How long have you been making jewellery and how did you first get into being a designer?
I am a Crime Scene Examiner and in 2019 I was diagnosed with having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder brought on by one of the many fatality scenes I have examined during my career. Whilst I was off and having treatment, I found Jewellery Maker by accident on the TV and soon got hooked watching the amazing positivity and creativity of everyone on it. I started drawing jewellery designs in May 2020 as I found this helped with my PTSD and the anxiety I was feeling, it became part of my therapy plan. I then started trying all the different jewellery making techniques as I had never made a piece of jewellery before and found that wire work was my passion as I could be really creative with it, and I could bring my jewellery designs to life. I couldn’t wait to get out of bed and design and anyone who has suffered or still suffering with PTSD or depression will know motivation to get out of bed is the hardest thing. Jewellery making became and still is my passion I just love it.
How would you describe your personality/style and how does that feed through into your jewellery designs?
I am a very creative/arty person and I love the process of working out how I can take a drawing through to the piece of jewellery, trying new techniques to achieve the look I am after. I enjoy learning so if I have an idea, I experiment with the silver wire until I achieve it. I adore wildlife, the animals, the plants and the colours and this influences my jewellery.
What do you love about Jewellerymaker and how long have you been part of the 'JM family'?
I found Jewellery Maker by accident on the TV in 2019 and soon got hooked watching the amazing positivity and creativity of everyone on it. It feels like your part of their team and that you know/trust them.
I have been collecting gemstones for 5 years from Gems and Gem Collector and I love that JM also brings these amazing, beautiful gemstones to us on the show so we can make jewellery from them, my favourites being Tanzanite, Tsavorite Garnet, Grandidierite, Jade, Pearls, Rubies, Emeralds, Spinel and Tigers eye. I can make pieces so everyone can enjoy wearing these precious gems and not just the wealthy.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start making jewellery for the first time?
Enjoy what you’re doing, keep practising and you’ll get there 😊 Have your own style and embrace it.
What are your 'Can't live without them' jewellery making tools, and why are they so special?
My jewellery making tool kit and silver wire of different gauges. I can spend hours just playing with silver wire, making different designs.
If you could choose what gemstones and components you were given for this heat of the competition, what would you pick and why?
I would choose silver wire of all the gauges. Silver wire gives you so many design options you can make your own pendant bails, wire weaving, wire wrapping, rosemary linking, cabochon wire wrapping etc. and silver chain. What gemstone? that’s a hard one as I use different gemstones depending on the design and colour I need. If I had to choose for this round of the competition, I would have to choose a gemstone that comes in different sizes and cuts i.e., drops, bicones, rounds, rondelles, coins. I’m into pearls, jade, tigers’ eye and lapis lazuli at the moment but I love and use all gemstones in my designs.
Have you been recognised anywhere else for your jewellery designs eg magazine articles, competitions, or greatest jewellery making achievements?
This is the first competition I have entered, so it’s all very exciting!
What was your favourite /best purchase from Jewellerymaker and why?
I love all my strands of gemstones, but I think it must be my strand of Tahitian pearls as they look amazing in so many designs i.e. pearl knotting or rosemary linking, or a pendant on its own and in my creative wire work, I have designed a peacock wire pendant and the body is a Tahitian pearl which has greens, blues and purple highlights in it.
What would it mean to you to win Britain's Next Gem?
Everything 😊 this would be the start of a new career, doing something I love everyday it would be a dream. It would also give me the confidence to leave my job as I know every day I continue working as a Crime Scene Examiner I have a high chance of my PTSD being triggered again.