My name is Kathleen Murphy and I live in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, with my family and my two dogs. I have always loved working with my hands and began making jewellery in 2007. I am mainly self taught and what started out as a hobby soon became a small business. All my pieces are hand made by me with utmost care and high quality materials – I do not outsource any work. Many of my pieces are one-of-a-kind and I source my gemstones in small quantities so stock availability may be limited. I am fanatical about customer service having spent my career as a Customer Service Representative in the Ottawa hi-tech industry and I will go out of my way to make sure my customers are happy !
Japanese kumihimo braiding with glass teardrop and dagger beads.
I enjoy working with colour and texture using various techniques including Japanese Kumihimo braiding. Kumihimo is the Japanese word for plaiting or braiding of cords. It is an ancient art dating back 3000 years. The Japanese initially began braiding silk and cord for the Samurai warriors to decorate their armour & scabbards. It was also used to make the obi-jime, the cord used to fasten the kimono. Today we make jewellery by adding beads to the braids.I use this technique both in necklaces and bracelets. They are super soft and comfy to wear !
Several years ago I delved into the world of Bronze Metal Clay which opened up a whole new world of creative possibilities and added dimension to my work. While silver clay has been around for quite some time bronze, copper and steel clays are relatively new having been introduced in 2008. This is a rapidly evolving medium with new alloys beings added very recently. The clay consists of microscopic particles of metal mixed with an organic binder and water. Once the clay has been formed it is dried, sanded and then kiln fired in carbon for several hours during which process the binder is burnt away leaving pure sintered metal. The fired pieces are then sanded again and buffed with the use of a rotary tool. Finally the pieces are sealed to protect them from the elements. This is a labour intensive process where an individual piece can take several days to complete. Bronze clay is an alloy of tin & copper, copper clay is pure copper and steel clay is mostly iron.
If you live near or in Ottawa you can find me at one of the local juried artisan shows or outdoors at the Ottawa Farmers' Market during the summer. All my shows are listed on the 'shop in person' page.