About the Urban Magpie
Hello, I'm the Urban Magpie.
In fact, I'm Zoë Mitchell. I'm a Mum of one (usually referred to here as the Tiny Magpie) originally from Windsor but now living in Leeds, West Yorkshire. I have a day job, as an interior space planner (yes, I'm an AutoCAD monkey) and I make jewellery in my spare time.
I'm one of those creative types who has to be constantly drawing and making stuff to stay sane. Currently, my passion is making mixed media jewellery from found objects, vintage things and the various interesting bits of scrap I find. I'm by no means a jeweller and any techniques I use to make my pieces are entirely self-taught through experiment and research.
I studied Fine Art at De Montfort University in Leicester way back in the mid-nineties, where it turned out I had slight 'creative differences' with my painting tutors. I became disillusioned with painting, so I signed up to a life-changing Mixed Media course.
This was the start my continued fascination with mixed media art, leading me to make wooden wedding cakes, altered books, a wearable musical wire sculpture, vacuum-formed plastic cakes, and a self-portrait installation involving old ladies' handbags and a lightbox. Freedom at last!
Years later, and my jewellery making has at its heart the idea of jewellery as tiny, wearable mixed-media artworks. I'm interested in recycling and upcycling objects which have a patina of age and use, a back-story, or a historical resonance. Like all magpies, I'm also attracted to shiny and sparkly things. They all find their way into my pieces.
In this blog, I'll be talking about what I'm making or planning to make. I'll tell you why I'm making it, and sometimes also how. I'd also like to show you the custom orders I frequently create and share my sources of inspiration.
I hope you enjoy what you read. Oh, and please do tell me if I start wittering.....