Meet Cast & Found jeweller Jessica Collin -
Nature Inspired Jewellery -
Next up on our blog is an entry about nature inspired jewellery, it’s number eight in our series which will be released throughout 2018. This series is all about showcasing some of the amazing women who have supported, inspired and been part of Saloukee’s 10 year story in business.
Today we are speaking with nature inspired jewellery designer Jessica Collin. What talent she has making sentimental jewellery in gold, silver and bronze for her clients.
Our month eight showcase is all about cast metal and in particular bronze. This is not only a wonderfully precious and mysterious medium but also the material which marks the eighth wedding anniversary – a gift marked with bronze. This year for us is all about celebrating our 1-10 years in business. So during October, I will also be making new bronze jewellery. Plus recommending other brilliant independents who work in the same medium.
At University – Sarah was one the cool kids! She was dedicated and driven, with a real ability to spot trends. It was a brilliant time; access to fantastic equipment and resources, with lots of creative minds all bouncing ideas around. It was a period when we were able to be exploratory in our work. I often wish I could do it all over again!
I am doing mainly commission work and developing a body of work for my budding brand ‘Cast and Found’. I love being mindful of the things around me and being outdoors is an important part of my world. Therefore, the brand is based on natures ‘finds’ from my woodland walks.
I collect found natural objects and work them in wax before casting them in precious metal to make intricate forms. This has always been a theme in my work but now the brand focuses entirely on the process of nature inspired jewellery.
Right now I am also spending lots of my time teaching, so it can be a struggle to find time to make which can be a frustrating. On the flip side, I am helping others to reach their creative potential which is fulfilling too!
What’s your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
There’s been lot of highlights over the 15 years I have been working in the creative industries. Some C.V. worthy and others more personally rewarding. But being asked to do a project and be featured in Sarah’s book ‘Paper Jewellery – Design and Make‘ feels very special.
Is there one piece of advice that you would give to someone thinking of starting their own creative business?
Don’t work in isolation! I loved having my studio at The Harley Foundation as it was a brilliant space and it felt so prestigious with renowned makers. But people very much did their own thing. They were often off teaching, exhibiting or doing projects away from the studios. I worked long hours in my space on my own which I found difficult.
Creatives are susceptible to becoming much internalised. I’ve found that you look inwards and putting your very essence into every piece you create means you can feel pretty vulnerable. Being on your own can make you question your creative decisions. So being in a vibrant environment around people who big you and your work up would be ideal.
Women In Business
How has running your business changed in the time you’ve been involved in the industry?
Lucy Worsley; historian, author, Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces, and BBC presenter. I’ve chosen Worsley as she has carved out a multi-faceted dream career for herself, which I am in great admiration of. To do lots of different roles centred on one passion must be really fulfilling.
I heard Worsley speak on the radio recently where she talked about her father wanted her to pursue the sciences. She battled to pursue humanities, which is a similar scuffle endured by most creatives I would think! Worsley also talked of reading a history book as a child, with a picture of Hampton Court on the front. She spoke of how she now has her very own office in Hampton Court Palace. What a brilliant symbol of the power of visualization?! Wowzers!
She is a modern everyday woman who has displayed a great ability to apply herself and through dedication and talent achieve her own success. Such an inspiration to the everyday woman.
I am a silver girl generally, although I love a good sprinkling of gold and bronze too, this always makes lovely nature inspired jewellery. The intrinsic preciousness that we feel when we hold valuable metals, brings out the magpie in me. I need the malleability of metal to achieve the detail I require for my work too. In my commission work I offer the opportunity to others to seek out piece of nature that means something to them. Perhaps a twig from a favourite tree or a stem from a cherished bouquet of flowers. I am able to immortalise it in precious metals, so the longevity of the material works for me. As for exploration I am just starting to play around with powder coating base metals for a bit of fun. It’s great as it also injects some vibrant colours into my work too.
Real Life Stuff
How to problem solve and persevere! I am all about building resilience at minute and working to develop your creative outcomes is so reliant on your practice being fastidious. I often worry that with technology our ability to work towards a goal and maintain focus over longer periods of time is lost, as we can gain instant gratification in so many ways online.
What’s the most sentimental object that you own and why?
A white gold bracelet, a gift from my husband on our wedding day. It has an engraving of a small robin on it to remember my Dad. Such a thoughtful token from the man I love and so emotive to the inner me. It is also extra special as it was made by a talented friend Sophia (whom Sarah and I also went to uni with).
Irreplaceable. As I grow, I continue to move away from accessing worth in relation to monetary value. It becomes ever more inherent that it is people and experiences which are irreplaceable and should be cherished above all. But an object too, worn, displayed or used, can play a key role in the making of special moments. They too become irreplaceably precious to us.