Meet the Maker: Written in Silver Jewellery
When Heather and Steve from Written in Silver moved to Cornwall nine years ago, they saw the opportunity to change the way they lived and start their own jewellery business. As well as offering them a chance of a new way of live, the Cornish landscape and creative community has had an immense impact on the pieces of jewellery they create. We caught up with Heather to find out more…
Each piece is carefully made and beautifully finished – Steve is meticulous!
Can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
We are Heather and Steve of Written in Silver and we make jewellery from silver and semi-precious stones with the occasional touch of gold.
How would you describe the jewellery you make?
We make clean and unfussy designs, which are timeless and easy to wear. Many of our pieces are designed to complement each other so that they can be worn singly or in multiples. Each piece is carefully made and beautifully finished – Steve is meticulous!
Starting our jewellery business felt rather like it was a bird you wanted a closer look at but didn’t want to startle!
How did Written in Silver start?
Written in Silver started in 2008 when we moved to Cornwall. I had been a teacher for many years and Steve was an educational psychologist. I had made and sold jewellery for some time but we felt that the move was a real opportunity to live in a different kind of way. Starting the business felt rather like it was a bird you wanted a closer look at but didn’t want to startle! It has evolved in an organic way as we have had more training and learned new skills.
I had made and sold jewellery for some time but we felt that our move to Cornwall was a real opportunity to live in a different kind of way.
Can you talk us through your creative process? What inspires your jewellery and how do you begin a piece
Inspiration comes from many different sources. Often a piece will start with ‘What if?’ What if I use a piece of granite? What if I use an antique hammer? What if I change the scale of a piece? The list is endless. I’m interested in different techniques and I have a queue of new tools and ideas to work with which I think will add to our designs. I have sketchbooks with drawings and notes. Sometimes I’ll look through and I find something I’d completely forgotten about so it’s definitely worth keeping records. Sometimes I just like to rifle through my box of treasures and play with colours. Semi-precious stones are such a joy to work with. And, like many others, I collect natural treasures such as pebbles twigs and lichen. I also use photographs to inform ideas about colours and shapes. One of our ring collections was based on photographs from Godrevy beach.
If we didn’t live in Cornwall I doubt whether Written in Silver would have evolved in the way it has.
Does living in Cornwall influence your work?
If we didn’t live here I doubt whether Written in Silver would have evolved in the way it has. It is so beautiful here and there are so many creative people around, it certainly has made a huge impact on what we do.
Tell us about your studio – where is it, what does it look like and what’s in it?
Our studio is in the kitchen. We have a double workbench in one corner with shelving and storage for tools and materials. All the messy stuff is under the sink and we use that area for pickling and barrel polishing. We use the kitchen table too. It can be a bit hectic but it’s also cosy. I like having dogs and cats around, music playing and cups of tea. Everything is to hand!
Inspiration comes from many different sources. Often a piece will start with ‘What if?’
What does a typical day in your life look like?
I’m a lark and Steve is an owl, so I like to get up and start my day early. I sort out animals, do some yoga and do admin. I like to do the fabricating in the morning and then Steve and I will work together for the next part of the process before Steve does the finishing. The days are very weather and season dependent too. If it’s wet then I’ll do more in the workshop but if the weather’s good we’ll be outside on the beach or in the garden.
I’m a lark and Steve is an owl, so I like to get up and start my day early.
What’s the best thing about making for a living?
I love the freedom to organise my own days. I love making jewellery that gives pleasure to our customers and being involved in their celebrations and treats. We love receiving emails from customers who tell us how pleased they have been with our jewellery – that really brings a smile to the day. We both like the moment when I tie a ribbon round a piece we have made and it looks lovely!