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Josie Mitchell: Frome based jewellery maker on her work

Josie Mitchell draws inspiration from the Somerset countryside <i>(Image: Celie Nigoumi)</i>
Josie Mitchell draws inspiration from the Somerset countryside (Image: Celie Nigoumi)

Josie Mitchell draws inspiration from unburied treasure and the natural world

Tell us about you!

I started my jewellery business 6 years ago, after taking a short silversmithing course in a local college and working alongside a renowned goldsmith. I spent 3 years by the coast  here I gathered inspiration for my work and developed a deeper sense of connection to nature  and the ocean. I spent several years developing my own style through an eclectic mix of ancient and modern silversmithing techniques to develop a unique style that  encompasses my passion for nature and mental health. My jewellery acts as a celebration of all things unique with a distinctly organic aesthetic, mimicking the perfectly imperfect forms found in nature. 

You have said that jewellery is a ‘window into our lives’ what do you mean by this?

Jewellery has the power to tell a story, capture a moment or honour a loved one. I have  always felt intrigued by jewellery that has a history and has been passed down through  generations, worn and loved by people that have come before us. I work with a lot of customers to remodel their heirloom jewellery into something they can wear and enjoy, so this idea of the jewellery acting as a window into a previous life really fascinates me.

Making jewellery is linked with mindfulness, can you tell us more about that please?

The process of creating in any sense is a form of mindfulness, it encourages you to connect to the materials and be fully present in the process. Working with fire and metal is tricky  work and one wrong step can be disastrous, so this encourages me to be fully connected and present during this process. As someone that struggles with anxiety, wearing jewellery that feels tactile and soothing to wear is very important to me, so I always try to incorporate these elements into my work for others to benefit from.

How does Somerset feature in your work?

Frome is my hometown and I have felt really privileged to have a shared a shop in the heart of it all. Since I no longer live next to the sea, I have been making the most of the countryside, going on walks with the dog and foraging for unusual treasures found in nature. I have a collection of unique findings that have caught my eye and inspire new textures and shapes within my work. 

What else inspires your designs? 

I draw inspiration from ancient Roman jewellery and my designs are inspired by unburied treasure, featuring a gorgeous unearthed texture as though they have been plucked from the depths of the ocean. I always aim to make my jewellery as unique as I can, adding  elements of granulation and organic textures that only the wearer will notice. I find these tiny details make each piece so much more special and unique. Many of my customers comment on how each piece can be worn in multiple ways due to the unique textures that surround the piece. Working with my clients always encourages me to see the design from a different perspective, and opens new facets of creativity, which I am very grateful for.

Tell us about the sustainability of your business and what being carbon neutral means for you.

As a small business I feel it is my responsibility to be as sustainable as possible. I always try to source my stones from small, family run businesses that sustainably mine their  gemstones. I really enjoy purchasing antique, old cut diamonds that take pressure off  mining for raw materials. I have also partnered with a company called One Tribe, so every purchase through my website will protect a tree in the rainforest, offsetting carbon and  protecting indigenous tribes. So far we have saved almost 1,000 trees and have planted over 200 new trees.

Which piece of jewellery has been the most special for you, and why?

I absolutely adore working with my customers to re-imagine their unworn jewellery into something that reflects them as an individual. This process is a collaboration between me and my customers and it is always such a joy to be a part of due to the sentiment behind each design. These treasures are always unique and bring me so much joy to be a part of, especially when it is marking a huge life event like an engagement or anniversary. 

How do we get involved?

If you would like to work with me in remodelling your unworn jewellery you can either get in touch via email at josiemitchelljewellery@gmail.com or via josiemitchelljewellery.com or pop into my Frome studio/shop for a consultation.

 



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