Rooted in the Family Tree
Catkin jewellery to Cherish
Alison creates her antique heirloom inspired treasures from her workshop in an old church tucked in the Dumfriesshire countryside. Inspired by the stories our precious family objects can tell, Alison loves how special jewels are passed through generations building significance and developing their own character intertwined with the individual who wears them. The designer goldsmith has strong memories of secretly discovering her Mum’s jewellery box as a child, trying on each piece and wondering at their hidden histories.
These early discoveries have stayed with her, the Catkin Collection draws on a pattern seen long ago on an antique ring. A memory which lay dormant for more than 10 years until it came time to make her own wedding ring, when she was able to develop a unique technique layering sometimes hundreds of tiny disks to make a pattern reminiscent of the Spring catkin flower. Evoking an antique warmth and charm these pieces are made for modern life, Alison is a supporter of Fairtrade gold.
“Sat at my workbench my favourite tools are all at hand, a piercing saw, tweezers, soldering torch, files, a mallet and planishing hammer.
I start each new piece in silver, building up my Catkin design by soldering every ‘scale’ in place. I cut the finished silver pattern to shape then juxtapose it with stones to create a balanced composition. A mold is then made and the final piece is cast in gold or platinum giving it one solid stable form into which the stones are set.”