Friday, 26 September 2008

Sefton Open Runner-Up 2008

Well what a great weekend I have had! Was feeling a little down about the credit crunch/recession and that people have been spending less because of it. I realise as well as anyone, that feeding the belly has to come before feeding the soul. So money has been a wee bit tighter than usual. But I keep on creating my art for myself because it makes me happy - then this weekend I received such a boost - I was a runner-up in The Sefton Open Art Exhibition. I received a cash prize, plus The Atkinson Gallery are buying my piece for their permanent collection! Apart from the money being very welcome - as I can restock my clay supplies and get some more shadow boxes made-up, it is also an amazing confidence booster. To know that others actually get my art and I am not just making it for my own satisfaction makes me so happy. If you are in the Merseyside area in the next six weeks than do pop in The Atkinson Gallery on Lord Street Southport - it's a really interesting exhibition (though I say so myself.) You'll find it on the top floor and there are some wonderful artists exhibiting. It finishes on the 9th of November 2008. Below is the text that goes next to my piece.

Inside The Blue House by Leandra Holder

Inside The Blue House is a shadow box in mixed media – the doll is slip cast porcelain with real hair. The jewelled skulls are hand carved bisque fired porcelain and there are various found items used too.

This piece evolved from the artist’s long standing interest in the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and the annual festival of The Day of The Dead. The blue house of the title is Frida Kahlo’s house. Frida is at work in her studio – ignoring Diego Rivera at the window. On the windowsill are a fawn and an elephant – this is Frida and Diego – as are the love birds on top of the open cage. Littered around the studio are cigarettes, alcohol and pills – all used by Frida to help relieve the constant pain she was in because of the terrible accident she suffered to her back when young. On Frida’s back is a monkey – she had monkeys as pets and often included them in her paintings – but it is also symbolic of her understandable dependence on drugs. Frida’s diary was published after her death and that too is on the studio floor. There’s the Communist / Soviet Union army badge of the hammer and sickle on the back wall – this is to indicate Frida’s communism, but also her reputed short lived affair with Leon Trotsky. The mirror reflects Frida’s own image back at her and was used constantly in her art - as her pain and her own life were always at the centre of her work. There are American dollars peeping from behind one of the paintings – this is to show the constant struggle that Frida had, like most artists, as she tried to make a living from her art.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Latest Charm Bracelet

Here's a photo of my latest creation - Carnival Time Charm Bracelet - £129.99 - as with all my work, this is a unique piece. I often explore the same theme over and over again, but each one is different to the one that went before. This is meant to conjure up the joy of carnivals - whether it's a masked ball in Venice or a street carnival in Rio or Notting Hill. There are seven, handmade by myself, bisque fired porcelain heads which measure approx. an inch in length. These are all dressed-up with masks or make-up ready to attend the carnival and are individually painted and varnished by myself. There are lots of interesting vintage and new goldtone charms too, as well as rhinestones and sparkly crystals. As with all of my fuller bracelets this works well as a necklace too, just by adding an extension chain (let me know when you buy this if you would like a free extension chain.) Enjoy the carnival!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Sefton Open Art Exhibition

Well I was thrilled this morning to open my post and learn that I have been accepted to exhibit at the annual Sefton Open Art Exhibition! Here's a photo of my entry, it's called In The Blue House - and shows the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo at work in her studio. I made the Frida figure from porcelain slip in a mold I made myself. I've used real hair, made the tiny clothes and painted her with acrylics (she even has the famous mono-brow and the hint of a moustache.) The Day of The Dead style skulls are hand carved bisque fired porcelain - and inside the hollow ones I have put tiny lights. If you look in the background you'll see Diego Riverra, her husband, looking through the window - and on the windowsill are a fawn and an elephant - this is Frida and Diego. Scattered around her studio are bottles of booze, cigarettes and drugs - as Frida needed these to help her endure the horrendous pain she was in after the life changing traffic accident she had as a very young woman. At her feet on the floor is her diary - this was published after her death. And on her back is a monkey - Frida kept monkeys as pets and often featured them in her paintings - but the monkey on her back also symbolises her understandable dependence on painkilling substances. Hope you like it as much as I loved making it.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008


AND HERE ARE THE FUNKY BAGS! (see more on my website)

My Latest Project - Leandra Holder Art-Ts and Funky Bags!

So sorry I have not posted for a while, but have been incredibly busy with a new venture - Art-Ts (T-shirts) and Funky Bags! By getting back into fashion I am actually returning to my roots. In the 1970s I was a stylist/designer to various rock bands and their families. This time round I am designing T-shirts and using the same designs on fabric bags in 2 sizes. I will post a few photos on here but if you want to see the full range then you'll need to look at my website - - some are also available at accessoriesonline and at socharming. The T-shirts should appeal to a wide range of tastes, from the surfer/skater to the funky rock chick. The strong thick cotton bags are the perfect stylish answer to NOT using environmentally damaging plastic bags. The large ones are enormous and will fit masses of shopping inside them, or all that you'll need for a day at the beach. The medium size is ideal for everyday use and work, and will easily carry your purse, make-up, lunch and a paperback book! These funky bags will last and last, being incredibly useful as well as good looking (a bit like my man!) As an opening offer I am including a Leandra Holder bag charm with each funky bag order - but this won't last, so order now to get the special offer! Hope you love these as much as I loved designing them.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

25th March 2008 - Working on commissioned charm bracelets

Well, I am still hard at work fulfilling all the commissioned pieces I have orders for - here you will see one of them. It's a charm bracelet for a lady who loves blue parrots. The fabulous parrot beads are made by a wonderful US bead artist - JTW. She has done a marvelous job - they are really detailed and pretty. I've complimented these great beads/charms with dozens and dozens of sparkly and colourful Preciosa crystal beads, as well as some lovely yellow roses made by the same bead artist. I am very pleased with the result, but more importantly - the customer is too!
I'll post more photos of the commissioned pieces as soon as it is safe to do so! (A lot of my orders recently have been placed by kind people who are planning to give them as gifts to their loved ones - so I have to be certain that the charm bracelets and necklaces have been given to the intended recipients before posting photos on here - as I don't want to spoil their surprise!) Later ...

