Turpentine began as a pop-up craft market run by three friends; Amber Rogers, Alice Waters and Jude de Berker. Three years later, Turpentine has found itself settled down, in a cozy, cute permanent home in London’s Brixton. It still offers a wonderfully created selection of beautiful (and affordable) goods made by local young artists, designers and makers; but now it’s also able to offer workshops too, making creativity more accessible to London’s dwellers.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend, Saima, asked if I fancied attending a jewellery making workshop she’d been invited to by StreetHub (StreetHub is great for discovering independent shops). Of course I said yes, despite not really knowing much about what it would entail but nonetheless excited at the prospect of learning something new, working with materials I’ve never worked with before, being creative and meeting some other bloggers!
The workshop turned out to be an incredibly uplifting experience, hearing the story of how these three friends’ dream turned into a reality; how Jude runs every single workshop herself and getting to try our hands at silver necklace making.
Jude was a brilliant teacher, very patient and fun, making sure we understood every step of the process. If we got confused, she was able to enlighten us by drawing diagrams or offering hands on help. The workshop left me wanting more and I’m looking forward to going back, whether it’s to buy something special for our new home or to try out one of the other workshops, I can see myself growing very fond of Turpentine, indeed.
Left to right: Em, Jude de Berker and Emilia.
Em runs a blog all about trying something new every week of the year (wow, what an incredible task!): http://catch52.me/
Jude, a qualified art teacher who studied Jewellery making at Central Saint Martins, is one third of the amazing Turpentine team.
Emilia is an “art director come graphic designer, photographer and illustrator”. Her beautiful blog can be found here: http://emiliabuggins.com/
Saima runs a London based blog on all things wonderful, including, fashion, style, beauty and lifestyle: http://www.ldnshopaholic.com/ She also has her own youtube channel, which is fantastic for beauty, hair and fashion tips: http://www.youtube.com/LDNshopaholic/
Shelley runs an arts and crafts blog with lots of really inspiring DIY projects: http://shelleymakes.wordpress.com/
We taped our drawings to a piece of silver before using the piercing saws to cut out the designs. The saws are very delicate and easy to break… which I did manage to do. I’m sure you witnessed my big “WOOPS” moment in the video I made. I reckon it’s a bit like ice skating; you have to fall at least once, to get over the fear and to learn how to stay firmly upright!
I found drilling the holes for the jump rings slightly scary, but Jude was very reassuring by teaching us the correct method to be totally safe.
Removing the blue protective film from the silver was an exciting moment, as it was just moments away from creating the finished piece of jewellery.
Filing the silver pendant to achieve smooth edges was a lot less intimidating than the sawing and drilling!
Walking out of Turpentine that chilly evening, heading to the Brixton tube station, wearing my brand new bowtie necklace, I felt a very warm glow of achievement. What a buzz! Turpentine, I’ll be back!
For more info about Turpentine, check out their website or if you’re why not go to the shop in person?
It’s 3 minutes walk from Brixton station: Turpentine, 433 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LN