Catherine Hicks makes beautiful, delicate jewellery which she sells through her label Frinn. The ideas for her work come from a compilation of her photographs, drawings and observations which she stores in her head and in her sketchbook, and which she brings to life by playing with materials. We spoke to Catherine about her collections, her studio and her love of camomile tea and country walks…
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve been making jewellery for a few years now after doing a short course in Bristol. I like to live the in countryside and go for lots of early morning walks and I’m a keen bird watcher! As well as jewellery I like photography and machine embroidery and I have an etching press, although I don’t have enough time to do everything.
How would you describe your work?
I always really struggle with this! Intricate mixed-media jewellery maybe?
How do your pieces develop?
I take a lot of photographs and sometimes work straight from them. I tend to store ideas in my head for ages before sketching them down. I sketch ideas for pieces, then make a mock-up, making changes while I have pieces laid out on my bench.
What and who inspires you?
There are lots of artists who I love. Syndney Lynch, a jeweller from Nebraska in America, is a real inspiration. She only makes one-offs and they are all truly unique, but each one has her style. I really love the printmaker Katherine Jones too. Her work really inspires me – her use of colour and imagination. I often scroll through her website.
Can you tell us about your current collection?
The current collection is all about angles. Everything I have done to date had been asymmetric and ornate. I wanted to do something completely opposite to that. It’s not quite finished yet – there are a few more pieces in the making which should appear soon. Next I’ll be going to the polar extreme again, with some ideas which I have been sitting on for a while. I’ve been looking at Victorian funeral jewellery and some of the new designs will incorporate more meaning. They will involve silk mixed with cast gold. I’m really excited about working on these.
Do you sketch a lot?
I do sketch but not enough and my sketches don’t tend to inspire my jewellery. I should draw more than I do. Again it’s one of those things which I wish I had more time to do, like printing.
Can you describe your workspace or studio?
I have a very small desk, which is all I need for my jewellery. The smaller the better, as I fill any space with mess. I have an organised space for files and books and sketch books. I’m sharing my space at the moment, so it’s a lot tidier that it would ordinarily be.
How do you organise your space?
I’ve got a lot better at being organised and less messy in my space. I keep all my materials for making and books and files / admin stuff separately, and my packing and labelling materials separate too.
What do you listen to while you work?
I always listen to the radio while I work, which means I only catch programmes intermittently if I’m making jewellery with my tools going! I love listening to Desert Island Disks on Radio 4 or The Life Scientific. I also like Radcliffe and Maconie on Radio 6.
Can you describe your perfect day?
At this time of year, an early start with a walk through the oil seed rape field at the top of the hill near my house, and a sit down with a cup of camomile tea at the top. It’s a really lovely spot and you can sit and listen to the skylarks. I would be at my desk by 8am as I’m most productive in the morning. I would have a play around for a bit with some new materials and some old sketched ideas. I’d probably spend the afternoon making flowers for my sister’s wedding, drinking tea and eating lemon cake.
Can you describe your own personal style in three words?
Bold. Ornate. Unique.
Finally, do you have a favourite piece?
My Branch Necklace is my favourite that I’ve made to date.