I have known jeweller Judith Brown for many years as we would often exhibit at the same craft shows together and have a catch up maker chat each year. Recently she started using her jewellery making skills to create some rather gorgeous meadow flower bouquets out of wire.
Now you know me and meadow flowers…they are certainly something I notice, so I have been ‘noticing’ on Instagram as her collection of grasses and flowers have developed.
I’m always on the lookout for beautiful items to use in my wallpaper photos and I asked Judith if just maybe, perhaps, I could use some of her flowers?
I got a firm YES and our little collaboration has turned into this blog post all about our shared love of meadows and a giveaway (but we will come to that later).
I love the fact that we are both inspired by the meadows but our love and interest expresses itself in a totally different way. So I asked Judith some questions all about her work and her love of meadows. Here is what she said...
Tell us something about you and your work.
I’ve been working with wire since 2004, mostly making silver wire jewellery using ideas and techniques I developed from my degree in Embroidery. My work has evolved over the years and about two years ago, I started making wire flowers. It is great to work on a different scale and use techniques that perhaps wouldn’t work in jewellery, as they’d be too delicate. It’s allowed me to experiment and push new ideas through into my latest Foliage jewellery collection too. I live in Leek, a small market town in the Staffordshire Moorlands, on the edge of the Peak District. My beloved studio is above a quirky café, where you can visit me and I also run workshops too.
What is it that you love about meadows?
I don’t really know how to express this in words, that’s probably why I make my own versions of them! I think it’s the delicacy of the grass fronds and tiny petals swaying in the breeze, or seeing them silhouetted against the sky when you get right down on the ground. They make me feel content, and full of energy and hope, because it is summer and there is so much warmth and light. There’s an urgency to enjoy them while they last, so there is often a hint of sadness at the
back of my mind that their beauty is so short lived, perhaps that is why I try to capture them, to keep me going for the rest of the year?
Can you remember the aha moment when you realised you could express your love of meadows in wire? How did you begin?
It all came about because of the first lockdown in 2020. Everything was up in the air, and I didn’t really know what to do with myself, making jewellery seemed fairly irrelevant at the time. I bought some different heavier gauge wire to play with and made a few tentative stems. I shared them on social media and was taken aback by the enthusiastic response, so I was encouraged to experiment properly. By this time my partner and I had taken our daily walks to another level, they had turned into meanderings of discovery through nature reserves, woods and wild meadows, which we hadn’t realised existed. A twenty minute walk took an hour and half, stopping and listening to the birds, photographing plants and learning all about them! By the time I started experimenting with wire all the inspiration was there in my head just waiting to come.
Tell us about your stems. What plants or grasses can we find in your bouquets?
There are lots inspired by umbellifers like cow parsley, hogweed and wild carrot, which I think is my favourite of the three. There are also ox eye daisies, buttercups and stems inspired by a variety of grasses, some of which have fabulous names like crested dog’s tail and best of all timothy, that still amuses me!
Do you have a favourite local (or far away) meadow that you like to visit?
My favourite meadow is just 3 miles outside Leek, and is at a Staffordshire Wildlife Trust site called Rod Wood. It’s full of all the plants listed above as well as butterflies and delicate orchids, and there is rarely anyone else there when you go to visit, so it feels like it’s all yours to enjoy.
Where can we find your work?
My own website, www.judithbrownjewellery.co.uk has my jewellery collections and is currently the only place to buy my wire flowers. I also sell my jewellery through galleries and events, so check out my website for more information. If you are getting married you might also like to check out www.judithbrownbridal.co.uk where I showcase my nature inspired wedding accessories. And you can join my mailing list here.
Judith's reciprocal interview about my meadow inspirations is on her website here.
We are doing a double giveaway over on Instagram. From my page (until 11am 30th June) I'll be giving away two prizes. First prize is two rolls of wallpaper of your choice (free postage within the UK) and second is a copy of my something I have noticed journal.
And on Judith's page (until 11am 30th June) you can win a bouquet of her ox eye daisies and a bunch of meadow grasses. Click here to find out how to enter.
Good luck. And if you need anything we will be in the meadow x