How to kick-start an obsession

I’ve made occasional pieces of jewellery in the past, with bits and pieces I had lying around – broken costume jewellery I inherited, little earrings made from beach shells, friendship bracelets – but nothing for years. I’d never done anything with new bought-for-purpose materials or tools.

So what started it?

There was a confluence of two factors:

a) I bought this necklace from my local Sainsbury’s:

Brown and turquoise necklace

Brown and turquoise necklace

Cheap, but I love turquoise and brown together. However, when I got home and tried it on, I didn’t like the way it hangs. I had the vague idea that hey, I could split it into a two-strand and a one-strand necklace, and those would suit me better. (Note: I haven’t got round to this yet…)

b) I’d been reading the journal of someone who makes jewellery and wire trees. I loved the trees, and the jewellery-making helped put the vague idea above into my head. I was inspired to go and get out the small amount of bits and bobs I’d brought with me when we moved to London – I had gold-coloured craft wire and a necklace of amethyst chips, of the type you get from Crystal and Gem Museums, that I had never been inclined to wear. I took the necklace apart, used some heavy-duty tweezers as pliers, followed the instructions, and made a tree!

Amethyst chip tree

Amethyst chip tree

I was incredibly happy with this – it’s lopsided and the branches are a bit messily clustered, but it’s gorgeous and I made it!

From that point, I was hooked.

That was the end of May.


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