Another new artist on this year’s trail is jewellery designer Mandy Atkinson. Inspired by nature and architecture, Mandy uses gemstones and precious metals to create unique pieces of jewellery, each a small work of art.
Who are you?
What type of artist are you?
I am a jewellery artist
Do you have a background in art/design – when did you first start your creative
Most of my career was spent in the health service – I then trained as a garden
designer in the nineties which is where I learnt about form and function. But it’s my
obsession with performance and perfection that drives my design. I found I was
always having to alter costume jewellery and made my own wedding jewellery which
eventually led me down my current path. I’ve been on numerous jewellery courses
Can you describe your creative process?
I am inspired by shapes and colours in my surroundings, be that nature or
architecture. I love the way I can almost play with the rainbow by using gemstones to
create an effect – and I use wire as the means to hold the stones as much as be
decorative in its own right. I usually try out an idea with copper or bronze wire, before
making something in silver or gold. I make copious notes about how much wire, how
thick, where to shape each piece – making a pattern so that I can repeat a design if
needs be. When I’m satisfied, I then start making in precious metal, and this is the
heart-melting part, where I see in front of me what I envisaged.
What do you enjoy most about the process?
Seeing my plans come to fruition!
Can you describe your studio/workspace?
Having moved house a few times, my workspace has had to evolve, and at the
moment is extremely limited. I would love to have a larger space to put various
pieces of equipment so that I could explore more aspects of fabrication but for now I
am content with everything being within reach of my chair!
What keeps you going whilst you work – soundtrack? Snacks? A fluffy
Sitting at my workbench with a window at my side, I see the outside, the light hits the
wire and the gemstones… alchemy!
What can we expect to see from you on this years’ art trail?
Completely new designs with wire – structural, 3D pieces in mixed metals,
highlighted with gemstones.