And it was only in the course of moving house that they were once again rediscovered. I have strong memories of seeing them proudly displayed in my nana’s glass cabinet in the living room, and having stored them safely away in a cardboard box for so many years, the last thing I wanted to do in the new house was to yet again return them to the darkness, hidden from view.
Inherited items often sit hidden away at the back of a drawer or in the dark recesses of some forgotten cupboard. A beautiful set of solid silver sugar tongs given to me by my Nana Kelly had spent the good part of twenty years stashed away in a forgotten box under the stairs.
The idea to rework them into a piece of jewellery didn’t come straight away. That came after enrolling on a short jewellery-making course where the items I’d made from pieces of silver and copper were far less impressive than the bracelet I made there (with some help from the course leader, of course) from my nana’s sugar tongs.
Inspired by the item now sitting proudly on my wrist, I enrolled on a series of silversmith courses, hoping to develop sufficient skills in order for me to tackle the challenge of turning hidden silverware into items of jewellery, where the memories of loved-ones can be enjoyed everyday rather than on those rare occasions when you happen to stumble across something inherited during a spring-clean or, as in my case, when you’re in the process of moving.
With my skills developing, I then took the leap of faith and had a workshop built in my garage. Fully equipped and with carefully sourced silverware, my journey into the world of jewellery making could begin. It’s an exciting challenge to try and give a new lease of life to the many pieces of silver cutlery still sitting in display cabinets, cupboards and drawers.
Rather than be treasured items out of sight, I aim to create individual pieces of jewellery, which can both evoke memories and be enjoyed. Wearing a ring crafted from a 1901 solid silver teaspoon not only looks beautiful, but also hallmarks a time when Queen Victoria’s reign
came to an end.