Samantha / 11 July 2017
Shakti is one of the incredible ethical wedding jewellery designers from our directory. She specialises in exquisite fair trade wedding and engagement rings with proper heart and soul. Based in her studio in Somerset, all of her jewellery is handcrafted and receives a special ‘blessing’. She is truly passionate about her craft and her route to designing jewellery is truly a fascinating one.
Intrigued now? Well we asked her some questions for you so you can find out more…
Ethical wedding jewellery rich in ritual and romance
Hi Shakti, welcome to the Meet the Maker series thank you for taking part. We’d love to know the back story behind your business, how did it start out?
Well, it all began back in India in 1994. I was living between Japan, Thailand and India and during a visit to Pune I became very sick with a high fever. I was living in the infamous ‘White House’ guest house and a concerned fellow traveller and resident, Asi, took me in and kept watch over me. He was a jeweller and sat at a small work bench, on the floor, hammering, soldering and sawing.
I became captivated by the intricacy of the work and the beauty of the high karat gold and gemstones he worked with. When I had recovered, he presented me with the most beautiful gold and turquoise ring…I was hooked! I knew with all certainty that this was what I was meant to be doing.
From there I followed a boyfriend to San Francisco and by an act of serendipity I got a job at The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, where I trained in the Graduate Jeweller program over the next five years. Later training with 5th Generation Armenian Master Goldsmith, Hratch Nargizian, a man of extraordinary skill and talent, who remains my mentor to this day.
Such a wonderful fascinating story! The story isn’t the only thing fascinating about your business, you describe your rings as being “rich in ritual and romance”, could you tell us more about this and what that means to you?
I sat with the Huni Quin tribe, who live in the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. They instilled in me the importance of ritual in all that you do. How all things must be created with a conscious awareness and with respect to the materials you are using, where they have come from and where they are going. To the Huni Quin all of life is prayer whether they are hunting, cooking or singing. I have described in more depth the details of how this is incorporated into my work in the question on ‘little gold prayers’.
Every ring is rich in romance from the inside out, a symbol of love a commitment. This romance is created by the ancient love songs I sing as I work, by the artisanal aspect of how they are made, the prayers bestowed upon them and ultimately to the dignity given to the miners who pull this precious metal out of the earth. Visually, this romance can be see through the delicacy of the work, the ‘secret’ hearts which are carved into the back of the engagement rings, the star settings and the milligrain edging often seen in my jewellery.
A Day in the Life of The Real Cut Flower Garden: behind the scenes of Floristry on the Wild side workshop
Samantha / 3 July 2017
I think it’s always wonderful to go ‘behind the scenes’ and find out more about the brilliant independent wedding businesses from our directory. Today we get the opportunity to get to know the ever so talented Charlie Ryrie of The Real Cut Flower Garden.
Charlie, in our eyes, is one of the original champions of British grown flowers for weddings, and we have always admired the magic she creates with her seasonal country garden grown flowers. As well as creating wedding flowers, Charlie runs creative floral workshops to share her expertise. Hosted in a wonderful old barn at New House Farm and artisan studios in Broadoak near Bridport in West Dorset. Today’s ‘Day in the Life’ feature showcases her`Floristry on the Wild side’ workshop.
The workshop was beautifully captured by Liz Baker photography, who specialises in luxury wedding photography, brand editorials, and feminine portraiture. To provide the accompanying words with the lovely images we will hand you over to Charlie herself to tell you a bit more about the workshops and the story behind her business…
Samantha / 22 June 2017
It goes without saying that we are huge advocates of supporting British flower farmers. We wholly promote using British and seasonal flowers for your wedding day. It is always with delight then that we enjoy celebrating British Flowers Week. We love that British flowers and foliage get the love and publicity they deserve. Luckily we are finding that their popularity is growing more and more which is amazing to see. This week is British Flowers Week 2017 and we wanted to mark it with a little recap as to why we think you should buy British blooms and support our homegrown experts and businesses.
Samantha / 13 June 2017
Today’s vintage tea party wedding inspiration post is the first in a series we are going to be bringing you. As I am sure you are most probably aware we have the most wonderful directory bursting full of eco-friendly, ethical independent wedding suppliers and businesses. What you may not be aware of is the amazing variation of products and services on offer we have in the directory that will suit any sort of wedding ‘theme’ that you may be going for.
This new ‘Wedding Theme Inspiration’ series of blog posts is going to provide inspiration for a variety of different types of wedding using a sample of the products and services from our directory to help you with all your wedding planning needs and to highlight what amazing things you can find.
Today’s theme is ‘Vintage Tea Party Wedding’. Think vintage bone chine, swathes of bunting, pretty pastel tones, florals a plenty, afternoon tea and garden games.
Charlie / 13 April 2017
We’re back with our Meet the Maker series interviewing small business Oakwood Soaperie who create beautiful botanical wedding favours. When planning your wedding it’s easy to get caught up in check lists of what you need to buy, but we think it’s important to take a moment to get to know the people behind the businesses.
Today we are joined by Ceri from Oakwood Soaperie, a Northumberland based small business creating a beautiful range of botanical wedding favours. From luxurious soaps to bath salt shots, Ceri is dreaming up and creating some delightful sounding natural botanical wedding favours.
We wanted to find out more about what inspires her, how she got started, and the process of creating her range.
Beautiful botanical wedding favours for a natural wedding
Hi Ceri, welcome to our Meet the Maker series. Tell us how you first dreamt up Oakwood Soaperie?
I have a background in art and design and after many years of non-creative jobs, I was hankering to get back to designing and making once more. I officially began Oakwood Soaperie in October 2010 after many, many months of researching, reading and formulating recipes while experimenting with natural ingredients and making some basic products.
I was working full time and fitting in building up to launch my business in my spare time. I began at my dining room table which I soon outgrew, and now have a beautiful, rural studio within a National Trust property near my home town where I can make everything and work on my business full time.
Laura and Jamie’s autumn village hall wedding with statement flower crown, emerald green bridesmaid dresses and a squirrel cake topper
Joanna / 7 February 2017
In nature, autumn is a blaze of vibrant colours and this week’s Real Wedding is all about those quintessential autumnal colours. Emerald green bridesmaid dresses, rusty orange leaves, plump purple blackberries, soft brown fur and deep red dahlias. This autumn village hall wedding is a feast for the senses too; the textures are intense with pheasant feathers, ears of wheat and berries adorning the dahlia bouquets, buttonholes and hair clips.
Captured by TNWC recommended photographer, Amy Taylor Imaging, Laura and Jamie’s autumn village hall wedding is the product of a whole community coming together and pitching in. The ceremony took place in her parent’s tiny local church and the celebrations unfolded in the village hall in which her youth clubs were hosted when she was a teenager.
We chat to bride Laura to find out more about the their special day…
Autumn village hall wedding
A Southend Barns autumn wedding inspiration shoot with Minna wedding dress, seasonal foliage and lanterns
Samantha / 26 January 2017
Today’s Southend Barns autumn wedding inspiration shoot is bound to cheer up any ‘January blues’. Think soft glowing lights, trailing foliage in vibrant autumnal hues, jewel-toned seasonal flowers and ethereal bridal style evoking visions of Elven folk from a Tolkien novel.
This beautiful shoot was dreamt up by the rustic farm venue Southend Barns in Chichester and To Have and To Hire wedding stylists. The shoot aimed to showcase local and ethical wedding businesses which of course we always love to see. The styling was a celebration of autumn to reflect the beautiful textures, forms and colours it has to offer. Everything was perfectly captured by award-winning wedding photographer Kelly Hearn.
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