I started making silver jewellery in the 1990’s whilst still exhibiting and selling my print work. I worked mainly with intaglio print techniques & liked to make bookworks too.
Etching involves drawing onto the surface of metal & using acid to embed the drawing into it. I always loved the effects the process would have on the zinc & gradually my interest in working with the metal alone took over & I began to explore jewellery techniques at an evening class.
I use silver to make my jewellery & I manipulate shape & decorate the surface with punches, shears, saw & files. I oxidise much of my silver work, and then rub the pieces down in order to bring out the surface marks – a similar way in which a printing plate is prepared with ink before going through the press.
I have explored a number of different themes and currently garden birds play a big part in my collection. My work is predominantly figurative and I get my ideas from observing & drawing in my garden. Each piece becomes quite individual & I think my birds have personality & expression.
I have been exploring larger 3d pieces for about 4 years now, I see these as an extension & a combination of my jewellery & print techniques. I began with birds & hens as a main theme, but now include a range of animals, boats, trees and new wall pieces. I like to play around with scale in my work, just like you would see in a dolls house with different sized furniture & huge doll occupants.
So my gull on a row boat is far too big and birds in trees are rather massive.
They combine base metals, copper & brass, with wood and allow me to use colour in my work.
I hand texture the metal using the rolling mill & by hammering, I have a variety of punches to draw with on the metal surface & I file the shapes around the edges. The metal parts are soldered together & then taken through an oxidisation process mentioned above.
Some of my pieces have integral wooden parts now, especially the boats & trees. So I spend equal amount of time sawing & sanding down wooden pieces. I use layer upon layer of paint to build up the coloured surface so it looks aged & worn.
The birds & animals are presented on a wooden framework, a plinth or peeping out of their own houses.
Boats have a small section of “ sea “ & trees sit on a block of “land.”
Like my jewellery, each piece is made by hand and has individual decoration & personality.