My background is in fine art and graphic design but whenever I’ve created anything I’ve always been drawn to the making side, towards sculpture and using my hands. So jewellery seemed to be a perfect fit. As soon as I started to train I loved it and felt more and more passionate about it with every new piece.
Who inspired you?
I had a fantastic tutor in Grahame Hann who was old school. He trained as a youngster from the age of 16 in Hatton Garden and has a fantastic back catalogue of work, including a piece bought by the Queen when she was still a princess. His work is phenomenal so I think he was my main inspiration really.
What inspires your designs?
My designs will lean towards things that I love and have passions for. I love gardening, the sea, fauna and flora, colour, form, shape. I’m someone who likes to live by the sea, although I am a bit landlocked at the moment in Greater Manchester! Like in literary theory, things you are attracted to naturally enter your work and your ideas. I think that’s true of my jewellery.
How would you describe your work in three words?
I don’t know?! Ok then. Well-made. Wearable. Contemporary. I like to think of my pieces as a marriage between traditional skill and contemporary style. Is that more than three?
What materials do you like working with?
As far as my designs and selling pieces go, they tend to be made in silver. It’s more affordable, it’s lovely to work with. Gold, 18ct particularly, has a lovely yellow colour to it and is wonderful to use. Platinum? It’s nice in that it’s strong and it doesn’t dirty the same as other metals when you’re working with it. But I’d say yellow gold in particular at the moment is my favoured material.
What are your favourite pieces?
I like to show off nice, big pictures of my current favourites and talk about their inception over on my blog [INSERT LINK]. But I know one of my favourites that will never change is this huge, silver necklace based on a lotus flower that I made as my final piece at college. It must have taken hours and hours and hours and hours of labour to get there, but it’s something I still wear now and I’m loathe to sell. I’ve put it on display for people to see and they’ve asked to buy it, but my response is always “Hmmmm – sorry!”.
Do you take on commissions?
Yes! It’s nice to work on new pieces all the time and I love working on commissions for people. The lovely thing about them is that sometimes you’re taking on people’s personal stories and turning them into something tangible. I love being involved in this process and taking those memories forward.
What do I need to do to commission a piece?
If you have a very strong idea of what you want, what I try to do is help shape that into a practical, wearable piece. Even if you have no idea, I just ask for a few images of pieces to get an idea of the style you like. Then I start to put some sketches of ideas together and we go from there. A quick email to firstname.lastname@example.org is the best starting point.
And when you embark on these creations, what’s the best outcome?
The best reception for your work is always seeing someone wearing it, that really makes it worth all the hours you’ve put into it. It’s wonderful when you see friends wearing pieces they’ve bought, or when someone who doesn’t know you but genuinely likes your work comes to seek you out. It’s the ultimate accolade really.
Where can I see your jewellery?
I tend to exhibit at craft and trade shows and try to keep my blog updated with where I’ll be next – as well as pictures of my latest creations. This year I’ll be in Harrogate and Holmfirth, and there’s a really strong arts community in south Manchester so I’m a regular at Green Walk Open House Art and Crafts weekender and the Heatons Arts Trail, which I’m also involved in.