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Reflections - An exhibition of narrative jewellery

I am delighted to be exhibiting my narrative jewellery in September 2022 at Morley College in the Barbara Christie display case. What an honour and a huge encouragement to my jewellery-making practise!

Barbara was a remarkable maker of narrative contemporary jewellery, heading up the Jewellery Department at Morley College for more than 30 years. Although I did not have the pleasure to be taught by her, several of my contemporaries and tutors did. I am told her classes were always full of energy, determination , inspiration and "food for thought". Sadly she is no longer with us. (Here is a link to an exhibition in 2013 at the Ruthin Craft Centre. for a flavour of the kind of jewellery she made.)

My narrative jewellery making journey has been an interesting one thus far. This new opportunity has led me to review where I started, how far I have come and where I am now (and to acknowledge all the people who have supported, taught, helped and encouraged me since I first started making jewellery in 2012. Thank you!). My route has not been linear! I have chosen tutors I really wanted to learn from along the way, (often via my "scatter-brained" approach as I have flitted from material to material, short workshops on individual techniques to lengthy certificated courses and back again), all of them increasing my design and technical skills, and bringing me to a place where I have "lots of arrows in my creative quiver". Working in mixed-media these "arrows" are invaluable to me now! Every tutor has had something different to teach me or a new approach to an old problem and I continue to learn and I hope I always will.

Finding a personal voice as a creative person is hard work, especially for those of us who find it difficult to narrow things down to the essence of why we make what we make. In preparation for this event my husband (Kinetic Sculptor Richard Paton ) has been a huge support, encouraging me to write a short booklet about my approach to making narrative pieces. This has helped focus my gaze and to better understand what inspires, motivates, and drives me. I am grateful to him for his help in laying out this my first "book" to accompany my exhibition. I am also thankful to Zoe Arnold for her inventive and inspiring courses at Morley and West Dean that really have given me confidence to pursue this narrative road.

I will post details shortly of the exhibition dates but I will leave you for now with a tantalising look at the front cover of my new "book". You'll have to come to Morley to see my mini wearable artwork sculptures, and to read their back stories inside! I hope in some way I will be paying tribute to the pathway Barbara forged in narrative storytelling in contemporary jewellery and that perhaps she might have enjoyed seeing them too.

(Copies of my book will also be available by post if you feel so inclined! Email me for details via the "contact form" on this site and please let me know if you're interested in receiving details of my private view in mid September!)


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