Export Profile – The British Craft Trade Fair 2016: Ghost and Bonesetter

Export Profile – The British Craft Trade Fair 2016: Ghost and Bonesetter
As we edge nearer to the 2016 British Craft Trade Fair, we continue our Export Profile interviews with the eight NI makers attending with Craft NI. The latest to answer our probes is Karen Daye-Hutchinson of Ghost and Bonesetter, who tells us about her process, her work, and plans for the future.


Hi Karen. Tell us a bit about yourself – how did you get into making?

I studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Ulster, Belfast, and have been a practicing Artist since leaving Art College, showing both nationally and internationally. I have always worked with metal and textures whether through print or sculpture since my first experiences at Art College and the Belfast Foundry.

My printmaking practice has had a big influence on the etched ranges in the Ghost and Bonesetter Collection and was probably the thing that spurred me on to create the brand. Now I have created stories and wearable objects that already have a history, whether autobiographical, mythical, historical or based on poetry, literature or music.

Could you tell us a bit about your making process?

I don't usually have a typical day at my studio but I do usually get ideas down in the morning; luckily I always have some concepts and ideas I want to experiment with after working on the list of orders and commission pieces.

There are currently five distinctive collections available so it could be a day of stone setting, etching or casting and can be pretty unpredictable. I create stories and history for the Heirloom collection, hammer and forge for the Amalgam and Token, play with acids and chemicals for the Etched (safely) and chase molten silver for the Organic range. What better fun can a girl have?

Each piece of jewellery is individually made using Sterling Silver and Gold and carries the G&B arrow hallmark from Sheffield Assay Office.

I’m inspired by lots of things and that inspiration can go either way and form into an artwork, a piece of jewellery or both. I love walking and having a good daydream in the woods or visiting museums and galleries, something will always come out of it. So my day usually involves a blend of making up orders, commissions and some experimentation.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I do much of the same thing because this is what I love to do, I make Art, I make things. However I do like a yearly challenge and last year I ran the Madrid marathon. This year's challenge was to build a website; I’m nearly there! I’m also a director and trustee of the Belfast Print Workshop and owner of Coppermoon, Belfast, which has been open for nearly 24 years, so this also keeps me very busy.

Where can people currently see or buy your work?

Ghost and Bonesetter Jewellery can be bought at Coppermoon, Belfast and online at ghostandbonesetter.com. New outlets will be coming soon, as we are currently working on the wholesale element and catalogue that will be launched to an international market at The British Craft Trade Fair, Harrogate in April with Craft NI; which is a great opportunity to reach buyers and galleries worldwide.

Where would you like to see your business in a year's time? Do you have any big plans for 2016?

The brand is new and can only be built on. 2016 will be about opportunity and building relationships with new and existing customers; getting the new website off the ground, developing new techniques and skills... my list is endless yet I’m excited!

Find out more about Ghost and Bonesetter, as well as Karen's work and details on where to buy it, on the Craft NI Directory.

To read more about the Craft NI Export Development Programme, click here.