I am exhibiting virtually this year rather than a physical exhibition but if you would like to visit my studio please get in touch to make an appointment. Send me a message via my website www.katecoker.co.uk or via social media (see below) or you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring me on 07800 989074. I am based in Wallingford in the South.
I have been designing and making jewellery since the early nineties when I studied Jewellery Design at the Berkshire College of Art and a brief spell at Central St Martins in London.
For me, making jewellery ticks all my boxes ... to be able to create something beautiful and enduring from scratch using my imagination, knowledge and creativity. I use traditional jewellery making techniques and work in silver and gold.
So, what inspires me ... the thing that excites me most is texture. I love pieces, however small, to be tactile and interesting and when I am out and about it is the texture of something rather than its form that catches my eye. Silver is perfect to achieve great texture and finishes on and I have spent much time over the years perfecting my skill of certain techniques such as Reticulation which emulate this. Reticulation involves very carefully melting the surface of the silver so that it starts to bubble and flow and then removing the heat to capture this movement permanently. I find this method very satisfying because you only have a certain amount of control over the result and therefore the finished texture is always unique. It creates a very organic finish to the silver which I love.
I use this technique to make both bespoke pieces and also for my collections which after making an original I have cast into a mould so the item can be repeated.
My latest collection celebrates my love of nature and the coast. I had an amazing trip to Canada in 2019 and drove from one end of Vancouver Island to the other. I was incredibly inspired by the colossal amounts of driftwood washed up on the coastline and a few photos of the seafoam bubbles clinging to it is what is reflected in my latest pieces. To achieve the look I have reticulated the silver and made tiny silver balls in a process called Granulation, to represent the seafoam bubbles. These are then soldered onto the main piece (I can't tell you how much time I have spent searching the workshop floor for escaping balls of silver!!!)
The 'Bubble' Rings combine both silver and gold with the settings of the gemstones being 9ct or 18ct gold and the addition of 18ct gold to make the little 'bubbles'. I have always enjoyed mixing these metals together as I love the contemporary look it gives.
My silver is recycled where possible and I melt down and re-work a lot of it myself. The same applies to the gold. It can be a time consuming process but very satisfying and well worth it. Sustainability is an important part of what I do.