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.