The Bicycle - 2012
My work is greatly influenced and inspired by my personal family history, in particular my grandmothers’ past and the memories she carried with her and shared with others into her old age.
I am discovering more about my Grandmother and her incredible life the more I research and piece together the documents, photographs and belongings she left behind when she died. She had many wonderful experiences which she documented into typed memoirs, spanning her early life in the 1920s, through the war in the 1940s and into her later life until she passed away at the age of 93.
I have used one of these memoirs, an original document penned by my Grandmother as she reflected on her life during the Second World War, as the back-bone to this collection of jewellery. The story in essence is about life-long friendship and the belongings which link people together, highlighting themes of affiliation, connection, nostalgia and history.
Each one-off piece combines figurative imagery and form with interactive elements inherent to each design allowing the wearer of the piece to carry a small part of the story with them, opting to share it with others if they choose and in turn introducing the tale and its message to a privileged few.
I work in sterling silver, brass and semi-precious gemstones referencing 1940s costume jewellery designs and trends such as bold, oversized brooches and multifunctional ‘duette’ pins. I work intuitively using traditional silversmithing techniques and combine complementary surface pattern, colour and texture using acid etching and oxidising techniques in appropriate materials which support the militaristic, mechanical and historical references found symbolically within the story.