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