So dear neglected blog... 2013 has been a difficult year for me so far, with not enough energy for all things, so the blog was left to rest for a while. But now, as the sun comes out to warm us after a long and cold winter, I feel warmed; feel a little of my zest is returning; am enjoying a burst of creativity that is making me feel alive.
Earlier in the year, I had some teeny tiny seashells cast in solid silver. They were just four different ones from a handful I found on Shell Beach in Dorset. Shell Beach is a National Trust Beach, between Studland and Poole Harbour. Every year, my parents and my boys have a week camping adventure in that gorgeous part of our country. However, if you recall, last Summer was not really much of a Summer. Cold rainy days, waterlogged ground, floods. Our usual little old fashioned campsite was partly closed, and mainly deserted. Only fools would brave camping in that weather. The day we walked on Shell Beach was typical of the Summer of 2012. Cardis and kagouls were required, and our feet, bare for paddling, were frozen from the wet sand, and the sea that hadn't had chance to warm up. The wind was wild and chilly, and we had to turn our heads to stop the fine pale sand from stinging our eyes, but we passed a happy hour wandering the tideline and finding the tiniest of shells.
I obviously knew I was going to make some jewellery with the castings, but I didn't know what I would make, and when the shells arrived back from being cast, they were left to one side, my spirit was broken for a while, due to some personal stuff, and I didn't have the inclination to work with them. My energy was needed elsewhere.
As I was working on some etching for commissions, I took the opportunity to etch some words I had scribbled in my sketch book ages ago. Here is one of the tags.
The day I took that photo, I had had a meeting with the owner of a lovely little local independent gift shop, who had admired my work and asked me to create some pieces for her shop. That boost, the sunshine, and digging the lovely aquamarines and moonstones out from my stash, helped my fog clear a little. A picture of what I wanted to do with the shells was beginning to emerge in my mind.
Squeezing working with the shells, between commissions that had been backing up, I started playing around and came up with these pieces.
The shells were beautiful enough, that they spoke for themselves. I love things on small scale, necklaces with tiny elements that move, and this, like nearly everything I design, was a necklace that I would truly enjoy wearing.
Finally, I used one of the tags, with aquamarines, and apatites, to make a necklace that quite simply is made for me. Perfect. (But difficult to photograph!)
...oh, and then today, there were some tiny stud earrings.
I'm still fizzing with some more ideas, and have some different tags etched too, so I'm not quite done yet, but it's been brilliant feeling inspired and alive. Designing and creating. And making a new little collection that I am really happy with.