From an early age, traveling the world, I saw how art, craft and creativity brought beauty into everyday life. Beauty, for me, is a blessing that reminds us there is something greater than ourselves.
Jewelry, as adornment, has been an expression of beauty through culture as far back as 70,000 years. I like that jewelry design can extreme from the mythic to the personal and intimate. The relationship to a particular piece can span generations because jewelry marks occasions, holds memories and anchors commitments. Sometimes, jewelry is also just about pure fun. I especially love using gems, a truly incredible gift from the earth—each one with its own personality. Color and sparkle can add so much life to the designing process.
I was a self-taught bench jeweler without any formal schooling in design and craft. I started out making leather belts in a jewelry shop when I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1986. Then, after a few years, I began to learn from jewelry designers in the same shop how to fabricate southwestern style jewelry pieces. I had decided I wanted to become a jewelry designer, and it was a very difficult path. First my jewelry design had to be approved by my boss and then I had to figure out how to make the piece without knowing how. Other designer jewelers taught me technique. Plus, I was paid by the piece; so initially it was hard to make a living. But over time, I began to develop skills and my own sense of style.
I went on my own in 1994 because I wanted more creative freedom. By living in Santa Fe, I saw how indigenous roots are important. Remembering the ancient stories and legends I grew up with in the UK brought me back to my tribal ancestry. Though I've branched out into many directions, much of what I create comes from the motifs from ancient tribal Europe. The inspiration for these designs came from cultures that had reverence for the earth and generations of indigenous tradition. I bring contemporary style to these ancient motifs.
In context to our sourcing and manufacturing, having high standards for human rights and the environment has been a high priority. We have worked tirelessly to become the first certified Fairtrade Gold jeweler in the US. When that gold is not available, we use 100% recycled metals, and whenever possible, ethically sourced gemstones. I view my business, Reflective Images Jewelry, as a small community that brings benefit to both our customers and the larger global community.