I wear jewellery for sentimental reasons mostly– I have stones I’ve found or been given, talismans of runes, my Thor’s hammer, my Freya/Seidkona. Many of the things I love to wear were made by someone else whose skill I admire and whose creative energy I would like to connect with– I think I’m a lot like my customers in that way.
I have a long list of dream pieces I would like to make for myself. Pieces so expensive to make, or so labour intensive, that they would not be practical to offer for sale. I think this summer I will make one or two during a slow period. I make very little for myself and maybe I should make more!
I do wear pieces I’ve made. Sometimes for whatever reason an absolutely gorgeous piece doesn’t sell and I feel justified then in keeping it for myself. Luckily my litmus test for selling something is– would I love to wear this? Am I dying to keep it? If the answer is yes, I offer it in my shop.
What am I wearing right now? Well, I’ll tell you.
Boudicca Glasses Chain–This is probably the most practical thing I have ever made, next to my pennanular brooches. I use this every day. I have two– one for my reading glasses and one for my regular glasses, which I need to take off when doing detail work. When it is sunny (that’s rare in Yorkshire) I also have one for my sunglasses.
Kitchen Witch’s Pentagram Ring–I made an initial prototype in the raku glaze which I ended up keeping for myself. Often I will wear a prototype to test out it’s mettle first before making more or offering it as a made to order piece. Many of these become fast friends and others go to the scrap heap, ready to become something else. This was a keeper!
Myriad Lozenge Rings— I love making rings with lozenge shaped beads, the prongs at the side framing and binding the stone. It has become a signature design and I have made countless rings for lovely people all over the world.
In one of my favourite books, A Mirror for Witches by Esther Forbes, Goodie Goochie, the androgynous preparer of the dead, wearings an iron ring on every finger to protect them from malignant spirits. My rings are mostly copper and silver but I can relate. I started making my own rings because I could never find rings small enough for my fingers, at least ones I really liked. My favourites are my amethyst, labradorite and web jasper rings.
Harpy Rosary Necklace–Here was a little orphan. This beautiful necklace never found a home. It is perfection– from its mid century wooden rosary with a slightly reddish tint to the wood, to the little harpy girl that moves up and down on her post like a magical merry-go-round creature. Maybe I loved it so much that I secretly wished to keep it, because now it’s mine and I wear it all the time!
Floating Castle Rosary Necklace–I have made many of these but again, there was one I paired with a gorgeous 1960s jet and AB finish glass bead rosary. I think it was waiting for me. Here you can see one of my early photographs– when I was just starting out and hadn’t learned how to light and edit tiny pieces!
Infinity Chains– These beautifully graceful chains are hella labour-intensive. I have made them in sterling, brass and copper. They look beautiful worn together, mixing the metals. Because it takes so long to make these I no longer offer them just as plain chains. Instead I will combine them with crystals, stones and beads to create one of a kind, luxurious pieces. The plain chains I saved for myself. I like to wear the clasp in front, sometimes attaching a talisman or charm to one lobe of the S clasp.
Sheila-na-Gig Brooch– Another mysterious sleeper. I wear my larger Sheila brooch with my hand knits. My other simple brooches are my most popular design. While these brooches are more delicate, I love their graceful curves and the fact that the curl on the ends of the circle keeps the pin on the clasp. I haven’t given up on this design! I am making more prototypes to offer them again in the future.
Mega Slayer Bib Necklace– I feel like this post has turned into the Feral Island of Lost Toys! I hope it offers some insight into my process. This slayer bib necklace was another orphan. I loved it insanely– but no one but me seemed to want to wear it! My single stake necklaces continued to be best sellers but this OTT version was clearly waiting for me.
Black Hearted Love– This is my signature necklace, the one that started it all. I was making these before I even started my Etsy shop, almost 4 years ago. I had a red cinnabar one paired with a red bakelite chaplet and a black one paired with a 19th century bog-wood rosary. I wore them all the time and one day I was sitting in my local medieval drinking hall whinging that I couldn’t find a job, and my friend Emma said why don’t you sell the necklaces you make? The rest is history.
Baby Bat Necklace– Another of my best sellers– possibly my first best seller, the one that really took off. I love layering mine with other longer pieces. The little fellow is so small, and such good company.