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3 hour necklaces v2.0

3 hour necklaces v2.0

Towards the end of 2023 I was invited to speak to the graduating Jewellery and Object Design class of my former jewellery school, Melbourne Polytechnic. I was asked to bring a range of my work from my early days of practice, some of my student work from TAFE and some of the production and gallery work I make today.  The brief I was given to speak about is how the course I did helped further my practice and business.  It was SO lovely to reflect on past works, even if some of the pieces made me audibly groan.

I've kept many (most) of my older pieces in a storage archive that I dip into from time to time.  I always keep the "first" of anything new I make for reference.  It was during this revisiting of older creations that I felt a spark once again to look at this range of work with fresh eyes.  I packed up a box of work to show the students, passed them all around the class and the students were so kind in their feedback of some of my older/early pieces.  At the time of making these first necklaces, I was a long way from any kind of formal jewellery training.  I just did what I've always done, collected old and broken strands of beads, trinkets, objects and bits, watched online tutorials and learned how to turn them into something new.

This is one of the first long 3 Hour Necklaces I made, paired with a festoon necklace I made at the same time.  Both of these are made using florist wire and both of them are made with vintage beads and treasures.  The festoon (shorter) necklace was the very first piece a stranger told me they loved and I got to reply for the FIRST time, "thanks, I made it".

I'm hugely sentimental.  I'm a collector.  I would pick things up long before I had the skill set to work with these objects.  I always had a loose plan to get back to the bits and pieces I've collected one day. Turns out that day came in April this year while recovering from an ugly gluten exposure to my coeliac belly.  I got super sick.  My limited working hours were reduced further and my collection of work for Betsy Blonde scheduled to be released in March 2024 was put on the back burner (back burner = flat laid on tissue paper on my studio floor where it stayed for three months).  Strategically, I used the much talked about algorithm to my advantage of sorts; I let all of my advertising lapse, which slowed down website visitors and therefore sales to a point I could manage.  I was in a lot of physical pain and I knew I needed to find and bring joy to my studio, practice and my day to day life.  I'm not sure I can adequately explain the relentless pain that's felt in the wake of a gluten exposure and just how long it takes to resolve.  The only thing I could think to do was to make pieces that made me feel good and here we are :)

I began sharing the older pieces via Instagram reels and you folks were far too kind in response.  So kind that I thought I'd revisit this work, ditch the florist wire in favour of sterling silver.  I made all of my own clasps and jump rings and work hardened all of the silver I'd need to ensure these are made to last.  Then I got to sit in my studio armchair and get to work.  Yep, you read that right, I made all of these in an armchair.  I still can't sit at my bench for too long so I work around it with the help of a 1940s velvet armchair.

Back in 2005 I didn't know that I was repurposing, recycling pieces or working in a sustainable way - these terms weren't floating about like they are now.  I just had a pull towards the old, the colourful, the sparkly and the weird stuff I found in various places.  A button from My Aunt Betsy's sewing room, a strand of vintage plastic star beads used to make bracelets as a teen, game pieces, charms and trinkets.  All of these things were used to help nurse me back to some semblance of my old self.

These 10 necklaces will be released on 01.07.24 and are all one off; no design will be repeated and each one of them is individually numbered both in the listing in the shop and on the actual necklace itself.


 I hope you love these just as much as I loved making them! 




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