Born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK I moved to Spain when I was 24 and worked in the wine industry. I returned to Leeds when my daughter was ready for school and went back to the rat race of the business world. I was starved for sunshine and all things artistic and as soon as I was able went back to university to re-train as a silversmith and jewellery designer. I found I loved this world and all the people in it so decided to make jewellery my new career. I have been making, exhibiting and selling my work through Clarise Jewellery, which I set up when I finished my degree in Art and design enterprise at the age of 50. I have since built my own studio at home and now teach Metal clay, Silversmithing and business for designer makers.
I have a HNC in Business Management and a degree in Art and Design Enterprise (jewellery) both from Leeds Metropolitan University. I am a member of the PMC Guild and the Guild of Enamellers. I am currently working on some pieces for level 1 of the masters register.
I take my inspiration from the trees, plants and flowers growing my garden I love to replicate the bark of silver birch by folding and forging sterling sliver. Now I have discovered metal clay this has allowed my work to become more complex and delicate. I use both clay and paste to produce exact copies of leaves and flower petals and then reconstruct them into asymmetric shapes. Syringe work allows me to entwine organic texture in the form of tendrils and nature’s colours are added with whatever medium I feel suits the theme.
I spend a lot of my time in my workshop that looks out onto my beloved garden and this allows my work to reflect the seasons. Silver leaves and petals are mainly taken from new plants in the spring and most of my enamelled pieces are created in the summer when there is a riot of colour from the summer blooms. Autumn gives me seed pods and interesting textures to take inspiration from and winter, well that’s when I go skiing!