Artist Statement

The world around me, and the natural, internal and cybernetic worlds, all spark ideas for textures, finishes and forms of gold and sterling silver bracelets, rings, earrings, pendants, pins and neckpieces. The fractal ridges in the bark of a tree are transformed into flowing golden or sterling silver surfaces. A gnarly vine may be the impetus for a sculpted bracelet. I make wax models and cast into precious metals forms that are organic, sensuous, dynamic. Molten metal can be unpredictable; I welcome the surprises.

Twisting and bending 18k gold and sterling wire also yields interesting results (Cosmic Cocoons). Sometimes precious gemstone beads are added as I work, producing unusual three‑dimensional effects.

Beads—ancient and modern, glass, gemstones, gold and silver, from every corner of the world—have been among my most powerful inspirations as long as I can remember. I love the act of combining in an innovative way, and strive to create a synthesis of colour, texture, form and harmony.

My hand-made sterling silver and 18k gold elements—spherical beads, caps, cones, cylindrically shaped beads—lend originality to a neckpiece, bracelet or earrings, since no two are alike. I use my precious metal creations to enhance the wonderful materials nature provides—fresh and salt water pearls, coral, shell, exotic woods, bone, horn, gemstones such as turquoise, aquamarine, jade, apatite, emerald, lapis lazuli, peridot, ruby, carnelian, diamond, sapphire, amethyst, garnet, tourmaline. For me, even the names of the minerals evoke exotic markets, ancient kingdoms, the Silk Road...

Reflecting on life’s experiences inspires neckpieces (March, Passages, Secrets). News events trigger an examination of personal values (C’est la vie and la Vie intérieure ring collections). People, places visited, music, film or magic moments inspire other titles. Naming every piece is an important part of my process. Sometimes the name inspires the piece; sometimes the piece itself suggests its name, its identity. Every day is a delight! For me, making beautiful, wearable art is essential and extremely fulfilling.

Shelley Gaffe Design Jewellery for BYZANTIUM