Accessories, adornments and wearable art


by Vikki Lafford Garside

Vikki Lafford Garside logo for stickers copy

By Vikki Lafford Garside, Aug 12 2016 06:00AM

Receiving the Renishaw Innovation award for 'Simply the Best'
Receiving the Renishaw Innovation award for 'Simply the Best'

I only went and WON THE COMPETITION! Wow, how amazing is that?! It was a complete shock. After seeing all the other entrants I didn't think I had a chance. There was some really tough competition. So I won the Independent Designer category, but then to top it all I also won the Renishaw Innovation award 'Simply the best' for best in show.

Ocean's Last Gasp
Ocean's Last Gasp

The judges comments were:


“Unbelievably observational.”

“Fantastic interpretation of theme.”

“Exciting and inspiring.”

By Vikki Lafford Garside, Aug 11 2016 05:00AM

This was going to be a long post, so I have broken it up into three sections. Rather like the experience itself, of making the costume, then exhibiting it, then results......... (see part III)

Bleu did a marvelous job of modelling Ocean's last gasp and as she showed of my creation to it's best in front of the judges, the compere read out my statement.

This piece is about the fragility and beauty of coral reefs around the world and the imminent threats to their survival. It represents mankind’s dominance of the natural world and the impact on the oceans, such as over fishing, pollution, suffocating seas and coral bleaching. As a keen scuba diver, she loves to spend time underwater in the most beautiful and amazing environments. She hopes that we can protect these beautiful coral reefs so that the future underwater remains a beautiful, thriving environment bursting with colour, light and life.

By Vikki Lafford Garside, Aug 10 2016 05:00AM

This year I decided I wanted to set myself a goal and push my boundaries and I entered the Art Couture Festival in Painswick. For several years I have had a stall at the festival and admired the costumes and always thought I should enter, but as often is the case, time slides by and I run out of time. This year I made the decision at the beginning of the year that I would enter no matter what. Then I saw the themes and instantly knew I would create a piece for the ‘Underwater’ theme.

Work on the costume took months, firstly dreaming up the ideas then translating them into a construction of some sort. I worked in fabrics, wire, powertex (fabric hardener), stone art, cardboard, paper and plastic and worked on and off up until 1am that day. The last few days were the most tricky, trying to make this crazy construction feel comfortable for my lovely model Bleu to wear all day long. I added lots of foam and carpet underlay inside the large collar and we had to create a system to strap her in and keep the collar up on her shoulders. Bleu was fantastic and even thuogh she was feeling very unwell she wore this from 9am until 8pm! Such a star.

Photographs thanks to Richard McCleery

By Vikki Lafford Garside, Nov 22 2015 07:00AM

It has been a few weeks since the last post and we are in the midst of the crazy, hectic pre-Christmas madness. I have been at markets, exhibitions and craft shows and making as much as I can in between. My family have been so amazingly helpful especially in the first few weeks of having my hand in a cast. My dad is skilled in the art of detailed cut work, I have trained my husband to attach jewellery findings and make earrings, and my mum has been helping me out with pretty much everything else! Luckily now a few weeks have passed and I'm able to do pretty much everything again so my family are finally off the hook.

It has been a fun time travelling to different towns and meeting people, both new and returning customers and also fellow stallholders. I even bumped into an old friend from college at Worcester Victorian Christmas Market, which was fantastic! Getting feedback on products and ideas is always great, even if the feedback isn't necessarily what I'd want to hear, and I love listening to ideas and requests from customers. For example, the earring designs were all suggested by customers, and I might never have tried them had they not been requested. Admittedly it took a while to get there, but I did listen Smiling face with open mouth and smiling eyes this year has not been any different, so there are lots of ideas and suggestions swimming around in my head. I can't wait to try them out in the New Year.

Until then, I have a couple more Craft markets at Hereford and Cheltenham and an exhibition with the Oxfordshire Craft Guild in Woodstock

By Vikki Lafford Garside, Oct 12 2015 01:31PM

Today I am in a rather frustrating situation of being unable to use my right hand. Being right-handed this is quite awkward but I am hoping I might become proficient in left-handed embroidery over the next week! I doubt that will happen but since every cloud has a silver lining it has at least allowed me to tackle the jobs I can do with one hand, those tasks that are often neglected, such as updating my website and writing some blog posts.

So what's happened? I was surfing yesterday and fractured my little finger. Ouch! Hopefully it will heal quickly and I certainly don't intend to do any more surfing this year!

By Vikki Lafford Garside, Sep 1 2015 01:00AM

I thought I'd take a moment to introduce a gallery that recently started stocking my work.

Bluestone Gallery came to my attention a couple of months ago, I don’t remember how exactly, but probably on one of those wanders through the wilds of the internet, or a whisper from someone on my travels. It struck me as a wonderful gallery full of a huge variety of different crafts, so I got in touch with them straight away. I have since heard great things about the gallery from other makers, and wonder why I didn’t know about them before?!

Bluestone Gallery is run by Guy whose own background is in ceramics. He worked as a potter for many years but now dedicates his time to representing other artists and makers in his gallery.

Why not check out the website, and if you are in the Devizes area stop by and have a little look.

By Vikki Lafford Garside, Jul 31 2015 01:29PM

Anyone who has visited my blog over the last few years will probably know I have a few friends in the wedding industry, most notably my long-time friend, Sister-in-law and business partner Sassy, the amazing photographer at www.assassynation.co.uk

Today I would like to introduce another good friend, Simon Dorey, who is a very talented wedding singer. Simon is married to my wonderful friend and fellow MMU Embroidery graduate Kathryn, and I had the honour of being a bridesmaid at their wedding earlier this year. Simon is such a talented musician and he even takes a baby grand piano to events, can you belive it?!! He is also a professional DJ so he can tailor the style of music and tempo to all sorts of occasions, not only wedings. In fact, Simon will be performing at my Mum’s 60th birthday party in a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait! I think Mum is just a teeny little bit excited too!

With the wonders of technology you can listen for yourself at www.maleweddingsinger.com/wedding-singer-demos/

Also check out Simon’s website at www.maleweddingsinger.com

By Vikki Lafford Garside, Jul 17 2015 01:00AM

Last week I visited Lucinda Brown at her gallery in Buckinghamshire. It was a lovely day and I really enjoyed my trip there. Lucinda is a ceramicist who creates wonderful sculptures in her workshop within the grounds of Claydon House, a National Trust property within sprawling grounds and such quiet, peaceful countryside. She also has a cute shop alongside the gallery, in which she sells jewellery and accessories, including my designs. So, I visited with the sole intention of dropping off some work, but I came away with so much more! Lucinda has a passion for art, design and craft and a generous nature so I came away feeling inspired by her positive nature and also by her approach to displaying my work. She also lent me a beautiful book about Art Nouveau jewellery, which I flick through whenever I get the chance and will no doubt inspire many future designs!

You can see Lucinda's own work at www.lucindabrownsgallery.com

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