Art & Design has always been my passion. Ever since I can remember and have always been determined to do something creative.
I studied Art, Design & Media BA (Hons) degree, specialising in Three Dimensional Design, with my main focus on sculpture. Specifically, I was designing and making pieces of site specific outdoor furniture and also incorporating my love of photography by using it to record features of the environments I was either working in or taking inspiration from. Jewellery, in one form or another is something that I have always enjoyed making too.
When I graduated I continued to create pieces of sculpture, most noticeably securing secured a major public art commission for the in Lancaster to create a suite of five oak benches for the River Lune Millennium project in Lancaster. It was fantastic to achieve a long held goal, especially to have work alongside other artists and makers that I had long admired.
However, I still felt drawn to working in metal and creating small-scale wearable sculpture in the form of jewellery. I subsequently decided to build on my skills and concentrate on perfecting my own unique style and in 1999 I successfully received a loan from the Prince's Youth Business Trust that enabled me to set up my own workshop.
Around the same time, my jewellery was noticed by the Craft Director of a local gallery and I was asked to exhibit some pieces for an exhibition. It was fantastic to be asked and I loved creating a collection to show. It was successful and was then asked to exhibit at other craft and art galleries including Walford Mill in Wimborne and the Southampton City Art Gallery Shop. From there I was asked to supply the John Lewis stores, starting with the West Quay store in Southampton and then adding a further four others including the Glasgow store, Bluewater and Oxford Street in London.
At one stage I was solely supplying a number of galleries and other retailers around the UK and. It was an invaluable experience and really helped to establish my business, but as time went on what I really missed was the connection of working on individual commissions. I missed the interaction with customers and receiving feedback to my ‘ready to wear’ collection and especially the joy of creating bespoke pieces. This is a particular passion for me. Whether it is creating an existing design, customising to the customers requirements; it’s wonderful creating pieces tailored to each person I work with.
In 2011 I made it through to the finals of the Craft&Design Magazine’s ‘Selected’ Awards for the ‘Jewellery & Precious Metals' and was delighted to have won the ‘Gold Award’ for that category, especially as it was judged by high regarded Contemporary British Silversmith Brett Payne whose work I greatly admire. You can read the article that was featured in the magazine here – Craft&Design 'Selected' Gold Award Winner.
Since then, I have been continually driven by my enthusiasm for developing work in my own style. I mainly focus working on bespoke commissions alongside my ready to wear collections (examples of which can be view on their respective pages or seen at events and exhibitions page that I attend throughout the year). I have also served on the Association for Contemporary Jewellery (Wessex Group) committee for more than 7 years which includes organising exhibitions and promotion for events.
I am also a founder member of Artful, a mobile creative events agency, working alongside two other highly creative individuals; Rebecca Maddox Director and driving force behind Artful and all round project management whizz, with a background in graphic design and print making, as well as the very talented fine artist and educator Elizabeth Hammond. Her passion for drawing and teaching is truly infectious! Between us, we make a great team. You can find out more about Artful here www.artfulcollective.co.uk