Finding myself

Silver hoop pendant, incorporating a toothpaste tube seal
Silver hoop pendant, incorporating a toothpaste tube seal

I’ve been making silver jewellery for a long time, mostly as a hobby, but I’ve never really found my style. I’m always a bit of this and that (and not just in jewellery), whereas all the “proper” jewellers I see seem to have a style, a theme, their own “thing”.  I feel the need for “a thing”, but I also resist the idea of being closed down to just one thing.  Not having a cohesive collection held me back from selling for a long time.  In the end I jumped in, on the basis that if I waited til I was ready then I’d never do it at all.

I’ve been selling for over a year, and I still don’t have a style, apart from “small” and maybe “geometric”, and “I want to do natural forms but I’ve not got there yet”.

I’ve pretty much had it with geometric.  The hours I have lost squaring edges and righting angles!  I like symmetry, neat angles, alignment, and straight edges, but the fact is that stuff is best made by machines.  Clunk, whirr, done.
I’m starting to have doubts about small too.  I’m going to stick with small, but I’m on the edge of what my not-what-they-used-to-be eyes and fingers can manage!

So, where am I going with this?  Well…

I’m finally going to jump in on the natural forms.  Feb 25th is payday in my casual job and this month I should have enough to take the leap into casting.  (This is the shoestring I’m operating on!)  I need to shortlist one or two for casting, and then go for it.  I’m wary because I don’t really have the money to waste on a failed enterprise, and I’m not quite sure what will cast well, and how they will come out.  Still, now I’ve said it, I have to do it!

I had a eureka moment after visiting Spring Fair, and the Jewellery and Watch halls in particular.  I felt there was less originality this year, and the only thing that really grabbed me was the gemstones, although I don’t feel comfortable with the ethical problems with gemstones.  The eureka moment was the plan to rebrand myself as “recycled, upcycled, fine jewellery and found objects”.  Now usually when I have a eureka moment (especially a really good one), it turns out to be a really daft idea.  In this case I hope that I can combine casting of found natural shapes with actual found objects to create something that is naturally my style.  I collect things: seed heads, a broken mug, a cog shaped toothpaste tube seal, shells, pebbles, the copper lever out of the toilet cistern…  ALL these things will be my inspiration, my materials and my gems.  (Though possibly the toilet cistern might be a hard sell!)