One of the delightful but demanding aspects of my work is sourcing materials.
Britain provides a certain number of antique elements, mainly the antique pendants. But for jades, most stones and pearls, I need to travel. I buy from a wide range of places; markets, antique shops, specialist centres and exhibitions throughout the world. The aim is to search out wonderfully coloured, natural stones, carved in effective shapes.
The challenge, however, is deciding how many strands to buy while I am actually in a distant place. Shipping presents one obstacle. Deciding what will work is another. And once I have left a locality, that opportunity has vanished forever.
Supply is another frustration. Over the years, the availability of stones, shapes, colours, and quality have radically changed. Sometimes, I simply panic and buy whatever quality items I can find, regardless of my budget or shipping difficulties. And then, completely out of the blue, a miracle happens: an amazing antique element or an exquisite strand of stones, suddenly appear. Pure sunshine floods into this treasure hunt. Encouraged and full of expectation, the quest then continues.
Below I have listed alphabetically and described some, but certainly not all, of the materials I frequently use.
You can scroll through this gallery of almost 40 images by clicking on the arrows. Clicking on the main image itself will open up an even larger viewing mode so that you can really delve into the beauty these materials exhibit and learn a little about each one.