The story behind the Peacock bangle.

peacock bangle 3peacock bangle
spot the difference – the first Peacock bangle from 2006 and the new version available HERE.
As with a lot of pieces, this started off as a competition entry.
I had designed leaves and flowers at this point. Designing a peacock feather without colour felt like a strange thing to do – but worth the effort. I’ve been looking at feather structure for years. (I’m a geneticist too, you know…)
The Kayman design award was the first jewellery design competition I ever entered and I managed to short list with a 5 piece peacock collection; a pendant, layered stud earrings, an ornate neckpiece and matching bracelet and this bangle.
I took my entry up to Birmingham myself – my first introduction to the British Jewellers Association. It didn’t win but I can remember being told in hushed tones by one of the judges that it had been, “fought for” – that was important.
So I had this new collection. The peacock bangle was my favourite piece from it – the first master had taken 3 ½ weeks to pierce out.
I started casting from that first piece and it was a popular piece straight away so when I lost contact with my caster – and well… she decided to keep the master(!) the stock ran out quickly.
The first new master I made is shown here.
I tried to find a company with the expertise to cast from it. No one could help. I looked over the place but eventually accepted that I wasn’t going to be able to produce the piece again. That was that. I had the hand pierced master 22ct gold plated – it is beautiful and for sale HERE.
 gold plated peacock bangleRose Gold Peacock bangle 2012
So that was it. The master was gone. I started on new collections and (nearly) gave up.
(Insert mournful music with images of me looking solemnly out of the window here. Rain? Probably.)
I met Kim at International Jewellery London in 2012, had a couple of meetings and started using her for all of my casting needs. The quality of her work is fabulous.
I made a new master in copper (only 2½ days to pierce!) with improvements, little holes in the centre of the eyes made the design fresher and more ornate and strips on the back of the piece gave it strength and weight – a vital characteristic of any piece of jewellery.
peacock bangle master in copper
I sent it to Kim and waited. I waited and waited….. I eventually received a very sheepish phone call…
Harriet? … I can probably do it but I wanted me to ask you something …. Would it be OK if I…Cut your master….in…..half?
That bit of ultra cheeky problem solving is why I love Kim. I always aim to work with people willing to think more and harder and differently about a project in order to get it done. I’m very lucky to have found her.

And of course I said yes (and did a little dance)… And can now present the peacock bangle. It’s lovely to have it back!

Ta-Dah!!!

The Jewellery Story

introduction.

It’s fairly common to read a jeweller’s blog and see something about there being a story behind every piece.

 

Surely sometimes though there are pieces you make to see if you can, just to get the stuff out of your head and into 3D?
No… apparently there are stories. Lots of stories.
“My work contains buttons. When I was growing up, my grandmother taught me to appreciate buttons.”
I was in a room when a jewellery designer said this.

Please. What? Really? No irony? No…well, that’s one weird grandmother. W E i R D.

 

 harriet bedford buttons

I have nothing like that. I draw and I engineer. I think about what things will look like on and off the body. I worry about getting the back of the piece right and I take pride in having my own signature clasp. I’m the type of designer who gets cross with people who don’t draw enough. I also possess an intimidating display of pens.

And then I thought about my grandmother and the time she made me stand at the top of Whiteladies Road in Bristol while she crouched beside me and made me look at the city skyline. The buildings, towers and chimneys.

She didn’t care that I was embarrassed. She wanted me to appreciate the work that had gone into the environment and how beautiful a thing as mundane and everyday as the view from a pavement could be.

That switch from mundanity or simplicity to complex beauty, something you are glad you noticed has grown into a key part of my work.  

And then I thought more about my collections. Reluctantly – very reluctantly, I had to admit that they all have at least one cool fact about them. Some have loads.

And if you have bought one of my pieces, or are thinking about it, or have received one or have owned one for ages, you might want to know what you have there.

It’s a part of me and (I feel like such an idiot saying this) there is a story behind every piece.

harriet bedford. workbench

harriet bedford ember brooch

the stories will appear here.
hb x

Just a quick note really. Don’t order a takeaway on Hallowe’en night.

Bounding to the door with paper money can only lead to bad places when there is only a tiny vampire there. And money was far better than the treat he was expecting….

– a further note – to whichever of my neighbours was handing out bananas as treats. I salute you. Evil genius.

 

I like Hallowe’en. Ive never really engaged with it as a thing before, but it really lets creative people go a bit nuts….

I caught Hallowe’en Wars (a special edition of Cupcake Wars) on a while ago and was blown away with this little beauty, made from cake, pumpkin and sugar work. Blistering.

Vampire vs Zombie Marie Antoinette by the Blingbats on Halloween Wars

Vampire vs Zombie – Marie Antoinette by The Blingbats Team on Halloween Wars.

 

You SEE? A Google would give proper credit… God knows they deserve it….

*

PEACH AND AMARETTO CAKE

Having bought too much sugary stuff through the end of October, I realised that my store cupboard is full of bits that I am very unlikely to get down to eating by myself.

My plan was to come up with some ways to throw these things together that make me look more clever than I am.

I thought that if I stabbed some holes in some peaches in fruit juice, then steeped them in amaretto, then made up some cupcake batter, shoved that on top and shoved it in the oven, it might work.

 

It didn’t. It bubbled though. Quite a lot. And the kitchen smells nice. In an inedible bubble kind of way.

Bums.

It looks nice too….bloody thing.

AWFUL BASTARD Peach and Amaretto cake.

AWFUL BASTARD Peach and Amaretto cake.

 

Ah well. Next time, my pretty, next time…..