I’m proud to be featured on The Slow Living Guide, an inspirational blog and carefully curated directory of small sustainable businesses around the UK, and as I am a sustainable jewellery maker in my work, and someone who aspires to slow living values in my personal life, I wanted to share a few ways that your jewellery choices can support a slow living lifestyle.
What does slow living mean?
Much of what we see and read about ‘slow living’ on the internet suggests that we need to literally slow down - switch off the tech, take a day off work, step out into the countryside. If you can do that, cool, I’m sure it’s lovely to be able to turn off the noise of everyday obligations!
But at its heart, slow living is less to do with the pace of our everyday life, and more of a mindset - it's about the way we face the challenges of our busy days and weeks.
I think that slow living can be best described as an attitude, not a tick-list of things to do. It’s simply a way of making conscious choices about how we spend our time, money and energy, focusing not on quick wins, but on sustainable, longer term health, kindness and responsibility, to ourselves and those around us, as well as to our environment.
As well as making slow and sustainable choices in our home, lifestyle and wardrobe, we can also cultivate a slow living mindset with our jewellery choices, whether that is investing in a new piece of jewellery, or cleaning up an old, almost forgotten piece, and bringing it back into daily or occasion wear.
What is slow craft and slow jewellery?
As a jewellery designer, goldsmith and contemporary craftswoman, I feel I have come to deeply understand the meaning of slow craft, and it’s not simply that things take a long time to reach perfection (though, as with a fine wine or a soul-deep love, they often do…).
In slow craft, process and product are intimately linked, with the maker in control of the entire process, from design to completion. As with slow and sustainable fashion, slow and sustainable jewellery brands are rooted in quality and longevity - timeless style, rather than fast fashion. Slow jewellery designers and modern goldsmiths like myself focus on beautiful craftsmanship and thoughtfully sourced materials to produce treasures that will last and be enjoyed through the changing seasons of our lives, and beyond.
4 ways that jewellery can support your slow living lifestyle
1. Longevity matters
Jewellery can transcend time, lasting for lifetimes, and reminding us of people, places and moments that we have treasured. When we choose to wear a particular piece of jewellery, very often we are choosing it not only for the beauty we see in it, but also for the stories we attach to it and the memories and aspirations it embodies. At the heart of my collections are adornments made with longevity in mind – I use only solid precious metals, never plated, and over time it can bear the marks of daily wear, adding to the beauty and individuality of each piece, the marks of a life lived and enjoyed. And while longevity and strength matters, no jewellery is indestructible - if you have a mishap with your jewellery and it sustains damage, it can very often be repaired.
2. Thoughtful, conscious consumerism: buy less, buy well, make it last
Much of slow living is about seeing the bigger picture - recognising that we are only temporary custodians of our little patches of land we call home, and that the way we move through the world and use its resources will have an impact far beyond ourselves. Choosing responsibly made jewellery that will last is a way to help protect our environment and natural resources.
Recycling precious metals is as old as the craft itself. Through history, jewellers and goldsmiths have always, always collected, refined and reused their gold and silver, and I am no different - I choose to use recycled metals rather than newly mined, and while I work, every scrap is collected, saved, and recycled, contributing to a circular economy.
3. Feeling connected
As an artist designing and making my work by hand, I feel a real connection to the natural beauty of my materials and the eons of stories that have lead us to now, and I hope that when you wear a piece of my jewellery you feel some of that same wonder too. There is a lovely intimacy to jewellery, it sits on our skin and becomes part of our body, and beautifully crafted jewellery offers us an opportunity to connect with the world around us, to feel the tactility and physicality of beautiful objects, and to engage our senses.
4. It is so much more meaningful
A special piece of jewellery can act as a talisman or amulet to remind us of the way we want to move through the world, or to symbolise an aspect of faith, hope or power that we invoke to bring inner strength. My recent collections are the culmination of some joyous research into timeless historical styles; weathered textures that are rich and tactile and always so unique; magic and symbolism in jewellery through the centuries; and words of poetry which describe so beautifully the arc of every passing day.
Most of my pieces are made to order, created from scratch every time rather than mass or batch produced, which imbues each item with a character of its very own. And if you want to take things a step further and collaborate to create a completely bespoke piece, the possibilities are endless - you can read more about the bespoke process here, and get in touch with me anytime to discuss your dream jewellery.