Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Show & Tell - Christina Lowry


There's a wonderful simplicity to the photography on Christina Lowry's "a little bird told me" blog and its this simplicity which helps focus attention on the beauty of her subjects, their colour and shapes, their lines and textures.

Her beautiful jewellery is the same. The classic settings are made to celebrate and frame the unique stones and simple shapes she sources. I love that many of these pieces also have secret, intricate cutout patterns in the base, a hidden feature that is revealed when you turn them over.

Like many of us Christina is a lover of vintage and craft, of pattern and nature and form. She's also a generous bloggy friend who early on in our acquaintance worked out a crochet pattern for me to try and later was kind enough to share her skills in a special guest post tutorial which she wrote and photographed to illustrate her brooch making techniques and inspire our Brooch Swap.

At the moment Brisbane-based Christina has a couple of new and exciting projects in her sights - baby number two is due next year and she and her partner are soon to move into a new house with big renovation plans.

I always love to see Christina's new work and I really hope she finds time in her busy life to continue making her gorgeous pieces. If you haven't seen her work make sure you check out her blog and her shop soon. Thanks again Christina for being this month's Show & Teller.

Christina Lowry

1. Can you give us a short description of your blog/style/work
My blog is a series of eclectic snapshots of a vintage loving, thrifty jeweller and crafter, who is mother to a toddler, sister to an identical twin and wife to my lovely husband. I work in several different mediums, from sewing to knitting, crochet to silversmithing. My jewellery focus is on original pieces with simple settings. My pieces feature unusual gemstones with hidden details. I employ textured finishes, cutouts and silhouettes. I love writing little stories about my pieces and giving them unique names like 'The Museum Curator Pendant' or 'Left Bank Portrait Artist Studs'.


2. Why blog? How did you start?
I've always been a rather compulsive journal keeper and collector. I have an antique trunk full of my old diaries, whose pages contain years of writing, photos, cuttings, pressed flowers and bus tickets. When I first started reading blogs I was pregnant and nostalgic and drawn to the journaling and documenting aspects. I blog because I want to capture little moments from my day that would be so easily forgotten, to document the making of things and be involved in the inspiring and supportive community that has developed around blogging.  

3. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
My mother is an amazingly crafty lady. She is a dressmaker, quilter, embroiderer, knitter and crocheter. Growing up it was normal to play in Mum's sewing room and make our toys clothes out of little bits of fabric. Over the years Mum has taught me many of her skills and always encouraged my creativity. After school I completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts, and it was during this time that I fell in love with Silversmithing. From there I undertook a Vocation course in gold and silver smithing and began an apprenticeship as a second year jeweller. When that fell through, I worked at the bench with several jewellers until I felt comfortable going out on my own, as I am now. 
4. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
We have just brought another house, so I have a new room downstairs to transform into my workshop/craft space. At our last house I had the spare room as my craft room and a garage as my workshop, but I still managed to sew at the kitchen table... I am also quite partial to couch crafts like knitting and crochet.  

5. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
I don't know now. It was another idea while pregnant. 'A little bird told me' seemed like a nice old phrase that could hold many different meanings. My shop name is rather unimaginative...  


6. Favourite media to work in?
I love working with metal, gold in particular. Metal seems so hard and unforgiving, yet it can be softened and hammered, curved and worked into all manner of forms. I also love wool and fabric for being the very opposite in nature.

7. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
My future ambitions involve further growing my business from home and pursuing the development of my personal aesthetic. I'd also like to delve more into wax carving and casting techniques in the future. With another baby expected in March and a new house, I also see many baby and home related crafts in my future.  


8. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?
My bench is always clean at the start and end of a day, but varying degrees of messy in the middle. A clean bench was always drilled into us when training. I find it so much more inviting to sit down to a clean bench with my tools all in their place.  

9. Favourite handmade, handcrafted item you own not made by you
A 'tiny happy' hand embroidered pincushion


10. Favourite food/recipe?
Singapore noodles cooked by my husband  

11. Favourite colour?

12. Star sign?
First day of Sagittarius.  


13. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
The Italian countryside, the Dalmatian Coast and the beauty of Maleny in Queensland count among my favourites.  

14. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits?
I'm lucky to have a really supportive family for whom my creativity is a normal part of life. I'm also fortunate to be a stay at home mother and I fit in my time at the bench whenever I can, whether it be Cohen's nap time, while he's at the park with Dave or after dinner. I think it's important to be flexible and organised. I write lists. I chip away at things and try not to get frustrated if I don't get to spend as long as I want on something. At the end of the day being a Mum still comes first for me.


15. Favourite artists, artisans, crafters?
I have so many favourite artists. In particular I am always drawn to Picasso, Whitely and Schiele. I really admire jeweller Hermann Junger and crafty ladies Emily Martin, Gretchenmist, Vintage Ric Rac and Handmade Romance.   

16. Your favourite thing you've made/written/done.
My latest project is probably always my favourite thing. I do love starting projects. My favourite jewellery piece I've made recently would be a large amber brooch, 'The Secret of the Olive Grove'.


17. Three words to describe yourself?
Creative, generous, quirky  

18. What do you like to do besides creating?
Rainy days you will find me curled up with a book or watching foreign films. At the weekend I am most likely to be found dragging my family to art galleries, feeding the ducks at the park or searching gem fairs for beautiful and unusual gemstones.



  1. A lovely sneak peek into Christina's craft life! I love all the photographs. Great questions too!

  2. I love Christina's blog & her jewellery! I'm in awe of her creativity on many levels & channels & she's pregnant & just bought a house - phew!!!!!

  3. She's a gem isn't she? And Christina knows how to work that metal (and yarn and camera lens)...

  4. Great interview. I love her work and will have to go and have a more thorough look at her blog now! She sounds like a very interesting person...and talented.

  5. Great article. Christina's blog is one of my favourite reads and her work is equisite.

  6. great interview. i too love christina's beautiful work and blog.
    feel so honoured to be one of the favourites {thanks christina} xx

  7. What a lovely interview. I've followed Christina's wonderful work with awe and admiration - she's always doing the most amazing things. She's an absolute gem herself I think :) Kx

  8. Thanks for this interview - Love Christina's work and blog.

  9. What a great interview... I really love Christina's work it's so beautiful and love her blog too :)

  10. One of my favourite interviews so far . Christina is just as beautiful as her varied creations.

  11. Oh yay, i just came over from your comment on RetroMummy, i'm a mummy of twins too & here you are interviewing Christina, who is also a twin. Love Posie

  12. Lovely interview! Her work is incredibly beautiful.

  13. Pretty good post very informative topic great article.
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