Have you ever wanted to rummage around in someone else’s jewellery box? I know I’m always intrigued to see what other people have in their collections. Since I started making my own jewellery it never seems to make it into a jewellery box but rather hangs around in the studio or my bedroom on and in various racks and receptacles…
But I do have a good sized oak box that houses amongst other things, a lot of the jewellery that I bought or was gifted before my making days began.
I was poking about in this the other day looking for something when I realised that not only where the contents much neglected and in need of a good clean, but also that my style and taste has changed somewhat over the years. Twenty years ago I lost a lot of my jewellery in a burglary. This was pretty heart breaking at the time as it included everything I had been gifted for my eighteenth and twenty-first birthday. After that I began rebuilding a collection and all my family and friends knew what was at the top of my wish list come Birthdays and Christmas.
At this time I was also very much career oriented and wore jewellery every day with my business suits to complete the corporate image. Working from home and in a studio environment as I do now means that I only wear it when I go out so it’s years since a lot of this collection has see the light of day.
Now that I’ve cleaned it up a bit I thought you might enjoy a virtual rummage so here’s some of what’s in that box…
Rings… I love rings and at one time used to wear four or five at a time but these days it tends to be one on each hand and maybe a thumb ring. You will also notice throughout this post that I have a penchant for semi-precious stones.
I have a lot more silver jewellery that I do gold, mainly because I like quite chunky stuff which would cost the earth in gold. The gold I do have is mostly inherited or gifts that survived the burglary.
Then we have pendants…and more of the semi precious stones. I didn’t really wear beaded jewellery at this time (I hadn’t yet discovered art beads) and was much more into chunky pendants on a substantial silver chain as you can see here. Carnelian, Labradorite, Fluorite, Blood Agate, Mother of Pearl and others I don’t recall right now.
This collection is from my Amber phase (still ongoing) and includes pieces I was gifted for my fortieth birthday and some of my mothers.
You will see from these images that I tented to go for matching collections and usually had matching earrings and pendants and sometimes rings. I don’t tend to do this today and tend to go for a more eclectic look when matching jewellery.
Garnet – my birthstone is one of my favourite stones and I still use it in my own designs…I think these pieces in particular will be seeing the light of day a little more often now I’ve rediscovered them.
Sets in Moonstone, Jade, Turquoise and Labradorite.
Years ago I wore a lot more stud earrings, particularly for work where I had t be a little more conservative in my appearance.
But still went for a bit of gemstone bling form time to time with Peridot, Blue Topaz and Amethyst.
With the exception of the sun and the copper piece this brooch collection is inherited and the crystal brooch on the left is the first gift I bought for my mum when I started working full time. I remember my father buying her a new coat for Christmas and me going off to find a brooch to match.
Grandma’s jewels… Cultured pearls and a silver bangle. The bangle I did wear a lot but I’ve never been one for traditional pearls.
When I started making jewellery I did intend to go more down the silver-smithing route and if the price of silver hadn’t shot through the roof my design style may have stayed much closer to this collection. But once I discovered other mediums and in the jewellery I make today there is a big difference in style and material and that’s no bad thing – I’ve learnt a lot and grown over time.
But I think maybe I’ll be digging some of these pieces out to wear again or perhaps see if I can give them a new lease of life.
What do you have lurking at the back of your jewellery box? Go have a look – you might find something exciting in there.