Winter Sale Now On

I’ve decided to have a Winter sale this year to make some space for my Spring/ Summer collections. Everything has now been reduced by at least 20% with some pieces at 50% off. The sale will last until the 17th January. I will then be closed until 28th January as I will be going to India to source gemstones for my new collections – can’t wait!

Autumn 2013 – ‘The Isis Collection’ featuring carnelian pendants, hessonite garnet earrings and gold leather charm bangles

Drawing upon inspiration from the jewellery of ancient Egypt, I have decided to create a collection of predominantly gold jewellery offset with varying shades of orange – vibrant citrus through to rusty brown. The first pieces from this collection are now on this website. On my last buying trip, I was excited to discover some wonderfully soft stitched nappa leather in a sumptuous old gold. This features heavily in the Isis collection and I believe the solid look of the leather really lends itself to striking geometric pendants in fabulous colours.


Trip to Beijing and Hong Kong – Lapis lazuli, Malachite, Turquoise and Coral

At the beginning of the month I went on a buying trip to the Far East. The first stop was Beijing where I bought some fabulous freshwater pearls. Whilst there, I managed to see a few sights including the impressive Beihai Park.

The air was cool but the warm Spring sunshine was a welcome contrast to chilly England. As the sun shone, it intensified the vibrant red of the temples. I looked up and noticed the fabulously intricate eaves with their cool green and blue paintwork.

A couple of days later and I am at the jewellery fair in Hong Kong where suppliers from around the world are selling gemstone beads in every shade imaginable. The lapis lazuli catches my eye, followed by turquoise and malachite and then some vivid red sea bamboo coral. I can visualise a jewellery collection combining the vitality of these very pure colours. Upon returning to the UK, I start to make the new collection – see below.

Rose Cottage Boxes, Sarah Heaton Ceramics, The Clovelly Soap Co. and Candle Shack

I have decided to stock-up on lovely things to sell in the gallery area of my showroom and have searched high and low to find the perfect pieces to sit alongside my jewellery collections. It has been exciting to unpack lots of big boxes full of gorgeousness and the following are now out on display:

Rose Cottage Boxes: Showing off provenance, originality, natural materials and quality each beautiful Rose Cottage Box is handmade from sustainable wood and skilfully decorated with stunning tissuepapers. Finished with water-based paints inside and a glossy varnish outside. Rose Cottage Boxes is a small business run by Rebecca Collett from her family home in Somerset.

Sarah Heaton: Every piece of Sarah Heaton pottery has been designed with passion and made with care. Sarah designs all her pottery to be used. The plates have been perfectly sized, the bowls are great for everything from cereal to pasta and uniquely shaped mugs are designed to be held, loved and hugged. It’s all made in England, helping to keep the spirit of quality pottery alive. I am stocking the ‘Birdware’ collection in scarlet, taupe and powder blue.

The Clovelly Soap Co.: Clovelly soaps are handmade in Devon using only natural ingredients and traditional cold press methods which retain the natural skin-softening properties of glycerin.

Candle Shack: Candle Shack is a UK manufacturer of handmade natural wax scented candles. Candle Shack scented candles make an ideal gift, combining excellent scent throw with the cleaner and longer burning properties of natural soy wax. With distinctive fragrances such as Black Iris & Musk as well as more traditional fragrances like Lavender & Vanilla there is a scented candle for everyone.

I can gift wrap any of these items with silver paper and purple satin ribbon. Hope to see you in Ditchling soon!

May 2011 – Art in Ditchling, bridal jewellery, a sumptuous bespoke necklace and bright gems for summer

It’s been a crazy but exciting month at Auricula. For the past four weekends we’ve had hundreds of visitors coming through our doors following the Art in Ditchling trail. The open houses event, which is linked to the Brighton Festival and as a result very well promoted, seems to go from strength to strength each year. This May saw 17 venues opening in the village and surrounding area. It was great to see lots of familiar faces and also meet new customers who said they never knew we were here and that they would definitely be back.  Alongside the jewellery, we were showing the Mellabelle fashion collection, hats from Hatworks and scarves and shawls by Nila Rubia.

Following the promotion I was doing back in May for my new bridal jewellery showroom, I was thrilled to be asked to make jewellery for three brides this month. The first order was for pretty pink freshwater pearl and smoky quartz bracelets for bridesmaids with the bride opting for the same colour pearls but interspersed with clear Swarovski crystals with earrings to match. The second order was for a similar style of bracelet for bridesmaids but using white freshwater pearls with clear Swarovski crystals, the bride and flowergirl choosing a double-row bracelet. It was lovely to have my oldest school friend in to the showroom to choose her wedding jewellery. She opted for a necklace and bracelet of highly faceted rock crystal offset with small white freshwater pearls. I then made earrings to match in a couple of styles for her to choose. Her mother also found the perfect compliment to her dress – a necklace  in iolite and rock crystal with matching earrings.

A very special customer approached me a few months ago with an idea for a spectacular multi-strand necklace in peridot and amethyst – she wanted it to have the ‘wow’ factor! I love a challenge and set about sourcing suitable stones. It is hard to find peridot in large sizes as the crystals tend to be fairly small so I was delighted to obtain some stunning vivid-green faceted peridots large enough to pack a punch. My customer was thrilled with the final piece – see photo.

Lastly, with the promise of a heatwave and the longer evenings putting us in a summer mood, I have designed and made a collection of very bright pieces. Most natural gemstones are slightly more subtle in colour, so I have opted for dyed quartz and discovered some fabulous vivid pinks, teal greens and intense turquoise blue stones. I will be uploading a few of the pieces to my on-line shop this afternoon. I hope you’ll find the end results suitably zingy and fun!

It’s now June and I’m off on holiday for a week to the serenity of the Suffolk coast – a much needed break after a busy month. I hope to return suitably refreshed and inspired to start designing my Autumn/Winter pieces alongside developing the bridal jewellery collection.

April 2011 – Melabelle, Glyndebourne and the Royal Wedding

My first post!

I plan to approach this blog as a kind of diary to record the highlights of the month just past. To this end I will start with April.

The first Saturday of April saw our first ‘pop-up shop’. Designer Bella Cager set up her boutique in our bespoke showroom to launch the ‘Melabelle’ brand to her Sussex customers. The shop buzzed with the coos and hums of ladies trying on Bella’s fabulously flattering dresses, pretty prints and chic separates.

My next focus of the month was to design and make a collection of jewellery for the Glyndebourne shop. The buyer from Glyndebourne selected the gemstones and colour palette and left me to do the rest. The result was a range of earthy jaspers combined with sponge coral; some striking black and white pieces; vivid reds alongside turquoise and some necklaces from my Spring collection in peach moonstone and smoky quartz. If you are going to Glyndebourne this summer be sure to visit the gift shop!

On 28th April we had an all day drinks party to celebrate the Royal Wedding. The bunting and balloons went up and I had designed a collection in red, white and blue to mark the occasion. Coral, red quartz and cinnabar beads were combined with iolite, blue quartz and freshwater pearls for a patriotic look. These colours also look great with a Breton top to create a timeless Summer style.

Now for May with four weekends of Brighton Open Houses; a number of special orders to complete and a high Summer collection to design and make!