My Essex Crystal Project presents a sort of personal mythology. It combines fragments of family snaps, strange creatures and classical references into strange little jewelled mini worlds.
I’ve adapted and added to techniques inspired by antique Essex Crystals – tiny reverse intaglio gems painted with animals and plants. The main work is cast with the relief on the back, then engraved and enamelled before the front is cold-worked into an optical dome and the back is gilded.
To finish off, I’ve used goldwork and crystals and pearls to stitch them into larger-than-life gems. My pieces’ main elements are cast and engraved rather than entirely engraved so I guess that technically they’re not Essex Crystals, but that was the starting point. so the name for the project has stuck. I’ve created a new thing that used the visual language of the crystal and adds my own content.
The idea first took shape on an Artists Access to Art Colleges placement at National Glass Centre in 2017 and I showed the pieces in the process of development as part of the ‘Discuss’ Section at the recent Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in Manchester in October 2019. Anyway, the work so far is all here with their stories attached. I hope you like them!
And to finish off, I’ve included a link to a little video on Facebook of the work at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, in the ‘Discuss’ section – a conversation space to explore work in development. The pieces come to life once you walk around them, and this gives a feel for how that happens.