more exciting news to come!

 
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Kirsten Manzi Jewellery is launching a new collection - balance

B A L A N C E

 
Kirsten Manzi Jewellery Design - In The Workshop
 
 

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be launching my new collection, Balance at Flamingosaurus Rex on Saturday 16th September!  I have been very busy over the past month or so designing, making and planning the launch of my new collection. I have finally narrowed down the designs and will be ready to share the finished pieces with you in September. In the meantime here is a little sneak peak of the new collection and info about my upcoming Launch Party...

The Balance Collection combines bold curves with strong lines resulting in delicate structural pieces influenced by the round topped windows, arches, smooth curves and strong angles hidden in Italian architecture.  With the belief that there is beauty in simplicity the collection focuses on clean elegant shapes that combine my love of architecture with minimal design. My aim is to create beautiful and timeless jewellery pieces that can be worn every day.  The collection will feature 4 necklace designs available on 18" and 22" chains, bold brooches, bangles, earrings and cufflinks.  All of the pieces are designed to compliment one another, so they can be mixed and matched to suit your own style! 

Each piece in the balance collection is made from 100% recycled silver wherever possible with sterling silver and stainless steel findings.  100% recycled silver is made using scrap jewellery, medical equipment and electronics which are melted down and transformed back into silver sheets or wire. Because it has already been extracted recycled silver ensures no new silver is mined as it is essentially up cycling what already exists.  Recycled silver can be treated and worked with in the same way as silver, for the same quality results. Your jewellery will still look beautiful, recycled silver is just more environmentally friendly.

 
 
Kirsten Manzi Jewellery Design -  New Collection in the Making
 
 
 
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To launch the Balance collection I’ll be having an evening event at the fantastic Flamingosaurus Rex in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh (who also stock Kirsten Manzi Jewellery Design so go have a look). On Saturday 16th September Flamingosaurus Rex will be open from 6pm-9pm for an exclusive launch party giving you the chance to be the first to buy my new work as well as meet and talk to me.  We’ll have drinks, food and music for you to enjoy too PLUS goody bags and offers available only on the night. So come along and help me celebrate. Find out more about the event and RSVP. 

For a behind the scenes look into the making of the collection follow me on Instagram and to keep up to date with all things Kirsten Manzi Jewellery design sign up to receive my newsletter.
 

 

 

 
 

The Balance collection will be available to buy online and at Flamingosaurus Rex on Saturday 16th September.

 
 

www.kirstenmanzi.co.uk
enquiries@kirstenmanzi.co.uk


kirsten manzi jewellery & Dundee Mini Make-Off

 

“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.”

-Pablo Picasso

 

 
 
T-Shirt Jewellery Workshop
 
 

You may know that I have another little project that started last year with two lovely ladies Kirsty and Mairi: Dundee Mini Make-Off. Dundee Mini Make-Off is a small initiative that we started as a bit of fun aiming to engage local communities with the joy making through workshops, tutorials, competitions & exhibitions. This all kicked off last September with our first event, Dundee’s (not so) Mini Make-Off where we collaborated with over 30 local creatives to organise a one-day creative event consisting of workshops, a pop-up shop, exhibition and live making a competition. You can read more about our first event on our website.
Life has taken over a bit leaving the three of us less time to work on this little project: moving homes, new jobs, losing jobs and moving to Vietnam (read more about what Kirsty is up to at Vin Space Art Studio)  put a bit of a spanner in the Dundee Mini Make-Off works BUT we are slowing getting the ball rolling again.

 
Photo: SCRAPantics 

Photo: SCRAPantics 

 


Last Saturday with lots of help from the lovely Trish at Art Bubble and behind the scenes moral support from Kirsty and Mairi I organised another, much smaller Dundee Mini Make-Off Event. I met Trish after finding out about Art Bubble a month or so ago and she was so full of creativity and positivity I couldn’t not collaborate with her! After a chat with the Make-Off ladies, we got planning, organising and recruiting to create a (really this time) MINI Make-Off Event with Art Bubble in the short space of just 2 weeks. And we managed!

 We set up 4 workshops in Trish’s amazing Art Bubble Space: T- Shirt Jewellery, Origami Safari with Toki Designs, an Art Bubble Taster Session and DIY Butterflies with SCRAPantics! We had a very busy morning with lots of families and little hands trying all of the workshops we had to offer which was amazing. It was great to see everyone leave with something they had created and lovely to hear that people were enjoying themselves throughout the day.

