I work in precious metals. I find weaving tiny stitches in silver thread absorbing, and working in gold is a delight. Making rings, articulated brooches and well-balanced necklaces is satisfying and fun, but ultimately the results must be unique, functional, comfortable and well-finished.
I have worked hard to make a living from my skills as a jeweller. As a self-employed single parent and subsequently on my own, my labour intensive, attention-to-detail work consumed most daylight hours, and many night times too. In the build up to the busiest times – Christmas, Trade Fairs, Spring Fling and before Edinburgh Festival Craft & Design Fair – I seemed to always be working double shifts, often looking out at glorious days, missing social events and generally feeling I’d missed yet another glorious May/Spring/Summer. I’d often emerge at sunset thinking, “Gosh, it looks like it was a fab day.”
[My 9 years as a member of the original voluntary Spring Fling organising committee, and as its subsequent hands-on Chair, was squeezed into all these times and I still do not know how everything got done but it did, and Spring Fling always took priority]
I never thought I’d have a chance to draw breath and ponder on things, but for weeks I have been outside absolutely every day, all day; appreciating the quiet and chilly early March sunrises, the cold winds, the frosts, the early arrival of my house martins, the opening of primroses, the first cuckoo, the first curlew, the very first bluebell in the wood, the apple blossom, unfurling leaves, the silences, the sun’s heat, the sunsets and now a well prepared vegetable garden ready for the plants that are growing in pots awaiting the passing of frosts. I have done this at my own pace. Not at speed or looking at the clock, dashing hither and thon to get things planted before I start work – none of that, and it has been an eye opener.
This has been the longest time I have ever been away from my bench but I am still a jeweller, and make interesting and intricate work in gold and silver. My collections of jewellery are for sale and I hope to carry on working on commissions, wedding rings and bespoke pieces that will become family heirlooms. I will continue to breathe new life into old jewellery, continue to make work that makes my heart sing and feel the best is yet to come. This year’s break from Spring Fling means I will enjoy my little bit of glorious Galloway at the end May all the more, ready for next year!