Necklaces, pendants and earrings in mixed media with sterling silver.

 

People often ask me about the materials used in my jewellery. I mostly use waxed paper that I dye with liquid acrylic pigment, and when this is dry it becomes more like non-woven fabric or leather than paper so it can be stitched and moulded. Then when they’re finished they’re coated with a special polyvinyl resin that protects them without making them brittle or totally hard, so they stay slightly soft, and slightly warm. It also means they’re incredibly light to wear. It took me months of experimenting with different pigments and papers to find the right combination of treatments, and at this time I used a lot of the same materials in my two dimensional textile works. I was also incorporating a lot of handwritten text in my textile work at that time so introducing writing into the jewellery seemed a natural thing to do.

I’ve always especially liked the mysterious quality that writing has when it’s difficult to read and sometimes completely illegible, and I wrote out a lot of quotations that were meaningful to me and used them in both the two dimensional textile works and the jewellery. The texts were clearly easy for me to read when I wrote them, but after a while I found that I would sometimes forget what the exact sources were or simply couldn’t make out what I’d written and so I discovered I’d achieved the sort of ambiguity that I wanted. I’m interested in that strange play of emotions between our need to comprehend, the frustration of not being able to unlock the mystery behind fragments of words, and the unexpected sense of stillness and peace that comes once you stop trying to understand and accept that the words are unreadable, and that words are not the only way we have of understanding.

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