This time in ‘Under the Spotlight’ we have been talking to talented local jeweller Jane Pinder. Her work is very much inspired by natural forms and she often takes a mixed media approach to her pieces which gives her jewellery a unique and very wearable style.
‘I am a 3D thinker so I always prefer to work in metal and will try some designs out in copper and brass before working in silver. I love working in silver although I do love textiles and free motion machine embroidery too. I sometimes incorporate them into my work to add some colour.’
Do you have positive/negative memories of art when you were at school?
Very negative, as the art teacher only encouraged the artistic ones so I dropped art as soon as I could and pursued more academic subjects like chemistry and physics.
What would your school report have said about your art?
She tries but does not have natural ability.
Did you go on to further education in art or are you self-taught?
I liked knitting and in my twenties made lots of knitted mohair picture jumpers making up my own designs. About five years ago I decided I would like to make silver jewellery and took a qualification based evening class and gained a distinction for this course. I was hooked. I loved making jewellery although I wasn’t a natural and found it really hard to start off with. I am a very determined person and once I put my mind to something I will not give up. My sketchbook was very poor and I still find getting my ideas down on paper hard.
What or who has inspired you over the years?
Jewellers I admire are Charles Lewton Brain for his fold-forming – hammering and forging folded sheet metal, then opening out the piece to reveal the three-dimensional form and a Spanish jeweller, Carlos Codina for his casting.
What Artists do you admire?
I admire the work of one of Britain’s most important twentieth century artists Barbara Hepworth who created sculptures in bronze, stone and wood. Her Sculpture garden in St Ives is a tranquil and inspiring place to be. I also love the work of Antoni Gaudi who was influenced by forms in nature and this is reflected by his use of curved construction stones and twisted iron sculptures. Gaudi also adorned many of his buildings with coloured tiles arranged in mosaic patterns.
What is your favourite piece of work (yours and someone else)?
My favourite work is a range I have been working on for the last couple of months and I am still expanding the idea. It has developed from something I made last year and I have now modified the design.
I love the work of Paul Wells, an artist blacksmith of Anvil ironworks in Brighton. He does large metal sculptures of flowers and plants. http://www.anvilironworks.co.uk/
Another place I feel inspired by is the CASS sculpture foundation at Goodwood. It is very peaceful and amazing to walk around the sculpture.
I love trying out new things and learning new skills and techniques. I am starting on a sculpture course in the Autumn and looking forward to working on a larger scale.
What has been the highlight of your artistic career so far? What are you proud to have achieved?
Applying for my sponsor mark and registering with the The Goldsmiths’ CompanyAssay Office was a highlight for me so I can get my work hallmarked (silver above a certain weight, legally has to be hallmarked). I am proud to show my work on art trails and in galleries and it amazes me when people want to buy my work. It is a real achievement that people consider me an artist when I do not have an artistic background. It‘s not something I even wanted until quite recently! A couple of months ago I had an image of a piece of jewellery accepted for the Creative Waves Art on the Pier project.
What have you sacrificed for your art?
Money, I now work part time so I have time to work on my jewellery and new ideas. This is very self-indulgent but my husband has been really supportive. I am at an age where it is quality of life rather than material things that count.
What’s the best bit of advice that has been given to you?
‘Believe in yourself.‘
Being encouraged to get involved with the Worthing artist open shop and art trail has also helped me a lot.
What advice would you give to an aspiring artist/craftsperson?
Go for it and follow your dream.
How do you start a piece of work?
It can be a quick sketch or it might be a sample paper or metal mock-up of the piece in a base metal. I work in a very spontaneous way. When making jewellery you need to keep cleaning up pieces after soldering in a ‘pickle’ solution and this takes time so inevitably you work on more than one piece at a time. I often go off on a tangent and start working on something else. This means sometimes I have lots of half-finished pieces and have to stop and finish them off!
When is it finished?
It is finished when I am pleased with the end result. I have gone back on designs and modified and changed them to make them better.
Do you have a mantra, quote or line from a song that best sums up what your art means to you?
I think it would have to be ‘Carpe Diem’.
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
Does music help with your creativity? If so what would you choose to listen to whilst working on a piece?
I usually have the radio on for background music when I am in my workshop although I am quite noisy when hammering, sawing and soldering.
What is your favourite medium to work with/in?
I love working in silver although I do love textiles and free motion machine embroidery too. I sometimes try and incorporate them into my work to get some colour. I love printing on fabric and stitching into the surface. I have combined some of my textile work with some of my metal work to make pictures.
Do you have a lucky or favourite something that you use that has been with you forever?
Are you living your dream through your art or do you have one – what do you strive for?
No, jewellery for me will never be more than an enjoyable hobby. It is a very competitive field and not many people are able to survive just by making jewellery, they do other things as well. I always strive to be better and more accomplished and it is not often I say I am truly happy with something, I am a bit of a perfectionist at heart and set myself unrealistic targets and then get demoralised if things don’t turn out how I imagine.
Is there anything you avoid with your art?
Drawing. I am a 3D thinker so I always prefer to work in metal and will try some designs out in copper and brass before working in silver.
Thank you Jane, just loved taking pictures of you at work…. 🙂
To find out more about Jane and her gorgeous work visit her website link below…