Vicky Forrester, bespoke jewellery, original handmade jewellery designs in precious metals
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interview for Treasure 2012

Describe your jewellery design in three words.

Powerful. Precious. Playful

Jewellery is magic! When worn it becomes a powerful entity that can instantly transform your mood and your energy levels. It’s also a powerful communicator and so much can be expressed through (and read into) in the kind of jewellery you choose to wear.

The notion of preciousness goes beyond material; it describes the relationship we have with our jewellery. Jewellery becomes precious only when we choose to engage with it and for me it’s about it’s history intertwined with your own story. It’s such a personal experience!

I love that it has this ability to transform the wearer and in my jewellery designs I like to exploit this element of play.

Which of your designs are your favourites?

I have several favourite pieces of jewellery, and my choice depends on my mood. Right now my I swing between Precious lll and the Medusa arm wrap – I love the way the Precious pendant nestles at the solar plexus (it makes me feel good!), and I love the delicious contrast between the rich gold of the ball and those rough black diamond chips. But for sheer drama I enjoy the Medusa collection; I like that I can wear the Medusa arm wrap in so many different ways: in its simplest from it remains subtle and dressed down, but given a couple of twists the piece comes to life to reveal a pleasing edginess that immediately dresses me up!

How long does each design take from inception to finished piece?

Sleepless nights, endless days in pursuit of the perfect conclusion…

Describe the space where you design.

Beautiful, airy, inspirational Flux Studios.

What is your favourite film?

Gladiator! – the whole spectrum of human existence is represented in the story – passion, power, weakness, strength, honour, deceit, integrity, love, loss, death, … It’s a beautifully shot film, and I love that honour wins the day, and I love the costumes too.

Where does your inspiration come from, describe the process?

Nature and the elements provide powerful and eternal undercurrents in my work. My personal enquiry has led to the emergence of 6 distinct collections, each one answering to a particular intention, mood or desire. Distinct and yet distinctly related, I continue to develop new work for these collections as I am drawn to explore these same themes from ever evolving perspectives.

Designing jewellery is a multi-facetted process. I see jewellery as wearable sculpture, a means to explore relationships and form, to ask questions and present challenges, to soothe the senses or to awaken them.

From concept to realisation, I like the element of problem solving that jewellery making presents. The making process requires focus; at every stage in the development of a piece of jewellery, challenges arise and choices must be made. The process requires a fluid approach, and every problem arising equally presents opportunity. The final outcome charts this evolving relationship between the idea, the choices made, the application of process, and the behaviour of the material. With a successful piece of jewellery these elements find accord.

Equally important to me in the making process is the notion of intent. As we weave and forge and form our intentions into objects, here we jewellers have the means to exercise alchemy.

Favourite book and what are you reading right now?

The Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edward de Waal – beautifully woven personal history that provides insights into Europe at a time of enormous transition; fascinating from a social, cultural and art historical perspective. (I wish I had more time to finish reading it!)

How would you spend your perfect day off?

The sea feeds my soul…..

What led you into jewellery design?

I loved Mr Ben when I was a child; actually the anticipation of who he might become was often more exciting than the weekly story turned out to be, but this notion of magical transformation has stayed with me and jewellery provides a perfect grown-up vehicle for exploring one’s persona and playing with image.

I first started to make jewellery because I liked to make tiny things, and I was drawn to working with precious metal as a medium. Each piece I made described my ever-evolving dialogue with material. Studying at college gave me the space to challenge my own perceptions of what I made and why; a change in materials and in scale also forced me to loosen up with my precise expectations, and this has set the direction for my work ever since.

How do you want the wearer to feel when wearing your jewellery?

Like a goddess – whichever!

If you’ve worked on previous high-profile projects, do you have any planned for 2012/13?

Last year I was commissioned to write a book on jewellery making; I have been working on this project for the last 6 months – we’re reading through the proofs now – and I’m very excited about it’s launch in October 2012. Check out my website for updates on the release date!

 

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Vicky Forrester is a practicing jeweller designer maker with 25 years of experience in the contemporary jewellery field.