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I really wanted to do metal work at school. But I am of that age, when girls could only do sewing and cooking, and metal work was just for boys! It didn't occur to me that I could have left school and followed my dream anyway. So it wasn't until I discovered Silver Alchemy on the sky channel Create and Craft, back in the 'noughties' that I was inspired by this weird putty called precious metal clay. You create your design in the putty, wet stage. Let it dry. Do a few more creating and finishing techniques in its dry state, and then when its completely 'as you want it', you fire it, which sinters all the particles back in to solid metal. Amazing stuff! A few more finishing techniques to get it nice and shiney, and there you have it. Simples!
Not so simples. Or so I found out having been playing with it for a while, I attended workshops and courses, and found out how I should have been doing it. It has been a journey.
That was nearly 20 years ago. What started as a hobby, at around 2007 it became my full time self employed occupation. I gave up the day job and threw myself into my jewellery business. I created, I taught, I had a market stall where I sold it, I attended craft fairs, I gave talks on it. I loved it.
Then the recession hit around 2014. I lost my passion, and so decided to take a year off. Life happens, and 1 year turned into 5, and during those 5 years my family faced redundancy, long term unemployment, ill health, and an eighteen month period where we lost 9 family and friends. Thankfully, we are back on track, after what has been a huge learning curve.
Adament that I would not be returning to the world of jewellery, I gave up my hallmark, and ventured into my studio with the view of packing it all up. It was so sad. Everything was as I had left it having packed up after the 2014 christmas market. But as I started going through everything, finding photos of jewellery long sold, finished creations I had forgotten about, feedback forms from students I had taught, packs of unopened clay, I realised just how much I had missed creating and working with metal clay, and particularly fine silver.
So the result of what was supposed to be a packing up of my studio, was a tidied studio, a reclaimed passion and desire to create, and around 5 months of planning, making, getting back my hallmark, and working out how I can do all this again along side a full time job. Folksy seemed to be the answer, something I hadn't explored last time around, but pleased to be on here now.
I create from my heart. I love working with glass and gemstone cabachons, and am often inspired by nature. I sometimes fuse my own glass cabachons, which makes the piece even more special (in my eyes at least), and sometimes I dabble with enamels. I occasionally work with copper and bronze metal clays, but my heart really lies with Silver. I also enjoy making beaded earrings, which I guess is where my love for making jewellery really did start some 30 years ago.
There are a few renowned Metal Clay Artists who I follow, mostly in awe of their wonderful creations, which inspires me to follow my heart and create what resonates with me. I believe that for every item of jewellery I create, the perfect recipient for it will find me and give it a new home and will love wearing it over the years to come. I was reminded of this at a recent craft fair, when a past customer from my market days stumbled up on my stall, and raved about some silver earrings she had bought, still wears, and was complimented on by a high class jewellery in France. Hearing that just warmed my heart.
I am married (30+ years) with 2 beautiful grown-up daughters (neither of which wear jewellery!), and 3 cats who often visit me in the studio just to make sure I am 'doing it right'.
Thank you for visiting my shop, and taking the time to read about me.
Blessings to All