I haven’t posted in a long while as life has caught up with me since joining my MA in Design, but here is a range of work i have been working on in the last year within my jewellery making practice.

I have been working with Ecosilver, 100% recycled sterling silver in innovative and traditional ways to produce unique pieces inspired by and encompassing nature through texture, form, structure and materials.

I have also introduced an array of fair trade gemstones sourced ethically from the UK and used in  both traditional and innovative settings. The introduction of gemstones adds a colourful dimension to my work which became overly monochrome, the colours ennunciate the details in the silver and contrast with the forms and high shine of ecosilver.

My work is available to purchase from http://www.naturata-design.co.uk/online-store or through http://www.etsy.com/shop/naturatadesign.

Etsy listings!

Showcasing my final collection from my Graduate show, shown at Hereford College of Arts and New Designers, Islington,London.

For more information about my new collections named ‘Metamorphosis’ and ‘Ethereal’ visit my website here

I am very excited for the new opportunities awaiting me at UWE Bristol in my Masters in Design as well as starting up my self employed business as a sustainable designer.

The first word that comes to mind is: Scared!

I am working on my degree show collection in Eco-silver, Tagua and porcelain. This body of work is looking at the dual relationship between fragility in natural forms and structure and the strength of vessels which protect these fragile elements.

I have designed a number of cluster seedpod rings and brooches to adorn the body and invoke emotional response  through touch and interraction.

Here is a sneek peak, one of my finished seedpod rings in un-etched Eco-silver. This weighs over 16g which is going to be a menace to hallmark!

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Oak Trees Studio

Textures appeal to our sense of touch as well as creating interest visually. I love natural materials and for Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge this week I am sharing some of my favourite natural textures with you.

My header image shows the heavily textured bark of a Scots Pine tree. Tree bark is wonderful for touchable texture with different species providing us with everything from rough to smooth. This Scots Pine tree stands on one of our regular woodland paths so we can enjoy its textured bark as we pass by.

Textures in black and white - medieval stonework Medieval stonework

In our part of the country sandstone forms one of the geological layers and was used as a building material of choice for many centuries. The stone was normally quarried very locally to where it was needed, though often not much ‘quarrying’ would have been needed as there are many sandstone outcrops from where it would…

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I have been busy working on my final degree show project as well as interviews with masters opportunities and sorting a place to live for the next few years!

I am ecstatic in reporting that i am moving onto a masters degree in Design in September which is a really exciting opportunity to develop my sustainable practice!

With sustainability in mind, i have been responding to my material choices and to maintain the honest, open approach i have to my work i thought i would share my responses with you.

I have been working with metal throughout the 3 years of my degree looking at different methods of manipulating sheet to create 3d objects. Honestly the appeal was in the traditional connections that originated with working in metal. These connections allowed for my work to remain solidly within the wearable jewellery market however it has become paramount that my work reflects my conceptual integrity, focusing more on reproduction and imitation of form and material qualities that accurately represent qualities found in my source material.

However the appeal of metal was in the reflective qualities and definitive finishes that can be achieved which could not be achieved in other less traditional materials such as ceramics or wood.

The issue with metal was the restrictive, monochrome, solid structure. Natural, organic forms particularly plant life have uncontrollable elements (or appear as uncontrolled and unpredictable but actually have integral structures and processes) which cannot be expressed coherently and authentically in metal particularly with my personal, ethical criteria.

The forced nature of my previous work has been the elements that have obstructed progress to precision, delicacy and fluidity in my work. This is due to the lack of patience and clarity in my own decisions about the use of material.

Nonetheless there are elements of metal, in this case eco-silver, which can be utilised effectively to portray successful elements of plant forms and structures without sacrificing quality and coherence.

Silver is the softest alloy and therefore allows for a lot more freedom and warping, particularly in processes such as reticulation, etching and forming. Elements of my inspiration (plant pods, plant transitions, journey of plant forms through processes) have visual connotations of strength, hardness, skeletal, clarity, safety and protection. These elements will be attempted to be represented and transmitted into silver wire forms and transient spheres for outer-shells of integral delicate textures and forms.

Porcelain paper clay

For me porcelain paper clay represents whiteness, blankness, transparency, illusion of transparency, organic, growth, development, journey, durability, robustness, transition, changeable, adaptable, flexible, delicate and sensitive.

These qualities are more directly relatable to elements found in my source material, organic plant forms.  The other benefit of using porcelain paper clay as a main material in this project is its environmental impact is very low, in both material processes and sourcing. Porcelain is a natural material commonly found in the UK meaning that trading laws, ethical trade routes and ethical employment is less of an issue compared with mining conditions and protocols found in sourcing and producing metal.

