Signature Gallery

A small selection of my contemporary wirework jewellery is now (Feb15) for sale at the Signature Gallery in Kendal, including these red vintage button earrings. 

This is the first of my series of blogs on the galleries and event venues where my jewellery is for sale.

The Signature Gallery in Kirkland

Signature Gallery was established in 1997 by Peter Blaskett.

Inside this quaint gallery is a changing display of original 19th Century watercolours and modern art. As well as a small selection of ceramics, sculptures and jewellery. There is a regular exhibitions program with solo artists and group shows (mostly local artists).

The gallery offers a quality picture framing service, from simple photo frames to full museum conservation framing.

Kendal photo

Signature Gallery is located across from Abbot Hall Museum and Art Gallery and car park in historic Kirkland. Abbot Hall is a restored Georgian town house, its stable block is home to the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry, showing life in Cumbria over the past 3 hundred years.

Kendal photo
historic Kirkland

Kirkland, is known as the ‘cultural quarter’ of Kendal and its history can be traced back to the 8th century, when the settlement of Kirkland was established near a crossing point over the River Kent. The church built here was given to St Mary’s Abbey in York and Kirkland became a monastic estate administered from a nearby manor house.

The name Kirkland stems from ‘Kirkja’ old Norse for church and ‘land’, which has the same meaning as today, an enclosure or area of land.

Kendal photo
The New Shambles in Kendal

Kendal is known as the ‘gateway’ to the Lake District, being just outside the Lake District National park and only 8 miles from Windermere.

Its a market town – it received its market charter in 1189 – and it developed to the north of monastic Kirkland. They’re separated by the ancient boundary of the Black Beck.

The local barons laid out the town of Kendal with long burgage plots behind the street frontages, these were accessed through archways, which developed over time to become ‘yards’ filled with weaving, dyeing, shearing, salting and tanning workshops. The market town of Kendal developed rapidly as a trade centre for local goods, especially the woollen industry.

Kendal is situated in a valley on the River Kent and this is where its old Norse name stems from. Kendal = River Kent Valley. It was originally called ‘Kirkby in Kendal’ or ‘Kirkby Kendal’; ‘Kirkby’ is old Norse for church village.

Kirkland remained an independent township of Kendal until it was absorbed into the borough of Kendal in 1908, the administrative centre of Westmorland. Kendal is now the commercial centre of South Lakeland.

Kendal photo

After visiting the gallery, I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon in Kendal. I love wandering down the ‘gates’, small streets,  lanes and alleyways and reading about the history of Kendal on its civic signs that are dotted about.

Its a lovely old market town and when I visit it in better weather, I take a picnic and walk up to the castle ruins or along paths by the river… and I’m looking forward to my next visit.
Samantha x

History resources Kendal, Kirkland, place names and plaques:
cumbria county history
place names

studio photography

Last week I had the opportunity to have a go at doing some studio photography with a small group of photographers from the Chorley photographic society, loved it… 

It was great to work with models English Rose and Sally Anne, they both had a different look and lots of patience, whilst we experimented using different props, such as; vintage hats, a shawl, a cardigan and jewellery.

John at the studio in Horwich, helped me with my camera settings and gave me a mini-lesson on lighting.

Considering it was my first go at taking photos of my jewellery being modelled in a studio, I’m really pleased with some my photos. It was actually quite difficult to get a good photograph of both jewellery and model. In some photographs my jewellery isn’t in focus or there is light reflecting in the glass jewellery, but the model looked great. In other photos I haven’t quite captured the model, but the jewellery looked good… anyway its a start!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my first studio session photographs, Samantha x

42 Graphs fine art studio in Horwich

Astley Hall and park

Atmospheric lovely Lancashire location, a place that holds many memories for me… 

I used to live next to the park and for 5 years had a lovely walk through (or around) Astley park to get to school.  Being my local park, I would spend many hours hanging out there, climbing trees and jumping streams, walking and day dreaming. It was really a great way to experience the changing seasons in the park and woods. The atmospheric misty mornings, frosty scenes of a winter wonderland, scattered snowdrops and spring daffodils, followed by balmy summer evenings. 

Astley Hall Astley Hall and parkland is known as the jewel in Chorley’s crown.
It lies between Chorley and its neighbouring villages of Euxton and Astley Village.

Astley Hall is of Jacobean origin and has 105 acres of parkland, its beautifully situated next to an ornamental lake and there are woodland walks, picnic areas, bowling greens, tennis courts, animal enclosures and children’s play areas. A few years ago its walled garden and Georgian stable block was refurbished and it has a cafe (cafe ambio), classrooms and exhibition area.

The Hall and parkland was home to several important local families, until it was given by Reginald Arthur Tatton to Chorley Corporation in 1922 to be used as a war memorial and museum for the benefit of local people.

Astley Hall and park is a lovely place to visit. Its free to enter (optional donation) and there is also free parking a few minutes walk away in Astley village. During the winter months the Hall is sometimes closed or just open at weekends, its best to check the current opening times before visiting.

For more info on Astley Hall visit the: Chorley council website

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my photographs and discovering about this lovely Lancashire place that inspires me, Samantha x


I’m currently learning how to use wordpress.
Please return later in January for the start of my blog here: my news, latest designs, inspiration and interests.

Hurray, my jewelleryartist email is now back up and running and my new jewellery artist website is slowly starting to come together – finally got my drop-down menu to work, now to figure out how to get my portfolio to work. Samantha x

elfin alchemy bewitching beautiful jewellery