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Penny Akester

My work focusses on the tactile potential of jewellery; I have been working on jewellery that can be used to be therapeutic for its wearer, using this quality.

From teaching adults I have become increasingly aware of the therapeutic benefits of creative activities in helping to relieve symptoms of stress and related conditions. This led to my work exploring the creation of jewellery to be deliberately tactile, giving the wearer the opportunity to use the jewel as a form of worry bead, or meditative item.

My current pieces form the start of an ongoing project entitled Mindful Jewels. These jewels are created to be beautiful and wearable in their own right, but also specifically made to fit in the hand, to be held and touched, or to encourage a mindful awareness. The jewels are primarily necklaces - hanging so that they are easily accessible, their weight as a reminder of their presence.

They can be held and used as a worry bead, or used to meditate. Mindfulness is primarily about becoming more aware of the present moment, without judgement - many exercises focus on the breath, but these jewels offer an alternative meditative focus to then enable the wearer to return to their day refreshed.

Created from a combination of soft braids, carved soapstone, and solid metal, as the stones are held, worn and used over time, their shapes will gradually change. They adapt to how their wearer uses them, starting to show a story of their life.

 
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