An Öyger cam ower Shetland Jewellery.
Do you ever feel the urge on a stormy day to park the car by the waters edge somewhere and watch the sea swell and crash against the rocks? It’s mesmerising. Something about that sheer force of nature is hard to ignore, it’s beautiful. A huge wave, an Öyger in local dialect, became my inspiration.
At Shetland Jewellery we design all of our pieces with our islands in mind. Many of our pieces are inspired by the few days of calm, clear skied weather. So I thought, why don’t I try to capture this alternative beauty Shetland provides? Thankfully my pitch was well received and I got the go-ahead to create my very own range for Shetland Jewellery inspired by our breath-taking stormy coastline.
When drawing the first pieces my goal was to capture the contrast of the sea and the coastline. A clear line where the two meet and clash. This is where the two-tone effect came in, the high polish mirror finish for the sea and the distinctive rocky texture for the cliffsides.
It was also important to me to make pieces that were much daintier and minimalist than had ever been produced by the business before. It’s the kind of jewellery I love, so I made sure that when I got to add to the business’ 70 year spanning collection of jewellery, it honoured that style and my own harmoniously.
The rings came first and dictated how the rest of the range would form. I wanted the large ring to mimic the likes of the Eshaness cliffs. That giant crack in the land. My first step once all the pieces were finalised was to carve them into wax. Then it’s time to cast the wax carvings to get our silver master pieces. Once we have those we make sure they are absolutely perfect because this is the piece we make a mould from for all castings to be created from going forward, no pressure. The moulds came out great which means we can inject them with dental wax to create an infinite number of wax impressions from the mould for years to come.
The Öyger range was released for the 2022 Shetland Arts & Crafts Christmas Craft Fair. All kinds of people snapped up the pieces from the rings to the dainty mis-matching hoop earrings. Seeing these pieces come to life was such a heart-warming experience. I always imagined growing up I’d be an artist in some capacity. So not only to see my ideas come to life but to see people spend their money on them for themselves or gifts is an absolute dream.
You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled as another wave of this range is on the horizon.
Ashley Fuller Bulter