I am now feverishly working on producing my pieces for the 'presents' section of this years Design Event Mart... from an initial product my 'range' has now developed into FOUR new products, a nice little selection, hopefully it will look more interesting when displayed too. The inspiration for these pieces comes from an ongoing fascination with militaria, and vintage ephemera particularly associated with wartime adornments; especially medals, insignia and emblems. Past work from these sources feels somehow unresolved in my mind and I have a passion in this area which compels me to continuously do more research, gaining further and still new, inspiration, allowing me to generate new ideas and ensuring I am constantly developing the related concept.
Materials used during the development, sampling and prototyping process included non valuable and workhorse materials not commonly considered to be aesthetically pleasing such as offcuts of plywood and clear acrylic sheet, together with papers - either used or ready to be discarded – some were taken from the bin in my studio… I found these papers the most interesting as they would ensure that every piece is very slightly different, giving an extra significance and added exclusivity.
I examined the use of traditional stitch as a binding process as an alternative to mass manufacturing processes or time consuming silversmithing techniques as a way to instill the personal and warm feeling that hand stitching evokes by using vintage army issue linen thread that was actually given to soldiers during WW2 to repair their uniforms and kit.
During the interpretation of Design Event’s theme of ‘Happiness’ my main thought was that purely by wearing an adornment or a beautiful piece of jewellery one would feel ‘happy’ although I did also play with the idea of using ‘joyous’ words, as I do consistently incorporate text within my work. Through natural progression and the design process, incorporating a level of ambiguity and allowing personal interpretation I finally considered (and used) the words ‘I AM...’ which would allow the owner to decide on their level of happiness (or otherwise) at the time of wearing, alternatively the simple statement ‘It’s a beautiful life’ – just a little reminder.