We started Dundee Mini Make-Off because we wanted to do something a bit more creative in our own lives as well as bring art and design out of the studios and into the local community. We aim to create fun, engaging and inclusive interactive events that encourage everyone to come together, share skills, learn, and explore their own creativity. Although Saturday’s event was small, I think we still managed to do this. Throughout the day I had children as young as  5 and up to around 10 take part in my workshop as well as adults of all ages. It was amazing to see the things people designed in a relaxed environment with no pressure and was lovely to see their confidence grow as they began to experiment and make more than one piece. Not to mention the conversations, connections and friendships made around a table full of strips of t-shirts, a bunch of pliers and jewellery making supplies.

 
 

I think a lot of people are scared to try thing that are deemed "arty" or "creative." They are scared they won't be good enough or that their work will be judged, this is not the case. It really is all about letting go and having a bit of fun. Most people are amazed at what they are capable of making. Above are some of the pieces made during my T-Shirt jewellery workshop. Aren't they fantastic!

 
 

Let's not let people divide the world into the creatives and non-creatives, realise that everyone is naturally creative and we should all let our creative ideas fly:

 
 
 
 

www.kirstenmanzi.co.uk
enquiries@kirstenmanzi.co.uk

 

Where to buy Kirsten Manzi Jewellery in July

 

Making. Experimenting. Sketching. Designing. Pricing. Meetings. Planning. Organising. Orders. Commissions. New Stockist. New Collection. PopUps. Workshops. 
July is turning out to be a pretty busy month here at Kirsten Manzi Jewellery Design. 

 
 
Jewellery Workshop
 
 

We have been getting our bathroom renovated, which means my little studio has been taken over by tradesmen, tools and boxes of bathroom furniture and materials. I've been working around them for the past week or so and am looking forward to getting back to normal this week (I'm also looking forward to our shiny new bathroom!)  At the moment I am busy making lots of stock for upcoming events as well as a collection of Fragment pieces for a brand new stockist,  (I'll tell you more about that later!)

 

 
 
ID Store Pop-Up

This month I'll be showcasing my work at two pop-up events. One here in Dundee and one in Glasgow. First up is The I.D Store Pop-Up: a unique weekend pop-up store brought to you by Granny Would be Proud in association with The Lighthouse.  The I.D Store Pop-Up promotes a new way of shopping local and supporting independent brands. With 6 floors of independent designers and makers, the Pop-Up includes a jewellery department, home interiors/homewares, independent fashion design, kid's department, men's department, vintage craft and design marketplace and a floor full of delicious independent food stalls. I'm sure there will be something for everyone so make space in your calendar for an alternative shopping experience in Glasgow and come say hi! 

The I.D Store Pop-Up will take place at The Lighthouse in Glasgow on the 15th and 16th of July from 10:30 - 5:00.
Find out more here.

On Saturday 22nd July I'll be popping up with Dundee Ministry of Crafts for the first time. Dundee Ministry of Crafts is a monthly pop-up market focusing on unique design led handmade products sold directly by local makers. Dundee has a large and vibrant creative community and for one Saturday a month Dundee Ministry of Crafts acts as a little creative hub, with over 20 stalls from local artists, designers and makers. Pop into the Steeple for a little browse, chat to local makers and maybe even treat yourself to something from one of the stalls. 

Dundee Ministry Of Crafts Pop-Up Market will take place at The Steeple Church in Dundee on the 29th July from 11:00 - 4:00.
Find out more here.

As well as getting ready for these pop-ups I've also been busy organising another Dundee Mini Make-Off event in collaboration with Art Bubble! On Saturday 22nd July we'll be holding a Summer Pop-Up Workshop event: a day of creative fun! 
We are teaming up with local creatives to offer drop-in workshops and tutorials aiming to introduce people to the benefits of making in a fun and friendly environment. I'll be running a T-Shirt Jewellery Workshop where I'll be showing you how to turn your old t-shirts into wearable jewellery! We’ll have a few different workshops for you to try throughout the day so pop-in at any time. You can keep an eye out for workshop announcements on the Dundee Mini-Make Off Facebook page here.

T-Shirt Jewellery Workshop will take place as part of the Summer Pop-Up Workshop at Art Bubble Studios in Dundee on the 22nd July From 11:00-14:00
Workshop Price: £4.00 per person

Find our more here.

 
Kirsten Manzi

www.kirstenmanzi.co.uk
enquiries@kirstenmanzi.co.uk