Hello and welcome to my first ever blog post.
I hope to share my jewellery related ideas and inspiration and hope that you will feel free to do the same.
Two things have really impacted my creative thinking recently.
The first is obviously the pandemic and the second is Brexit.
Those who are familiar with my work will know that it is primarily based around textured and formed silver combined with interesting and unusual gemstones.
“I try hard to source the most interesting stones to work with. I particularly like the markings on Jaspers and Agates and am always searching for stones cut in unusual shapes, with matt finishes.’
For the past 15 years I have travelled to Munich in February and often Hamburg or Frankfurt in the summer to visit jewellery and gem fairs. This is where I have sourced the vast majority of my semi-precious stones, and have had my creativity fuelled. I normally return with a suitcase full of stones and a head full of ideas for the year ahead.
I was unable to visit Inhorgenta in Munich in 2020 and it is cancelled in real life, for 2021. I do use some stone suppliers in the UK but all shows were cancelled in 2020 and I suspect will be again in 2021.
This, combined with Brexit has led to much pondering over where I might take my work if my usual stones are in short supply!
For many months I have been working away quietly, experimenting with new materials.
The pre requisite was that anything I used had to fit in with my aesthetic and work well with my textured silver and stones.
My initial thought was to try concrete – I really like it’s colour and texture and thought it could easily be incorporated into my design portfolio.
I have made several pieces using concrete and was absolutely delighted to have two of my new necklaces accepted into Flow – the annual VAS members exhibition (online).
However, I have found the medium quite limiting – difficult to mix and pour accurately, and taking too long to set properly. It’s almost a bit too raw for me – although I love some of the work I have seen by other jewellers using concrete.
The search has continued and I’ve finally found the material I’ve been looking for, namely, JESMONITE.
It’s non-toxic, solvent free, mouldable and matt. It can be coloured using pigments.
It sets quickly and I have had much more consistent results than I did with concrete.
So far I've used a restricted colour palette of whites through to charcoal grey. I am also playing around with Yellow and Terracotta!
I have combined Jesmonite with handmade silver pieces and semi – precious stones.
Some of the Jesmonite pieces sit within my current design ranges, some will form new ranges and others are limited edition or one of a kind pieces.
My brain is bursting with ideas and I’m so excited to share them with you!
I’ll finish with one of my new Limited Edition pieces.
This combines stones (for now I have some left!) and a textured silver and Jesmonite pendant (inspired by my love of mid-century mirrors!). I hope you like it!
Mirror Mirror necklace - Silver, Black Line Jasper and Jesmonite.
Has anyone else begun to work in different ways or find new sources of inspiration? Do share your new work!