It’s been a while since I picked some stems and seedheads from the garden, took notebook and pen, drew simplified versions of the botanical shapes and made them in silver. Jewellery-making has taken a back seat for the last few months whilst I worked on a large project.
As I made the initial drawings for a small new collection, a sort of giddy feeling returned – the one I get (and I think others do too) when they’re starting to make something new. It’s a little like the feeling I had as a seven year old on Christmas Eve. Something is coming..it’s not here yet but when it arrives it’ll feel ACE (even if its beard is a little sooty and it’s slightly wonky because of all the sherry).
I drew some of the plants that I see regularly in the hedgerows near our cottage – wild clematis, wild hops and blackthorn buds. I peered at the lichen-covered twigs I’ve brought home on several occasions (is 9 too many? Nah, completely normal) and the small handful of holey pebbles I picked up on Seaham beach last summer when all four of us had made a pilgrimage to collect seaglass. I realised I was returning to a theme I’ve visited before – I was making a nature table collection for Spring.
These necklaces reflect the botany close to where I live here on the edge of the Fens. They’re inspired by some of my favourite wild plants. When I first spotted a wild hop scrambling over a hedgerow I stopped the car to check I’d really seen it. Old man’s beard/clematis vitiable is such a beautiful part of the landscape here in winter that I was curious about its Spring flowers, which are tiny, greenish, yet beautiful. The sight of blackthorn buds heralds the Fenland Spring. I have made fine silver versions of all 3 plants, and the lichen that grows on the blackthorn in places.
The small silver pebble is a hagstone – a stone with a hole through it made by erosion or the action of various boring seacreatures. These were collected and strung outside cottages for hundreds of years to fend off witches and evil spirits. I can’t promise my silver version will do the same but it does celebrate this piece of British folklore.
These 5 new designs are now live in my Easy shop. Click here if you fancy a browse.