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Bev Bartlett

Bev Bartlett is a jeweller and silversmith based in Berkshire:

I have been making jewellery and small silverware for over 25 years. My background is in the sciences, studying Biology at university and then working with plants and their diseases. The opportunity to teach silversmithing at a local university led me to concentrate on my jewellery, building a number of ranges for sale. I left for a two year position as Jeweller in Residence at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell and since January 2012, teach and make my own work full time.

The residency gave me the opportunity to explore the relationship between my origins as a biologist and the jewellery I make.  My science background has had an inspirational influence - both the fungi I have studied and the research environments in which I have worked have inspired collections. The textured surface to silver that is a common theme in my work was inspired by the images of spores seen through a microscope.

The approach to my work tends to be from the direction of how a metal behaves and its response when worked by hand. All pieces are made individually by me, using traditional jewellers’ tools, and each piece is unique. Texture is applied to silver sheet using a rolling mill and from this pressing I hand cut my work. I love the contrast this texture makes with parts of the design which are perfectly smooth.

Although working mainly in silver, I can apply gold plating to surface details on request and also make pieces in gold to commission. At exhibitions and shows, I usually have a small collection of pieces in gold to view. In the ‘Plantae’ collection, I apply plant patterns and shapes to silver in both brass and bronze.

Designs are refined to give flowing forms which have a contemporary appeal. I make a range of jewellery in each design, including earrings for unpierced ears. Although unpierced earrings are a small part of my work, I enjoy making them to compliment my ranges and am happy to make pairs based a clients own ideas.

My work is for sale from galleries and I also attend jewellery and craft shows each year, the details of which are posted on my website.

 
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