It has always given me great joy to make things, and when I first tried silversmithing, I very quickly felt a strong sense of connection to the craft. I love to use natural sources such as plants as inspiration for my designs and take great care over the detail of pieces. I have been an independent designer maker since graduation in 2005.
I grew up in rural north Herefordshire, and midway through high school, I attended an evening class making silver jewellery. For me, the joy of working in silver was instant, and it was not long before I was making my first silver jewellery collection in the garage at home. It still brings me a moment of delight when a piece is finally completed, turning it and seeing how the surface finish plays with the light around it as the magical quality of the silver shines through.
I studied for a degree in Metalwork and Jewellery at Sheffield Hallam University and as part of the course I spent a semester at Kookmin University in Seoul, South Korea. I spent a year at the wonderful Bishopland Workshops near Reading, then after a couple of years starting my business from my family home back in Herefordshire, I was keen to develop my practice further, so I relocated to Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter where I met many highly skilled craftspeople.
I now work from my own studio within the historic surroundings of Sharpe's Pottery Museum in Swadlincote, South Derbyshire. In addition to creating my own work, I run jewellery making courses from the studio. I have had the privilege of being taught by many highly skilled craftspeople over the years. To be able to make my living and support my family making objects and jewellery in silver is a joy, to have reached a level to be able to share it with others by teaching is a great pleasure indeed. As my own enriching creative journey as a silversmith continues, it is wonderful to invite people to the studio to discover this wonderful craft and create lovely pieces and memories whilst they make them under my guidance. It is my way of giving back to this craft which is so much a part of me I can't imagine my life without it & I feel so lucky to have found it.
I have written two published instructional books on jewellery making techniques, both of which are available to order directly from me:
'Making Silver Jewellery' (Crowood Press, 2014)
Silver is an exciting and versatile material for jewellery makers, both beginners and the more advanced, and nothing beats the satisfaction of creating and making your own designs. In this book, I show you how. Full of inspiring ideas and finished pieces, I explain over forty processes including the more advanced techniques such as fold forming and keum-boo and encourage the reader to experiment with their own designs.
'Fold Forming for Jewellers and Metalsmiths' (Crowood Press, 2017)
Fold forming is a creative and dynamic way to manipulate metal. In this practical guide, I explain the process, starting with simple line folds and showing how a few techniques can reveal the rich potential of the method. Written for jewellers and metalsmiths, it goes on to explore the many beautiful ways in which fold forming can be used to distort and shape metal to incredible effect.
My silverware and jewellery has been showcased throughout the UK, from independent craft galleries to prolific venues such as Goldsmiths' Hall and the V&A in London. In addition to the pieces I create for exhibition and sale, I work to commission. Commissions vary to include birthday and anniversary gifts, engagement rings and wedding rings, each of which are designed uniquely for individual clients, and often personalised with details such as engraving. Some of the significant commissions I have created to date:
- 2013 Silverware gifts for St John’s College Cambridge, Silver Leaf bowls (shown below) and Silver Salad Servers in bespoke wooden presentation boxes
- 2009 Trophy for Renaissance West Midlands, ‘Best of the West Awards’ for Museums and Galleries in the West Midlands
- 2008 'Craftbox' Created bespoke silver sculptures and spoons for Craftbox - Handling collection of contemporary craft, a joint project between Bilson Craft Gallery and Shropshire County Council
- 2005 Sculptural silver vessel created for Ashley Carson, Sheffield Assay Master as a gift from Sheffield Hallam University
- 2018 & 2019 'Jeweller of the Year' at the English Wedding Awards
- 2009 Finalist, ‘Enterprising Young Brits Award 2009’ (Daily Mail)
- 2008 Graduate Bursary Stand at Goldsmiths' Fair
- 2008 Runner-up in Thomas Lyte Modern Heritage Award
- 2006 Silver Award in the 'Smallworkers' category of the Goldsmiths' Craft and Design Council Craftmanship and Design Awards; also commended in three further categories
- 2005 The Goldsmiths' Company Silver Grant & The Goldsmiths' Company Precious Metal Bursary
- 2004 Worshipful Company of Armourers and Braziers and the Company of of Cutlers in Hallamshire Travel Bursary