Discovering jewellery design as a career was a revelation. It all began with an informal silver jewellery workshop, where I found my passion for working with metals and crafting by hand. This came at a crucial point in my life when I sought change and fresh challenges. I decided to pursue a new career as a jeweller and retrained, first through an Art Foundation Course, then a Bachelor of Arts in silversmithing/jewellery, and eventually a Masters, culminating in two decades of being a studio jeweller with national and international recognition.
Rooted in my career's beginnings, I hold a strong affinity for traditional craftsmanship and hand skills. These elements define my creative practice. My work is deeply influenced by nature's forms, particularly lichens, which I photograph and draw when out in the rural landscape around my Leicestershire studio. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, I am also interested in their ecological role and chemical composition, integrating their scientific significance into my designs.
My creative process begins with looking through design sheets of lichen forms and patterns, built up over the years from photographs and drawings of lichens in situ. I trace these elements onto paper and play around with working them into different compositions; once I am happy with the overall form, I transfer the individual sections as templates onto silver sheet ready for piercing. I spend a lot of time hand piercing out lichen forms which I find very therapeutic and mindful. I fall into a rhythm, almost like I’m drawing with the blade, and when I layer up lots of these elements together the overall effect is very satisfying. I have recently begun to add unique gemstones into my designs and am enjoying the different aspect these add to my work. I use a variety of materials in my designs depending on the type of collection I’m creating. My main love is precious metals, silver and gold, simply because they are so beautiful to work with, but sometimes a design demands different qualities or finishes and then I look at other options such as thin steel sheet which is incredibly strong and can be hand sawn and heat treated, or base metals such as brass or copper which can be patinated or sprayed in layered colours with acrylic paints. Depending on the piece and my final vision for it I relish experimenting with materials, forms and colours. My jewellery is intuitive and sculptural in nature, with most pieces being either one off or limited edition. Because of this they are designed to sit together and complement each other whilst still being unique and individual.
Foliose wave ring, sterling silver, 18ct gold, aqua chalcedony, 2023