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I live in a village in North Yorkshire with my partner of 30 odd years (stopped counting after 20!) and 2 dogs Maisey and LC, who are English springer spaniels (LC is the newest addition, I lost Patsy late 2020 but still use her photo on my homepage on the website)
I use traditional jewellery skills and work with precious metals, semi-precious/precious stones and glass, to create handmade jewellery which is wearable and unique.
I was taught at York School of Jewellery and I continue to rent a work bench there as I love the social group on a Wednesday 😊
I’m also extremely lucky to have my own work area at the bottom of my garden, where I can be found on my days off with the dogs. A lot of equipment for jewellery making is expensive, so I’m slowly building up my equipment/tools, you are always saving up for another piece for your workshop. So, I’m destined to never have any money but be happy in my jewellery making. In the meantime, I have to work for a living to keep me supplied in tools😊
My dogs and jewellery making are what keep me sane😊😊😊
I love to potter around in the garden and spend a lot of time outside, each season bringing a different perspective and colour, I enjoy spring and summer, tending to the garden but try to leave the garden late autumn/winter, to let the insects and bugs hibernate, then in summer you can sit back and enjoy especially on an evening when the bats and hedgehogs come out.
Where do I get my inspiration from? I don’t know where to start
Walking my dogs everyday especially on the river bank after the floods, looking to see what is washed up on the river bank.
Buying Gems, love to pick them up in person, have them in my hands and see what ideas pop into my head. Buying stones brings out the magpie instinct in you, and or course you can never have too many stones!!
Working with my Kiln to make bubble glass stones, each one unique and rarely repeatable and trying to decide how to set them. Every time I try to replicate a colour/bubble effect they never fire the same, if you look at my earring you can see colours are the same but the bubbles rise in different places
Scrap bits left on my work bench; I don’t want to throw into scrap pot so let them sit there until an idea formulates /pops into my head (sometime my bench can get a bit messy!!) sometime this can be months and I will have a clear up, but still put them to one side ‘just in case’
Working with like-minded students at York School of Jewellery who bounce ideas of each other and give each other inspiration.
Also, a big thank you to Julie Moss Vice principle at York School of Jewellery, who plants the seed of an idea and helps you to grow develop it and learn new skills at the same time.
A head full of ideas which get parked sometimes or sometimes forgotten, till something triggers it again.
Whilst I struggle to get ideas onto paper/drawing, I always have some idea floating around waiting for me to finish current piece before I can start it, or I can have several pieces on the go because my mind wanders and start another project before I fully finish the original piece I started.
Reading magazines and sometimes you see something and you start thinking how can I turn that into a wearable piece of jewellery, again bits of paper I tear out to remind me to remind me littering my work bench.
Sometimes you can place materials in front of me and I start formulating a design within minutes
As you can see it’s an eclectic mix and I think this shows in my jewellery designs/pieces.
I have to give a big thank you to Nik Stanbury and Julie Moss who own York School of Jewellery, who give you the confidence to take your Jewellery skills to the next level, and for opening their workshop every year for York Open Studios and giving the students the experience of showcasing their work.
This is a section taken from YSoJ website
At York school of Jewellery Our mission is to provide excellent tuition in jewellery making, silversmithing and design using the best equipment and facilities available to any person irrespective of gender, age or disability. We further aim to ensure that the tuition will involve a minimum of written bureaucratic paperwork, thus enabling a maximum of time spent undergoing fully supervised bench training.
Have a look at their website as they do a lot of taster days