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

4th March 2008 - David Mitchell One Man Art Show

My partner, David Mitchell, is now back from New York where he has a one man art exhibition called "Be Sure To Wear a Disguise" at the B. Beamesderfer Gallery in New Jersey. It's on until the 10th of April, so do go and see it if you get a chance. Here are a few photos he took while he was there - though I can guarantee that they look even better in reality.
I am working away at my jewellery designing, trying to catch up on commissions as well as making new pieces for my own site - Leandra Holder.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

28th February 2008 - Back to work! - Day of The Dead Necklace

Haven't been blogging for a few days as I have had friends from Canada visiting - very sad to see them leave - the time went far too quickly, but we had such fun! But it's back to work now. I have a long list of commissioned pieces to make - a funky cat charm necklace / a tattooed lady charm bracelet / a Frida Kahlo charm bracelet / an Oscar Night pearls and crystal necklace and bracelet / a 1970's Glam Rock charm bracelet ... and more! My wholesale customers have placed orders too so I am very busy. Thank goodness! Must get round to listing some new pieces on my own website too - Leandra Holder. I am very much still in the Rock Chick mode, but have also designed some really fresh and pretty summer flower bracelets that will be feminine but funky. Above you will see one of my hand painted skulls Day of The Dead necklaces.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

20th February 2008 - Retro Styling Crystal Necklace and Summer Flowers Lucite Charm Bracelet

Busy, busy, busy at the moment - but above you will see two of my latest creations. The retro styling necklace is made from pale rose pink Preciosa crystals. The summer flowers bracelet is made from a mixture of vintage Lucite and new plastic flowers, plus some bright Preciosa crystals.

Monday, 18 February 2008

18th February 2008 - tattoo arm earrings

I've been at college all day today as I am doing a ceramics and glass course. One of the pieces I was working on today was casting some small arms in porcelain slip that I intend to make into earrings again. I have made a pair of these before and after a bisque firing I painted them flesh colour and then decoupaged some tattoos onto them before varnishing. I sold the first pair to a romantic man who bought them for his girlfriend for Valentine's Day. But I love them so much that I just have to make another pair! I never make exactly the same piece twice - as it would bore me to tears - so these will have different tattoos on them. The pair that you see above are the first pair I made last June (2007) I sell these for £50.00. Tomorrow I am working on my super-lamb-banana designs, I'll let you know how I get on with it. A lot of my friends are working on the same project and it's been fun seeing them today and bouncing ideas off one another. Can't wait to see what they all create!

Sunday, 17 February 2008

February 17th 2008 - Taking Photos and Creating

Today I am taking photos of my latest jewellery creations, ready to put them on my website Leandra Holder. THEN I plan to start designing my lambanana for a competition for Liverpool's Year of Culture. Most people, in the UK, will have heard of and seen the amazing and big super-lamb-banana sculpture. To celebrate the year of culture Liverpool are planning lots of replicas of this fun sculpture to be dotted around the city centre - and people/artists are invited to submit designs for decorated lamb-bananas! So I'm giving it a go! I have three ideas I am planning to explore - I'll let you know how I get on. Above is one of my previous jewellery creations called Hooray For Bollywood!.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

February 16th - Retro Crystal Necklace

The Rock Chick charm bracelet I was making yesterday is almost finished - I just have to get some silver hearts engraved with a special message for the customer who commissioned the piece, and it is done. Today I am working on a dangling crystals necklace - very retro / vintage styling - but with an edgy contemporary twist. I'm using pale rose 8mm Preciosa crystals mixed with silver tulip shaped bead caps - very 1950s feel to this one. Of course once photos are taken (and once my customer's wife has received her surprise!) I will post photos on here for you to see. In the meantime here's a selection of recent creations by Leandra Holder Jewellery (me!) Please respect my copyright on all my designs / photographs and text - I am a member of ACID (anti-copying in design) - if you would like to use a photo in the press or even in your own blog -then just contact me and ask.

Friday, 15 February 2008

15th February 2008 - Rock Chick Charm Bracelets

Above photo is courtesy of The Manchester Evening News - the photographer is Mark Waugh. Thank you for their kind permission to use this. Copyright remains with them.

Yes, that's me wearing one of my Day of The Dead hand carved necklaces! This was inspired by the annual Mexican festival of The Day of The Dead.

FRIDAY 15th FEBRUARY 2008 - Today I am working on a commissioned piece - a fabulous Rock Chick charm bracelet that has tattoo hearts as the main theme. It is full of sparkly Swarovski crystal charms - including a fab rhinestone guitar; long tendrils of vintage Swarovski jet and crystal beads; lots of silver music themed charms; and some blood red vintage rose charms ... it's a stunner.