Gwyneth Downham 2013

I design and make silver jewellery from my studio at home in Leeds.

Having spent many years as a children’s illustrator (, I studied Jewellery Making at Leeds College of Art, to give myself a new creative outlet and was hooked. I am influenced by all things arty, from 1950’s pattern and contemporary jewellery design to the work of Miro, Barbara Hepworth, Emma Holliday, Angie Lewin, Quentin Blake, Oliver Jeffers,

I’m mostly inspired by the shapes I find on my workbench and doodles in my sketchbooks and enjoy exploring textures and shape. Textures are applied by forging with metal or stone tools, or by heat, the latter two create a very organic feel. Some patterns and images I draw onto paper, cut out and roll onto the surface through the mill, my quirky drawings and characters find their way into my jewellery that way creating some fun pieces. In the future I’d like to explore etching drawings onto silver and copper. Usually I have different pieces on the go at once, each sparking a new idea. While I am continuing to explore and learn, I am a newbie, the possibilities are endless, often surprising and very enjoyable.

It would be great at some point, to produce drawings, paintings and prints alongside my jewellery but having worked on publishers’ briefs for many years, I have only just begun this process of freely drawing for myself.