Another life - with colour, comes joy
A long time ago, I wasn’t a jeweller at all but a lawyer, a slave to the corporate treadmill, working in London, sometimes not even seeing the light of day. Grey was the main colour of my life then. How I dreamt of a life of freedom and colour, where I could be my own boss doing something that I loved.
Then in 2002, on the spur of the moment, I bought a gorgeous little converted chapel in Dorset. I’d never been to Dorset before nor did I know anyone there (my family lived the other side of the country!). But that was it.
I fell in love with the house, my lane running next to a river, the beautiful countryside and coast of Dorset and the gentler kinder way of life outside London.
For 5 years I struggled on weekly commuting to London but my heart wasn’t in it. So in 2007, I took the plunge and waved goodbye to a 15 year career, a salary, my friends, my whole way of life and moved to Dorset.
And I’ve never looked back.
I’d always loved contemporary craft (especially jewellery obvs) and had hoped to open my own gallery but then the financial crash happened.
So instead, I worked in a local contemporary craft gallery where I got the benefit of being surrounded by gorgeous things (and a rather too tempting staff discount) but without the financial commitment of my own bricks and mortar shop. Best of both worlds you would think and yet I still hankered to be my own boss. The problem was I just didn’t know what business I could do.
But when I started learning to silversmith, all the pieces finally fell into place.
I still live in the same converted chapel I fell in love with all those years ago. It has such character and history. In the 19th century, it was owned by a leading figure in the local Temperance Society. I’ve newspaper cuttings from the time reporting on tea parties for 200+ people held in my house (they must’ve been seriously squidged in) where a succession of speakers stood up to extoll the evils of alcohol. Not a tradition I’ve carried on today!
When I look back now at all those hours spent behind a desk in grey non-descript offices, it feels like another life. These days you’ll find me in my tiny garden studio, in my small but perfectly formed garden that bursts with colour in the summer, down a country lane, a stone’s throw from a beautiful river. The river has become my happy place. I try to make time to go down there every day just to take a few moments to breathe. I’ll often catch the fabulous flash of turquoise and orange as a kingfisher whizzes by and if I’m very very lucky, the spectacular sight of an otter. Now that’s always a really good day.