I gave up work in the City of London, many years ago, after the birth of my first child to be a stay at home Mum and have spent my years as a mother looking after my husband, three children, various dogs and cats. I loved village life but at the age of 46, I realised that my three children were growing up rapidly and would soon be leaving the nest and that I needed a new challenge. A challenge, which I could turn into my own business, work from home and be around for my family but satisfy my needs to be more than a stay at home mum. I set out to learn a new skill and went on a course at Kent Adult Education Centre under the guidance of Susan Martin-Shipp. The one term led to many as I adored the process of making jewellery and Sue was encouraging and an excellent tutor. To learn more about other techniques of making jewellery I enrolled on a one year Diploma course in Creative Jewellery from the London Jewellery School which was fantastic as I was taught by many tutors who already had their own jewellery business.
Kara Jewellery is the realisation of my dream and I am loving every minute of my new life, creating jewellery inspired by everything I love in my life, running a business and meeting new and inspirational people. Although I must admit at times there are never enough hours in the day and my learning curve is a steep one to climb.
My favourite art quote:
“What does art do? - It helps us find the trueness of the world around us, it lets us reach the deeper meaning of things, it brings joy and inspiration to others. Art teaches us to look deeper inside of ourselves and into others.” Corey Nicholas Phelps
About Kara Jewellery
What is the inspiration behind what you do?
There is so much wonderful jewellery around that at my age, we all have a load of jewellery which sits in a drawer not being worn. I didn’t want this to be the case with mine. I wanted to create something that anyone who loves the countryside can relate to. Jewellery which would bring joy and happiness to those who wear it. Jewellery which you don’t have to think if it goes with what you are wearing because it goes with everything. Jewellery which could be unisex, for any age and for any size. It is the texture which people fall in love with and if I don’t have something in your size then I can make one to suit your wishes.
Woodlands, orchards and the trees play a large in the natural beauty of our wonderful English countryside and this love for it had to take centre stage in my jewellery. Hence a tree as my logo. Trees are comforting, steadfast, long living, robust - all the thoughts I’d like my jewellery to be aligned with. I was born and bred in the country and I still am always amazed by the beauty of trees which constantly change during the seasons. Since becoming a parent, I’ve had an affinity with tree bark as it is there to protect which is the same as being a Mum, and so with my first collection, Woodlands, I have recreated the patterns of tree bark in hallmarked sterling silver, bronze and gold.
Looking out of my bedroom window everyday provides all the inspiration I need for my jewellery.
Why Kara Jewellery?
The name Kara Jewellery came from the first dog we had when I was growing up in Cheshire. She was a golden retriever who was my reliable best friend when I was a child - someone I could trust to always be there, no matter what I’d done. In my younger days, I always wanted to be called Kara and not Charlotte and so I called my business Kara Jewellery. Since it has been a success I’ve rebranded to Kara Jewellery by Charlotte to associate my name with my jewellery.
Tell us a bit about how your jewellery is made?
To get the deep texture of tree bark the majority of my creations are carved in wax and then cast in any precious metal. The texture of the carvings is very dependent on the temperature of the wax, the tools I use and my mood. I can’t recurve the same texture no matter how many time I try and I’m always finding new ways to get a different texture. Some of my favourite pieces have started as one thing and then evolved into another. A happy mistake.
How do your client's find you?
I sell through my website, repeat customers and at fairs/exhibitions during the year. I have some private view tickets to some of the shows so if you’d like one please get in touch.
ArtSpring Gallery, Tonbridge, all year
Desire Jewellery and Silversmithing Fair, Chelsea – 2 – 5 March
Craft in Focus, RHS Garden Wisley - 27 April – 1 May
County Lifestyle Fair, Uckfield – 19 – 20 May
South East Open Studios, Yalding, Kent 9 - 25 June Celebrating Ightham, Ightham Mote, Kent – 15 July
Handmade at Kew, Kew Gardens - 12-15 October
Craft in Focus, Sevenoaks School – 20 -22 October
Kent Painters Group Art Exhibition, in aid of mental health charities, Sevenoaks, 27 - 29 October
Desire Jewellery and Silvermithing Fair, Winchester – 17 – 19 November
Chiddingstone Castle Christmas Fair, Chiddingstone, Kent – 25 November