“It is my passion to create awareness through my art jewellery whilst adorning you with a story that empowers you to truly express yourself in a fabulously positive and luxurious way”
From an early age I knew my strengths lay within the realms of Fine Art and Design. With my grandmother a realist Oil Painter and my father a Carpenter Joiner, I soon discovered my true desire to design and create with my hands when experimenting at Art College in London.
Following a strong urge to connect to nature, I relocated to rural Devon to pursue a degree in Three Dimensional Design. I enjoyed pushing the boundaries of conventional design thinking at University by fusing conceptual fine art sculpture with functional design in ceramic form, but it was my strong sense of adventure that eventually unearthed my passion to work with precious metals and gemstones whilst travelling in Latin America.
On return to England I began work as an apprentice to a renowned Hatton Garden trained Silversmith whilst I set up my jewellery workshop on a picturesque Victorian Farm in South Somerset. Inspired by my idyllic surroundings, becoming a jewellery designer allowed me to truly express myself, bridging the gap between the illustrative aspects of art and the functional skills of design.
Although widespread International travel introduced me to fabulously vibrant cultures, it also opened my eyes to the harsh reality of global inequality and hardship. As I learned about the darker hidden aspects associated with precious metal and gemstone mining, I began to seriously question my craft and business.
In 2015 I became a Fairtrade Registered Jeweller. For me it was the beginning of the solution, allowing me to connect whilst giving back to the small scale artisanal mining communities that laboured to supply me with my materials. Two years later I was invited to exhibit at London’s first ever groundbreaking ‘Fair Luxury Exhibition’ at The Goldsmith’s Centre that was set to redefine luxury.
To be able to offer my customers’ reassurance and confidence that the piece of jewellery that I design and create for them comes from a place where this is no exploitation, child labour and adverse environmental impact is of utmost importance to me. In April 2022 I took another step forward and became a Fairtrade Gold Licensee.
With top A-list celebrities, and even the British Royals now investing in more conscious Fairtrade Jewellery choices, there is hope that Fairtrade and Fair Luxury will soon become the norm.
How I Work
Starting with a rough sketch I build and develop my ideas into prototype pieces allowing the materials to dictate. Whether it be a statement necklace or a sought after dress ring, often when working to commission, a bespoke ‘one-of-a-kind’ design is initially centred on a focal gemstone, ethically sourced where possible.
Combining warm golden hues with a cooler silver palette and creating contrasting textures with raised relief areas have become signature design processes within my work. Many components that can be easily bought to finish a piece I hand make from scratch.
Teaching my skills
I believe in quality craftsmanship and sharing the experience of working with traditional hand held tools. Working as an apprentice to a highly skilled silversmith taught me this.
For me, part of the joy of being a jewellery designer maker is being able to pass on the traditional hand fabrication techniques and skills I possess so that others can enjoy the pleasure of designing, making and completing a wearable finished object of beauty. In doing so, this also ensures that the traditional techniques and skills themselves shall not be forgotten.
I teach extensive jewellery making workshops and courses from my professional studio at Flaxdrayton Farm in South Somerset, and on the road in the summer months at prominent creative arts festivals.
These include Wedding Ring Courses in Fairtrade gold for couples who wish to make their own.
“Thank you for a wonderful silver ring making workshop at Glastonbury, we learnt so much and we love our rings!”
– Julia Sawalha, Actress
Training | Membership | Awards• Foundation Diploma in Art & Design | Wimbledon School of Art London – 1998 • BA Hons Three Dimensional Design – Designer Maker | Plymouth University – 2001 • Apprenticeship with a renowned Hatton Garden trained Silversmith | 2004 – 2008 • Member | Somerset Guild of Craftsmen – 2006 • Craft&Design Selected Silver Award in Jewellery & Precious Metals – 2012 • Fairtrade Registered Jeweller – 2015 • Fairtrade Gold Licensee – 2022
Why the Magpie?
Whilst studying the local Somerset wildlife a pair of cheeky magpies caught my attention and then my imagination, taking me back to childhood memories of when I would count them to tell my fortune.
Magpies are known to be edgy subversive characters, they get a bit of bad press for being the rebel garden tear away and I understand why. Nature can be cruel and the magpie a ruthless scavenger.
However, I like to look deeper and question existence. Everything has a flip side, a hidden surprise and a reason for being.
I like to create a talking point, offer you the alternative whilst challenging perceptions, ultimately creating an object of beauty which has ethics and you at its heart.’
As I studied these birds and delved deeper into the folkloric rhyme ’One for Sorrow, Two for Joy’, I discovered not only a striking creature with contrasting beauty, but also one of immense intelligence with emotive qualities.
It is known that Magpies love collecting and hoarding objects of desire. As a jeweller this is something I can truly relate too. By developing a better understanding of these misunderstood and often maligned feathered friends that couple for life, they have become a symbol of love and unity within my work.
“The earrings have been delivered and they are even more amazing than on the website. My partner is crazy about magpies and she will love them!”
– U. Tondel
‘Two for Joy’ has naturally evolved into three collections, designed to continue the journey of looking deeper into narrative and ethical material sourcing whilst expressing your purposeful individuality.
Confident, alluring and emotive adornments that grace feline feminine qualities with warm luxurious tones.
Unapologetic, armour for the soul that packs a stylish punch breaking the mold with contrasting lines and a cool colour pallette.
Poetically expressive and adventurous statement art pieces with deep golden and earthy organic hues.
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