If you’ve ever driven through Salem and wondered what that lovely bright blue building was just before the Roman Catholic Church then you’ve found the new home for workshops with Shan Murrell.
I had the pleasure to take a class along with my four children on Saturday afternoon and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course it helped that Shan thought I had a knack for it after I was able to follow her instructions on how to bend the wire neatly to make loops and wraps.
Shan has a masters in art and has been teaching both in the UK and on Montserrat. Her interest in jewellery making actually came about after a friend gave her a pair of earrings more than thirty years ago. She learned and then began to teach classes to single mothers, the disabled, the elderly and anyone willing to learn.
“Some of the people I have taught enjoy doing it for fun but others have turned it into a way to earn a living. If I am ever stuck for what accessories can go with an outfit, I just go straight to my workshop and make something,” she explained.
Creating a home for her heart on island has been one of her dreams that is now coming to past. The main part of the building will be her art studio and gallery but is not yet ready for opening. Downstairs is her workshop where classes are given.
Early in her career, Shan worked as a graphic designer but she now prefers to work with mixed media.
“I create textiles and collage prints in vibrant colours by layering a range of materials. I make jewellery using glass beads and natural materials. I teach art and craft subjects, mostly to adults, but to anyone who is interested.“
On island, her work which ranges from framed art, to bags, cushions and jewellery can be seen at JavaLava Art Cafe in St. Peters, Hilltop Coffee House and at the Montserrat National Trust in Salem.
“As experimenting plays such a large part of my work, there are no rules and I am happy to see how my work develops naturally or what comes my way to add to my experiences as a designer/maker.”
Jewellery making classes are two hours long and you will leave with a piece you can wear right away. Shan is a patient and very knowledgeable teacher and makes learning how to manipulate the wires, pliers and beads very easy.
“Some people are intimidated about taking an art class,” she said. “I love teaching jewellery making because it really allows each person to come up with whatever they want to. You can mix and match any colours or designs you like.”
You can call to book a class with Shan at 491-7336 or via Little Island Designs on Facebook.