In my latest 45-piece jewellery collection, I've embraced the beauty of transformation, drawing inspiration from found objects I've discovered during a significant life event. In 2022, my husband and I embarked on a new chapter by purchasing our first home, a charming, three-bedroom brick house built in 1934, located in central Farnham. This property, which required extensive refurbishment, came with objects left behind in four old sheds by its previous owners, an elderly couple.
My creative process for this collection was deeply influenced by these finds, particularly the rusty nails and other remnants from the house and sheds. This approach aligns with my passion for creating jewellery that not only tells a story but also breathes new life into what once was. The materials I worked with, such as these nails, were more than mere objects; they were fragments of the house's history and the lives of its former occupants.
The core of my inspiration lies in the simplicity and functionality of a nail. A nail, in its essence, is a tool of utility – “If you want a hanger for your shed, you hammer a nail into the wall”. This principle guided my design philosophy, emphasizing minimalistic elegance. Each piece, whether it is a nail bent into a ring shank or a brooch wrapped with a string, respects the inherent character of the nail. In this collection, the nail is not just a material; it becomes an integral part of the narrative that I am merely shaping and not creating a new one.
Textiles, another key element in my designs, offer a delightful contrast to the rigidity of metal. Their malleability, ease of manipulation, and the rapid development they allow in design ideas brought a fresh dynamic to my work. I particularly enjoy the juxtaposition of textiles with the nails, creating pieces where the nail is both hidden and yet unmistakably present due to its distinctive form.
Additionally, I've incorporated raw tourmalines into some pieces. This interplay of everyday objects with precious stones highlights the unique qualities of each. Reflecting on the value I assign to these materials, I find myself drawn more to the nails, not just for their cost-free nature, but for their uniqueness and the stories they carry. Unlike the readily available tourmalines, these nails come with unpredictability in shape, size, and history, making them invaluable in my eyes.
This collection is more than just jewellery; it's a celebration of life's continuous journey, a tribute to the past, and a testament to the beauty of transformation. It's about giving new meaning to objects that have served their purpose, allowing them to shine yet again in a different form.