Holly Belsher

Catalogue hearts 557

 

When I started to make jewellery, I was excited and inspired by the artefacts of ancient and exotic cultures, but now, I am delighting in my own heritage; The beauty of the British countryside, Its natural stone, the textures of landscape, its’ flora and fauna.
I have long wanted to make something using bare wintry twigs. I cast a few in silver and gold, transforming them into literally “precious” objects and am enjoying playing with the interaction of their shapes, to make earrings, brooches and even bangles.

The hedgerows in Devon have proved an inspiration for my latest work, some of them are hundreds of years old. They are cut every year after the birds have finished fledging their babies and they grow in wonderful tangles on top of deep banked stone walls covered with grass and wild plants. (called Devon banks) You can trace mossy tunnels where shrews and bank voles run. In early Summer there are masses of tall foxgloves lining the lanes, even in January I have found tiny wild ripe strawberries.

I continue to use beach pebbles as if they too are ‘precious’ stones, but for the first time I have used some traditional semi-precious stones too. I have chosen unusual shapes, like long narrow bars of tourmaline in a millennium cut for their luscious reflections of pinks and greens.
I also have a range of cast silver and gold earrings, brooches, and cufflinks employing my signature, reticulated (melted) surface texture.

Necklaces are individually made in the same way. Each tubular bead, round or facet sided is softened and almost made to look organic by this process. I combine these with semi precious stone beads adding the gorgeous purple of amethyst, the surprising acid green of peridots or the bird’s egg-like speckle of Dalmatian jasper. Each one therefore is a unique compliment to its owner.

Holly Belsher