July Open Studios
My Story .......
I trained at Birmingham Poly, graduating in 1984 with a degree in 3 Dimensional Design, specialising in Silversmithing and Jewellery. But for me it was always mostly silversmithing! And then as young 20-somethings do I went to work for M&S as a buyer! In the intervening years, I always looked in local adult education to find silversmithing evening classes but there were none. Jewellery yes, but that wasn’t where I wanted to go, because you see hammers have always been my favourite tool, and you need stakes and anvils for silversmithing, or else milling machines - neither of which were in abundant supply I discovered.
So I fed my creative mind with ceramics courses which were easy to find - and which has always been another love of mine.
So passed by 30 years .... and now living in Chatteris Cambridgeshire, I started working for Stewart Hearn who makes stunning handblown glass, and is also a member of Cambridge Open Studios. Surrounded by his and his wife Kathryn's encouragement and support I began to wonder if I could perhaps take up silversmithing again. Visiting open studios in 2017, I came across a silversmith Tricia Taylor, and a jeweller Gabriella del Valle who both encouraged me to start up again. Having found the contacts I was able to attend courses that helped me start again ....
Re-awakening old skills holding hammers, annealing silver, controlling the direction of the metal, preparing & cleaning my tools, designing pieces.
What a joy! To realise a dream I had never imagined I could even begin. I have grabbed my pen and put into words just how much I love silver as a metal. Always have - but never worded it. Its colour, its malleability, the colours it displays matt or shiny, smooth or textured, clean or tarnished!
So to describe myself, I'd say this is a huge but very exciting step for me to take in becoming part of Open Studios. It concretes myself as an artist, it drives me to a place of thinking about an exhibition of my work, a selling exhibition at that! It offers me opportunity to think of what people might want to purchase, and how much they might want to spend.
I have been very blessed - and have already received commissions, an endorsement of my products. I am at the beginning of my journey, traveling a path of creating silver, so far both jewellery and spoons. The doors are only just opening ... why don’t you take a look and come inside???