The design theme of these pieces is trying to move away from the structured, symmetrical tendency of many of my other works, and aiming for a more natural and organic look. It suits the free form boulder opals particularly well as it compliments their
irregularity and randomness. The aim is to try and blur the line between the stone and the rest of the piece, to make it look as though it grew in place. These are some of my favourites to make as they seldom start with a plan of any sort, elements are added and experimented with as the work progresses. Although I’ve been making this style for a while I feel that it has a lot of scope for further development as it can incorporate so many methods and techniques with an eye for expanding on the theme of embellishment and enrichment that first inspired it.
Combining cuttlefish techniques, opal and semi-precious stones, these designs have influences from the Art Nouveau and Charles Rennie Mackintosh movements.
These pendants are made from recycled copper and silver, with an assortment of gemstones. The origins of this design come from a project in which I was going to make an Art Nouveau style hair ornament, somewhat in the style of Alphonse Mucha. Part way through the process I looked at the pierced out copper and decided it would make a nice pendant instead. The reactions to them have been very varied, with a wide range of different people seeing different things in the design. Evidently the fan motif can be taken as something of an archetypal symbol that crops up again and again throughout history.
These pieces are made from pierced and carved cow bone and set in silver. They hold a particular appeal for me due to the almost ethereal nature of the materials, which I try to enhance with the designs of the carvings. Several times people have asked me: ‘what do they mean’, as though they see a meaning in the shapes that just escapes them. The very earliest ones I made were based on the stone tracery in
gothic church windows and this is why I chose the name boneyard for the style, due to the association with the graveyard and the realms of the dead and departed. The designs aim to evoke a feeling of vague association by incorporating a range of elements blended together to compliment the materials.
These pieces are based on the Bronze Age Celtic shields that were found in various rivers in Britain. They were deliberately cast into the water as a form of sacrifice or tribute, and are considered to be some of the greatest examples of surviving art from the era. I have always found them fascinating, both as works of art, and as superb examples of craftsmanship. Above all though, I feel drawn to the untold story of their owners, men of great power and influence, great warriors who are now forgotten, whose deeds have faded from all memory, known only from these few pieces of metal that still exert a pull on us and evoke emotions centuries after their owners are gone.