Shells have a way of reconnecting us with our past. Collecting shells was one of my favourite childhood pastimes. I have great memories of being on the beach and rock pooling with my Dad and family and I still feel that emotional connection with my past, and those special times, when I wear a piece of jewellery cast from nature.
I’m fascinated by the variety of hollow and broken shells on the beach. Of course, the cracks and hollows make these pieces more interesting as pieces of jewellery. I know no other designer will have these exact pieces in their range and that feels very cool.
When I create a piece in silver, I’m very conscious of preserving the integrity of the piece by not removing cracks and keeping the original texture and shape intact. It’s why I cast from nature because the forms and shapes are already beautiful.
I have never really thought what the life span of a shell is when it’s on a beach. Is it a year or 5 years or 50 years? What I love about casting is that it enables me to make it a piece of jewellery that will last forever. Whoever wears it can feel that connection with the oceans and the glorious coastline around Britain. And for me, it’s a reminder of seaside holidays with my family.
Here’s a photo of my Mom as a child with Marie, my English Grandma. It’s a wonderful photograph dating back to 1940.