Friday, 21 January 2011

Treasure Hunting...

Sometimes I wonder whether I was a pirate in a past life because (and I quote Captain Jack Sparrow) "I'm really obsessed with treasure!"

Recently I've been trying to expand my collection of vintage brooches by trawling vintage fairs looking for a particular maker, the mysterious 'BJL'. There are some personal reasons for why I love these brooches largely inspired by my Great Grandmother's collection of extremely sparkly costume brooches that used to captivate me as a child but I specifically love BJL because my Gran once found me an enamelled peacock brooch by BJL on a market stall years ago and I've always loved the tiny marcasite stones and the swirling green blue enamelling.

There's something about vintage jewellery that is very inspiring as a jewellery designer not least because it has survived the test of time and I wonder sometimes whether my designs will hold that magic for someone else in the future. Whether these brooches are desirable objects and are worth something in monetary value, to me it doesn't really matter because if I like something that much, I am going to keep it because selling it would leave me with that feeling of loss that everyone feels when they lose a treasured piece of jewellery with sentimental value. I almost feel that it is my responsibility to make sure that these little jewels survive another fifty years!

I do sell some of my vintage finds but I suspect that I will keep a hoard for myself as there is that element of a treasure seeker and collector to my personality that derives pleasure from finding something beautiful and using it as inspiration to attempt to create other beautiful things. Often times, a good story and a hint of mystery behind a piece of jewellery is worth as much as the piece itself!

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