28 February 2014

Spotlight on .... Helen Walls

                                   This week we are speaking with Helen Walls 

How long have you been doing this?
Since I finished my degree in Jewellery & Silversmithing in 2001, it's always been a part of my daily life, however, I have really committed a lot more time and energy in the last 2-3 years as designing and making is something I would eventually like to do full-time! 

How did you get into it?

I was sewing and embroidering from about 5 years old with mum and grandmothers and spending hours with my dad on a sunday afternoon in the garage learning about wood, metal and tools. From about ten years old dreamt of being a fashion or costume designer, but careful guidance at art college helped me realise that my strengths lay in three-dimensional creations. My choice of subject at university helped me to learn a lot of traditional workshop techniques in jewellery design and metalwork,  my passion and knowledge has grown from there onwards. Ten years spent in Hatton Garden (London's jewellery area ) working in various jobs within the jewellery trade has also enriched and encouraged me to develop my own work further.

When did you decide you wanted to create?

Its not really a decision I ever made - it just feels like a natural thing to do, it makes me very happy!

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by the materials I use and where they came from, so natural environments and landscapes, mixed with a love of costume from tribal dress and the rich colours, patterns and beliefs involved, to vintage dress and jewellery from bygone eras. 
Handmade Pyrite & Pearl Bracelet, designer jewellery | Objets de Désir
                                                            Pyrite & Pearl Bracelet

Do you have a favourite piece out of your work?

Its always a hard question to answer, especially when I keep making new designs, developing my techniques and skills, and I treat all pieces with the same importance and attention to quality and detail. I always like working on commissions, as they are extra special pieces that may celebrate a special occasion or event, or that has sentimental value to a client. 

                                        Citrine Earrings 

Handmade Citrine Earrings by Helen Walls, designer jewellery | Helen Walls
       Does your environment influence you?

I live on the edge of Epping Forest, so looking out from my studio onto an open green space offers endless inspiration. I always have an eclectic mix of music in the background whilst I work which help the creative juices flow, and always have the window open so that I can hear the birds.

Handmade Pyrite & Onyx Necklace, designer jewellery | Objets de Désir

                               Pyrite & Onyx Necklace 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
Sometimes it is hard to fit in everything that you want to do, so time is the biggest challenge - and trying not to do too much at once, at times I have so many ideas that it is hard to focus on one!

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