I make jewellery inspired by antique treasures and the stories they tell. Heirlooms passed through generations building significance. I have strong memories of secretly discovering my Mum’s jewellery box as a child, trying on each piece and wondering at their hidden histories.
The Catkin Collection draws on a pattern seen long ago on an antique ring. A memory which lay dormant for more than 10 years until I came to make my own wedding ring when I gave myself the time to develop my unique technique of layering sometimes hundreds of tiny disks to make a pattern reminiscent of the Spring catkin flower.
I set up my workshop in 2003 after graduating from Edinburgh College of Art. Following 10 years in Glasgow I am now back in the Dumfriesshire countryside where I grew up.
My studio is on the main street of the village of Thornhill. I surround myself with inspiration, printing trays full of buttons, pavement finds and vintage stationery inherited from my grandpa, a pin board covered in magazine cuttings and postcards.
Sat at my workbench my favourite tools are all at hand, a piercing saw, tweezers, soldering torch, files, a mallet and planishing hammer.
I start each new piece in silver, building up my Catkin design by soldering every ‘scale’ in place. I cut the finished silver pattern to shape then juxtapose it with stones to create a balanced composition. A mold is then made and the final piece is cast in gold or platinum giving it one solid stable form into which the stones are set.