15 Beatrice Rd, , Margate, Kent, United Kingdom, CT9 5SN
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No physical shop. I am available via email or telephone Monday - Sunday
I make handmade silver jewellery using sterling silver and silver metal clay. I am largely self taught but have attended some classes to help me develop my skills. I have a studio in my back garden equipped with a kiln and tools essential for silversmithing.
Some of my work is hallmarked as it weighs more than 7.78g which is the legal requirement for selling silver.
I take inspiration from the world around me especially from the beach which I am lucky enough to live near. I also like making use of flowers and leaves in my work.
I also really like geometric shapes and my latest collection is based around circles.
I don't think I have a signature style yet and continue to develop as an artist. I am looking forward to continuing my journey and developing my skills. And I look forward to making beautiful jewellery that you want to wear.
I have lived in Margate since I was 10 months old (I turned 50 in 2021) and my parents and sisters still live within Thanet as well. I am the eldest of 3 daughters and my dad is a retired police officer and my mum was a stay at home mum until I was in secondary school.
I qualified as a nurse in 1994 and have worked at QEQMH for much of my career with a 7 year break to work as a senior lecturer teaching nursing at Christ Church University. I currently work in a local GP practice as a specialist respiratory nurse.
I have 2 daughters and am happily married to my husband Tony. I have also recently become a nanny for the first time. I am really lucky as my family are very supportive of my desire to make jewellery into my 'day job' and they put up with being my models and critical eyes. We also have a crazy cocker spaniel and a cat to complete our family.
I have been 'crafty' for years dabbling in knitting, sewing and jewellery. Jewellery is really my first love and my first foray was back in 2008-2009 but for personal reasons I left it for a while but came back to it in 2021. I find that making things helps my mental health and keeps me sane and I love the fact that something I make resonates with someone and they love it enough to buy it and wear it. I would love for this to become my new full time job as after 30 years of nursing I am ready for new challenges.
I always wanted to be a nurse - from the age of 5. Sounds terribly cliche but that's the truth. I never thought I could make something out of being crafty and it's only been in more recent years that I have really tried to make a living out of what I make.
I was encouraged to try other things though and have had piano lessons and played the clarinet briefly as well as being taught to knit by my mum and my nan and also to sew.
My earliest experience with art / craft was probably my mum teaching me how to knit and my nan teaching me how to read patterns. I knitted a tortoise one summer whilst holidaying with my nan and gave it to the little boy up the road. I was very proud of that tortoise.
I used to make jewellery for myself using beads and tiger wire and then one day was asked to make a piece for a friends wife. They wanted a necklace with a focal bead of a moon. I searched high and low for this and found exactly what I was looking for in America. I discovered that the bead was a handmade glass bead and I discovered lamp working. Around 2007 I went to a lady called Sarah in Horsham and spent 2 days with her learning how to make my own glass beads and I was hooked. My poor husband was dragged to Lingfield racecourse - to a bead fair and I bought everything I needed to get me started. Aurorabeadz was born and I spent a few years making my own glass beads with propane and oxygen in my garden shed.
Glassmaking also introduced me to the world of silversmithing and silver metal clay and I attended evening classes and did a workshop in silver metal clay. I had a dream of being able to make a living out of beads and jewellery and it started well.
Sadly around 2010 life events rather overtook me and I stopped making beads and jewellery and didn't come back to it until 2021. I got some money from work friends for my 50th birthday and treated myself to some silver metal clay and I very quickly rediscovered my passion for jewellery making. Not long after Hare and Moon Jewellery was created and I set myself a 3 year plan to get the business up and running and to make gorgeous jewellery for people.
It's difficult to say what turns my creativity on. I get ideas at all sorts of times. I may be on the beach and find a shell. I may be watching a TV programme and someones jewellery strikes me. Oddly I seem to get most of my ideas when I turn out the light and try to go to sleep so I can often be found to be jotting down notes on my phone before I can rest.
I find that a busy or difficult day at work can sometimes make me feel creative but sometimes it can have the opposite effect but I try to get to my studio whenever I can.
I sometimes think I am my worst critic I see a lot of fault with my work at times - is that an artist thing or a perfectionist thing? I'm not sure. What I like best is that someone likes my work enough to want to wear it. I love that and that's what drives me a lot of the time.
I think that there have been 2 really memorable moments so far in my journey. Firstly was having my work accepted into a local gallery. It was such a boost to my confidence for this to happen and I am grateful to them for offering me the opportunity.
The second moment was that I have been able to transfer my teaching skills from by nursing career and am offering silver metal clay classes. This is a fab opportunity for me to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for jewellery making and show people how easy and accessible it can be.
My dad has been quite unwell for the last couple of years and not so long ago we thought his time with us was very limited. One evening when I was sitting in hospital with him he asked me if I could make some memorial jewellery for him to given to my mum, me and my sisters and his grandchildren. I made fingerprint bangles for me, my sisters and the granddaughters and I made fingerprint doglegs for the grandsons. I made a swivel locket for my mum with a finger print inside. This really pushed my skills but I am so pleased with what I made and when my dad handed them out to see their response was amazing.
Thankfully my dad is currently doing really well but we have some beautiful jewellery with a little piece of him on it to remember him by and I made it
It's a real job at the moment - I am concentrating on building my brand as well as my customer base and this is not the most glamorous part of the job. It is exciting though when a new customer finds me and buys something. I am trying to do 1-2 markets a month between Ramsgate and Faversham and I will be starting at Whitstable soon. This is hard work but rewarding meeting new people, chatting with them about what I make and my values and just building up that trust with them.
I am not sure I have any one hero but I do draw inspiration from lots of people.
Grainne Reynolds from Times to Treasure makes the most beautiful jewellery and works of art from silver metal clay.
Nicola Lawrence makes beautiful jewellery using granulation and I love her work
Local artist Jessica Newby makes beautiful jewellery using locally sourced seaglass and I am in awe at her ability to set this irregular material.
I have met so many people on my journey through Instagram and have found them to be an amazingly supportive community and so ready to share their skills and knowledge.
My family and time to make jewellery.
You don't get if you don't ask.
thank you for taking the time to read and get to know me a little. Please find me on Facebook or Instagram and say hi