Regular blog readers will have come to realise that I am the only Growbag sister with really good horticultural taste. As it is with plants, so it is with jewellery.
I go for understated, timeless class from ethical sources, so was delighted when we came across the work of Kate Lewis at RHS Wisley’s Contemporary Craft Fair.
Kate collects her raw material as she walks her dog each morning on the beaches of the Gower Peninsula; seaglass, remnants of broken bottles whose sharp edges have been worn away and whose original colours have developed an opaque subtlety over the decades that they have tossed backward and forwards on shingle beaches, taking on the patina of the sea itself.
Then in some of the most exquisite up-cycling you will ever see, Kate sets them in simple but stunning designs whose lines echo the changing sunlight dancing off the rippling waves from which they were shaped. Provenance is all and as no two pieces of seaglass are identical in shape or colour each piece of jewellery is unique.
As we got to know Kate’s work better, we started foraging for sea glass ourselves on our favourite Hebridean beach, and Kate has now made me a succession of personalised pieces; a chunky ring in frosted white, a pair pair of single drop earrings of the palest aquamarine – (featured in the photo at the top of this post) and for a special occasion a pair of double drop earrings in contrasting green and brown (below). Each time I put them on they take me back to the remote beach where we found the glass. I can hear once again that shingle rattling in and back, above the cormorants’ calls.
The price reflects the quality. Keen as always to emulate me, my sister Caroline noisily set about ordering a seaglass pendant set in gold until she realised she’d previously spent far too much at High Street chains like Pandora to be able to afford something in gold from Kate. So it’s not cheap but it’s truly wonderful value.
For a very special investment Kate also produces a Limited Edition range in which the beach glass is replaced by semi-precious stones set in gold which are truly stunning, and a third collection featuring hearts. She will also undertake commissions to make engagement, wedding and anniversary rings … just saying. To see her jewellery for yourself, check out the dates and locations of the craft fairs Kate will be exhibiting at in 2019.