|My original pansy ring|
Most of the famous pottery manufacturers in the Staffordshire area of the UK seem to have produced bone china flower jewellery from the 1930's to about the 1970's. The brooches, clip earrings & hatpins were all handmade and skilfully hand painted.
I like to think that by up-cycling them into rings I'm celebrating this craftsmanship & giving their work a new lease of life.
|Packing a punch|
When I acquire the vintage flowers they've usually been languishing forgotten at the bottom of jewellery boxes and are often in a sorry state. I clean them up & start the painstaking restoration process. I file out any chips, sometimes having to completely re-sculpt individual leaves and petals with my trusty multitool. Next I re-paint & varnish the damaged areas to blend them in with the original paintwork. Finally they're fixed to silver plated adjustable ring bases.
|Restoration work in progress|
The flower rings proved popular, but my next concern was what to do with all the old, redundant clip-on flower earrings I kept acquiring. The blooms were too small to turn into rings, but it seemed a shame to let them go to waste. The solution was to recycle them into a collection of dainty floral hair slides.
|My popular hair slides|
At the start of this year I felt ready to take the range a bit further and started incorporating the vintage flowers into simple pendants and statement necklaces. The first pieces from the new collection have just gone on sale this week at my central Leeds stockist Our Handmade Collective and you can have a look at what's in store on my Facebook page.
|One of the vintage flower necklaces|