1. Tell us about your practice?
My interest in jewellery started long before attending art college, but I was lucky to be able to explore various disciplines throughout my education.
Jewellery was always the subject that inspired me – working at a smaller scale, using precious materials, and the traditional process of enamelling really appealed to me and brought me a lot of joy (it still does!) so it was clear that was my path.
2. Tell us about your materials and techniques?
My work focuses on enamel – enamelling is one of the oldest techniques within jewellery and uses finely ground glass which is fused onto metal.
Enamel is crucial to my work and allows me to use amazing colours and create beautiful textures. Although I use a very traditional process, I enjoy putting my own stamp on the technique – pushing boundaries with applications and finishes.
3. What inspired the work you are presenting at Collect 2023?
Visual literacy is essentially how we interpret and understand the visual world around us. Shapes and colours have associations and meanings to us all - often subconscious - and this informs all areas of life. In my work, I explore shape, colour and balance to describe certain ideas or to demonstrate a particular visual concept, such as Bauhaus ideologies or the meaning of a colour.
For Collect 2023 I’ve focused on the secondary colour – purple, orange and green. I am obsessed by colour, and have used this as a chance to research and explore these 3 colours and their fascinating histories – making a piece in response to each colour.
I wanted to challenge myself not only with the colour and design of these new pieces, but also to create a larger work – expanding my scale to enamelled silversmithing for the first time in almost 10 years.
4. Tell us about a special detail from this new body of work?
The candlestick holders are inspired by the colour purple - historically purple is a royal colour. Hence the candlestick holders are in the form of a king (the larger) and queen (the smaller), with the silver candle holder representing a tiny crown.
Purple also has a more gruesome side to its history, as a particular purple pigment was made by collecting and processing sea snails. The snails were killed and processed to create a fantastic shade of purple. The enamel on the candlesticks represents this, with an almost murderous splatter of enamel-like blood!
The snails are also represented in a secret way - as many people don't know about this fun purple fact - and so there is a snail hiding within the candlestick holder. Each wooden base has a tiny carved snail under the enamelled bell.
5. What do you hope the viewer will take away from this work?
I’d like my work to provide interest, joy and excitement. I also hope my work highlights the incredible possibilities of enamel – it’s a technique I’m very passionate about and I love to surprise people with its application.
6. Last thoughts on your collection?
The pieces I have made for Collect are very much the starting point for a larger project/collection in which I will be exploring the histories and meanings of colours.
The designs I’ve created – in particular the candlestick holders – have been in the back of my mind for some time, and I’m so happy I’ve had a chance to finally create them!