The blankness of porcelain allows for every mark and alteration to be intensely adapted by the material, allowing for deeper transient forms, textures and structures to be built. This also allows for the possibility of glazing after high firing which introduces the idea of layering, colour and contrast creation through shadow and light.

The processes used in porcelain form making also allows for stages of change that can be recorded in order to document the journey of the material through each process. This Is another direct correlation with my inspiration material and allows for my pieces to closely relate to their natural inspiration, the separation from nature is not so distant as that of metal representations and imitations.

Tagua Nuts

Tagua is known as vegetable ivory and holds the same material working qualities as ivory such as hardness, colour and opaqueness. This material is sourced from outside the UK coming from tropical rainforests in regions such as peru.

The tagua nut is the ethical alternative to otherwise destructive, unethical and unsustainable elephant ivory which causes thousands of unnecessary deaths each year.  Tagua has great potential in this project with the use of texture creation, structure imitation and glazing techniques. Through this I can illuminate surface texture using buff polishing and natural dyes.

The direct use of organic material means that my work maintains sustainable, environmental and natural integrity whilst maintaining the qualities I want to communicate visually in my work. The use of slices and cuts of tagua allows for different shapes, forms and textures to represent the different transient and ephemeral forms found in my source material.

These pieces in tagua can then be combined with other materials such as porcelain or bio resin, contained within structural transient spheres to represent outside pod forms and internal seeds, communicating the journey of the plant through different materials and different visuals.

With the daunting realisation that my time as an undergraduate is coming to an end, there has been a great rush of panic and nervous excitement the last few months, hence the lack of posts.

Focus this year has been on the development of skills such as metal forming, texture creation and structure building in wire.
With the success of eco-silver as an alternative to traditional sterling, the aesthetic of my work is becoming clearer however the uses of material have opened a new world in sustainable design.

My work is in collaboration with my dissertation “How nature is represented in design to communicate sustainable theology” which i can report has been the most eye-opening research topic i’ve encountered in a while.

My practical work has been focusing on the use of metal etching of natural textures and structures found in plant organisms such as fungi, pods, seeds and leaves from a number of tropical and common plants. The concept has been a mixed selection of a number of important aspects that i feel need to be communicated in my work however the idea of simplicity and decision making is becoming forever apparent in order to make my work appear more complete and less chaotic.

Therefore after the development of pod formation and texture creation the focus of my final project will be on the encapsulation of encasement, fragility and revealing of inner beauty in natural forms. This will be achieved by looking at a number of plants, pods, seeds and their transient qualities in the blooming process.

Eco silver wire pod inspired by cotton plant pod.

Eco silver wire pod inspired by cotton plant pod.

Encasement of high finish textured silver pod within external silver wire structure

Encasement of high finish textured silver pod within external silver wire structure

Eco silver and etched brass pod ring

Eco silver and etched brass pod ring

Various pod shapes and sizes
Copper layer created by eco-alternative solution to traditional etching fluid.

Copper layer created by eco-alternative solution to traditional etching fluid.

Copper wire structure pod
Etched with natural textures and formed using eco-silver and traditional silversmithing techniques.

Etched with natural textures and formed using eco-silver and traditional silversmithing techniques.

High polished brass pod samples eco- etchingOxidised brass pod sample with eco-etching

It has been a while since i have updated my blog and this is simply down to complete focus on other aspects of my life. I have been working very hard on my own personal journey and therefore my conceptual jewellery.

The second year of university has begun in a very positive way with a clear development in skills and withheld knowledge. This inevitably has aided my progression in my project which is a development of my previous work.

The title of my project is biomimetic architecture and natural structures, clearly linked to the core issue of environmentalism and nature. Biomimicry is the process of imitating processes in the natural world in order to solve man made issues, such as architectural problems connecting to sustainable resources and energy. One of the most famous being the Eden Project, which is based on the structure of the honeycomb and as such the architecture was designed in reference to how honeycomb structures work. This is so inspiring to me, because it enthuses and encases my groundwork of values, that being conserving the natural world.

One step closer to imitating and learning from natural structures and processes can enable progression in sustainable energy and with the knowledge to reduce destruction and disregarding the natural world.

My pieces have been about encasing and protecting, as well as imitating and re-producing natural structures solely based on the architecture of the Eden Project in Cornwall, The Gherkin in London and The Biosphere in Montreal.

The Gherkin, London.

The Gherkin, London.

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biosphere montreal buckminster fuller

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