Ideas for Lima Jewellery began in 2007 whilst I was living in Huntly, Aberdeenshire. At that time I only had a converted wardrobe to work out of but I was determined to make a go of it and put my degree to good use. I set up my first website to show images of my work and started to create an identity for my collections, the first being “Tailored” - based on measuring tape which I used in many ways for my degree show at the University of Dundee. The end of 2007 brought a move to Inverurie and we converted a shed for me to work in. Inverurie is also home to Sinclairs Jewellers, a family run jewellers and my place of work since 2006. In 2008 I was offered a cabinet at Sinclairs to display my work and the business went from strength to strength with regular gallery exhibitions around the UK also gaining more exposure.
In 2012 I also started to do craft fairs which I have found to be a great way of interacting with potential customers, gaining from their views and reactions to my work, often leading me to try new materials and ideas.
Whilst at University I found myself torn between specialising my BDes (Hons) degree in Textiles or Jewellery. The latter eventually won out but I found myself drawn to textile techniques and materials from fashion and these have featured heavily in most of my design ideas. My first range, Tailored, focused on measuring tape and buttons and I was inspired to give these practical, everyday items a more precious status, becoming items of beauty rather than just function. Measuring tape can be folded, punched and cut into different shapes, totally altering its original appearance. Buttons are a little bit of an obsession and it never fails to amaze me how many different styles there are - I welcome any donations of Granny’s button jars which you might have got rid of other wise!
Further ranges have followed a similar theme - layering, weaving, stitching and combining soft textiles and materials such as rubber with sterling silver, creating textures and patterns which entice the wearer to explore. Composition and colour are also main influences, stemming from a love of “cut and stick” collage and assemblage art where arranging seemingly opposing materials and colours together can, in turn, give them artistic importance as a whole.
In 2013 I was inspired by little themes and snippets of everyday life to create the Storyteller range, from hobbies, songs, pets and stories which we all remember as children. These themes are highly personal and can be adapted to suit your own life stories. They are often created after conversations which spur memories and are great as a really personal gift idea.
I am motivated by many things in daily life but often for me I find materials give me the most amount of new ideas, often when you are not looking for them. I regularly buy jewellery materials not knowing what I will do with them exactly and store them away, waiting for a conversation, a magazine image or even playing around with other objects to bring the right use for all the bits I collect. The recent and dramatic rise in the price of precious metals has led me to look at metals such as aluminium which I have found to be lightweight yet strong, versatile and available in anodised colours allowing more depth to designs. Composition has played its part again with my latest pieces including layered aluminium, stainless steel and polymer clay adding pattern, colour and texture.
In 2016 I was lucky to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning a horse and purchased my mare Sindy. With her having a dark bay coat there are endless colour combinations to dress her in! I had made some horse browbands with ribbons when I was younger and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try and make some stylish browbands using my jewellery skills, with Sindy as my model. Subsequently Lima Equine was born as a side line to Lima Jewellery and I really enjoy making colourful and sparkly bead browbands to suit the rider's requirements. With a wealth of choice in the "matchy matchy" area of horse products, including saddle pads, veils and bandages it is handy to be able to source beads which are a perfect colour match. It's great seeing the finished product on the horse, worn with pride whether it is for general day to day riding or strutting their stuff at competitions.