Teign Heritage Museum, Teignmouth Searching through the archives

Artist : Jacky Oliver

Recent projects have allowed me the opportunity to explore archives, look at artefacts and documents that reveal stories from the past in a number of ways. My creative process has been informed by considering personal reflections and records of various events. Using a range of metalwork techniques, from blacksmithing, silversmithing, jewellery making processes as well as enamelling, I enjoy allowing materials and processes to take ideas on a journey. The final destination cannot even be contemplated until a long way into the journey.

Whichever definition of the word Muse, I looked at, the title of this project, felt like it was written specially for me.

Verb: Reflect deeply on a subject

Celebrate, cogitate, and think

Use or exercise the mind or one’s power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions or arrive at a solution or judgements.

Noun: germ, seed, source

Anything that provides inspiration for later worktolls

Exploring the collection at Teignmouth it was difficult to narrow down my ideas. The church rocks wreck, telescopes, pocket watches, the life boat merchant seals ships nails, miners lamps, clay pipes, all could be fascinating starting points for the project.

Discussing ideas with the volunteers there appeared to be even more stories that would be wonderful areas to research. The strength of the women in the community once the men folk had left the shores for months fishing off Newfoundland. Other areas to consider could have been the barges that brought the clay and granite down the Stover canal, or should I look at modern fishing?? Other areas of interest could also be the bridge or possibly finally the Morgan Giles boat yard.
volunteers book

Looking at historic crafts and rural industries relevant to Teignmouth it would be difficult not to be drawn to Morgan Giles. From my first visit to the Museum the beauty of the drawing from the yard had captured my imagination and admiration.
boat drawing8 meters

Going through the archives I lost myself in rolls of boat diagrams and maps, it became clear that my project should look at these important boat forms. But how and which aspects of this material should be explored?. After musing over the drawings, it became clear that the Morgan Giles drawings created a the perfect starting point for the project. The only problem was how to ensure my work was strong enough to celebrate and do justice to the sensitive mark making and delicate lines on the plans and maps.



Jacky Oliver

Originally trained in Jewellery at Middlesex University, Jacky went on to study for an MA at the Royal College of Art. Her career has two mutually beneficial aspects to it – the fabrication of sculptural pieces and the facilitation of others artistic work. Working mainly in metal she utilizes a range of techniques and processes, including jewellery, silversmithing and blacksmithing skills to create small hand held objects through to large-scale architectural pieces. The one thing common to all her work regardless of scale is the attention to detail, gained from her training as a jeweller. Jacky creates work for commissions or exhibitions. Recently creating a site-specific piece for a National Trust Tithe Barn in Somerset. Another rewarding project was her residency at the Botanic Gardens Leicester, where she worked with a number of groups with special needs. Collaborating with two schools, Jacky used elements created by the participants to create two of the three permanent pieces she fabricated for permanent display in the gardens.