I'm a self-confessed jewellery addict, it has to be said. From funky acrylics to statement silver with attitude, if it stands out I magpie it ;) and when I was at a recent exhibition at Black Swan Arts in Frome, and saw some of the stunning pieces created by Eleanor Christine Jewellery, I knew I needed to discover more about the lady who makes them.
So, here are Ellie's four thoughts... her answers to four questions we thought you'd love to know the answers too.
1. How did you get started making jewellery and what inspires you?
I’ve always been busy – loved making all kinds of things when I was a kid (the benefit of not having mobile phones I suppose!). I’ve always loved jewellery and for a few years whilst I was working as a live event producer in London, I kept looking at a specific jewellery making course at Central St Martins. Eventually, when I had reached a very low level of job satisfaction, I took the plunge and signed up. After only 2 days, I was absolutely hooked. Working with my hands and creating – I find it thrilling.
Inspiration comes from many things... my love of the work of Picasso and Calder, nature, the human body, and the stones and metal themselves. Sometimes I just have to have a really reckless hammering session and see how things turn out! This gives me a kind of release from the very controlled commissioned pieces I'm often creating.
2. Which are your favourite pieces to make and what do you think makes your creations unique?
I absolutely have to feel that my pieces are unique. I'm far more interested in wearable art than in tiny, delicate, easy-to-wear pieces of jewellery. Statement rings are my speciality and I love them (not only to make but also to wear). I love texture and contrast and I don’t like my pieces to have an overly finished look – many are left unpolished and still show signs of the work done to them.
3. If you could choose one person to wear a piece of your jewellery, who would it be and why - and what would you make for them?
I would choose Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons from Game of Thrones. Did you see the incredible costumes created for her? I would create a fantastic statement ring suitable for a strong, warrior queen, complete with dragon scales! I made a piece a couple of years ago that I called “Targaryen”.
I have to say that I’d also like to make a tribal piece for her on-screen husband, Khal Drogo. It would need to be pretty huge. Sorry if you aren’t a fan of Game of Thrones and this means nothing to you!
4. Tell us a secret about you or your jewellery that no-one else knows ;)
Wow. I don’t really have any secrets... wracking my brains trying to think of one that no-one else knows. I once had to get my partner to take up some floorboards in my studio because a lovely nugget of gold dropped between them as I was putting it through my roller. The nugget was the melted down gold from someone’s precious inherited ring and believe me, I was in total panic. Don’t worry, I’m in a new studio now – no gaps or floorboards!
Ahh - I can just imagine the panic that would've brought on! Anyway, it's been awesome looking through the pieces Ellie makes and hearing about how she goes about creating her stunning wearable art. One of our favourite ideas of hers was this quirky statement ring, featuring her beloved rag doll cat, Barley.
Now that's got me thinking about all kinds of animal possibilities... and if you'd like to discover more about Ellie and her unique creations and commissions, you can follow her on twitter and Instagram, or get in touch with her through her website. In the meantime, I'm going to dream about cool jewellery for a while!