February 07, 2012

the beauty of texture

Here's a thing: if I look at a photo, or a textile, or a piece of jewellery or a natural object it is often the quality of texture that calls me to it the most. If a curtain, for example, were to get me all excitable by the quality of its textile it is more often or not the texture that gets me - the perfect rough slub of an antique linen or the softness of some cotton gauze blowing at an open window. You will rarely hear me say, "oh, I just LOVE that print/pattern" - I mean I do sometimes of course, but my pupils dilate the most over texture for sure. Is it the same for you, or is it the prints and colours that sing to you first? I like the subtlety of texture too, the way it seduces you slowly and quietly until you have to reach out to touch it. Pattern is more, "Whaayheyyy look at me and all my colour/shape combinations, fall in love with me NOW!". I know, of course, there are bajillions of incredibly beautiful and subtle patterns out there, and I fall for those as much as the next person, but I guess it is the reason I am not a huge fan of jolly retro prints in all those bright hues, all that colour and pattern but very little in the way of interesting texture going on? Is it just me?

Texture is one of the reasons I enjoy winter ; the feel of wooly tights, chunky knits and oversize cosy scarves, soft eiderdowns etc (and so happy tweed is now cool!). And also the pared back quality in the natural landscape all around me  in winter - the dark tracery of tree branches, bleached seedpods and the lichens and bark and all sorts of obscure, highly textured things lining up for their moment in the winter limelight.

I am really exploring this beauty of texture in my designs for Wild Acre jewellery for the Spring/Summer. You will see a bit of a change in emphasis with my jewellery - my first real considered, pared back collection, each style worked in different ways, through natural observation and photography, sketching, experimentation with granulation (every grain hand formed and hand soldered one-by-one - quite a task!),  and, excitingly for me, by printing botanical material directly onto metal using a rolling mill. At the moment I am right in the middle of all the creating, but here is a cheeky sneak peek at some of the work, very much unfinished and mid process.

I really hope my jewellery will have that same quality of intriguing texture, and make people want to feel in in their hands - to discover its texture, its weight and explore the interesting shapes, just like we do with natural things like the bark of a tree or soft lichen. I know I love jewellery that makes me feel this way. I hope I am making sense?

It is proving a real artistic adventure which is both wonderful but nerve wracking since the second phase will be not just offering the collection on my little e-shop but also marketing it to galleries and bricks and mortar shops. EEK! If you know of any places you think might be interested, I'd be really thrilled and grateful if you would let me know. I'd also be so interested to know what you love most about the jewellery you buy - colour, shape, personalisation, statement, designer label, texture....? Does it matter to you if it is handmade or not, do you like provenence, are you interested if the metal is ethically mined or not? What makes jewellery beautiful to you? xxx


  1. Texture for me too, though every now and then I long for bright colours. I love your new designs, the first ring looks just my type. What leaf is that on the first piece, it is parsley?

  2. oh so utterly beautiful. I had to concentrate hard on the words, my eyes kept going back to the photos xoxo

  3. It's definitely textures first for me. Wonderful photos :-)

  4. These look LOVELY, Belinda. Is that a ring? Because I am coveting it right now. Off to have a look at your shop again!


  5. I understand why textures are a source of inspiration for you. The rings look simply beautiful!! This is exactly the sort of jewellery that I like.

    Lieve groet, Madelief x

  6. Forgot to say that I hope the rings will be in your webshop soon Belinda!

    Madelief x

  7. Oh-my-word.....how gorgeous. Texture, layers, depth - I love them all.

    Nina x

  8. Belinda, I love the cluster of "seeds" in the disc. Is it a ring? I would love the texture of those seeds on an earring disc. No dangle. I might wear these everyday. I love your nature meditations.

  9. Another texture happy girl here, and I prefer a limited, natural colour palette.

    Can't wait to see where your new pared down approach takes you :D

    Totally gorgeous photographs, can I ask what camera set up you have?

  10. Definitely texture. I have to touch things (I do try to keep my hands clean for that!) before I make any decisions. Color is important, too, but how it feels is always my first consideration.

    Your new designs are lovely. Can't wait to see the whole collection. xo

  11. I love that you can see the little hairs on the embossed leaf.

    I like my jewellery to feel the tiniest bit organic and rough - so you can see the hand of the maker (if that makes any sense). It makes it feel unique. Pretty much exactly as you have shown us with your work there. Have a feeling your new collection is going to be a winner.

  12. Just found your blog. Gorgeous photos of plants and bread - mmmmm! I love lichen - we have loads in our garden and every time I see a piece on the ground I want to collect it up and take it indoors. The jewellery in progress looks beautiful. Elaine

  13. Wonderful photographs An think perhaps that I like texture too probably more than pattern. As for jewellery, I like it to look a little bit 'rough' probably rather than all smooth and polished - your new ring designs are gorgeous. Also love larger chunky textured pieces that make a statement. Love that we got a a sneaky peek as your designs. You are so talented. S x

  14. Glorious pictures Belinda, I love them!

    I love originality in jewellery but by that I don't mean craziness. I like a lovely coloured stone or special etching. Chunkier I like too as my hands are gardener's hands and a larger ring deflects from my horrid hang nails and dry skin!

    Earrings are lovely too, dangly and drop-like are my preference. The leaf print is beautiful, how creative.
    All the very best with your venture, looking forward to seeing more soon.

  15. Thank you all so much for your really interesting comments.

    Toffee apple - the leaves are not actually parsley though they look very similar - they were just little weeds I found on my riverbank, I need to find out what they are.

    Annie - I use a canon 550d

  16. http://ofspringandsummer.blogspot.com/2012/02/white-primroses-and-inspiration.html

    this post reminded me of you and texture