Urban Bees: Working Together 4.

Yumi's bees
Yume Ring
Yume Ring

As soon as I saw Yume Martin’s jewellery featuring dragonflies and sweet little flowers, I knew she would be a good fit for Urban Bees: Working together. And indeed when I approached her with the proposition, her response was say that it was already in her mind to include bees in her current range of individually hand crafted designs.

Being raised in Japan by her Japanese mother and English father (who are both ceramic artists) until the age of 13, Yume absorbed much of the Japanese aesthetic which is apparent in her jewellery work today. This particular aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty has the appearance of simplicity overall, but includes subtle details, such as textures, that balance simplicity with complexity.

“I travelled to India and South East Asia quite a lot as a child and this certainly influenced my desire to create beautiful things. I have memories of going into dark cave like shops full of gems and trinkets, hanging out with ladies making earrings out of peacock feathers and men bedecked with elaborate clothes and jewellery, I found it fascinating then and still do today. I’m so happy that I am one of those women now, making something I love, for other people to love.”??

Yume's work space
Yume’s work space

It’s always interesting to see craft peoples work spaces and it was quite an eye opener to see what a hive of industry could be fitted behind a sleek counter in her gallery shop in Ashburton.

Passionate about jewellery making since the age of 16, it was when travelling across Mexico aged 18 that Yume took a silver jewellery making course that established the direction for her love of designing and creating.

She says that she is “really pleased to be part of this inspirational project, I like how it’s bringing awareness of this issue to new people through the arts”. As part of this feeling for nature it is important to Yume that we consider the environment and everything within it. So with that aim, all of her jewellery is made from recycled silver from within the UK.


So far, I have only had a chance to see a couple of the new Bees being created. I believe there are plans to combine the bees with the flowers – I do hope so. I shall be dropping hints about birthdays…

Yume's work space
Yume’s work space


Urban Bees: Working Together

Friday 5 September – Saturday 27th September

The Yard Gallery, Exeter College (off Queen Street, EX4 3SR)

Opening hours – 10am-6pm Monday-Fridays, 9am-1pm Saturdays, closed on Sundays.

To coincide with the Exeter exhibition there is also a Bee Focus in the Devon Guild of Craftsmen’s shop at the Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey, nr Newton Abbott, TQ13 9AF.

Opening hours – 10am – 5.30pm, 7 days a week

An event page has now been set up for Urban Bees: Working Together on FaceBook.

Together with a daily Bee Fact, there are other links to bee related articles and website, plus other glimpses of the artists work as they become available. You are welcome to interact with the page and share you Bee interests. So do visit the page, click the button to say you intend to visit the exhibition in September at the Yard Gallery at Exeter College. And please share the link with friends you think would be interested.

In addition to myself, the artists involved are – Printmaker Debby Mason; Photographer Mei Lim; Ceramicist Philippa de Burlet; Textile artists Helen Edwards and Jeweller Yume Martin.

To read an introduction to the project and a little bit about Debby Mason see Urban Bess: Working Together 1.

To read a little about ceramicist Philippa de Burlet see Urban Bees: Working Together 2.

To read a little about textile artist Helen Edwards see Urban Bees: Working Together 3.