The design features heavy hammer marks on thick silver wire. The pieces are oxidised with liver of sulphur, which makes them turn black. The surfaces are then polished to a shine, but the dark oxidisation remains in the hammer marks. The contrast of dark against light really emphasises the texture of these pieces.
The inspiration for this collection is the deeply lined and fissured bark of the sweet chestnut tree. I don’t think sweet chestnuts are that common in Britain, but we used to see them often when we lived in France. The French use sweet chestnuts in their cooking, and you can buy tins of ‘Crème de Marons’, which is a (very) sweet chestnut spread.
The bark spirals around the trunks, especially as the trees grow older. It is really distinctive, and very beautiful.
In folklore, chestnut wood is said to promote longevity and encourage intuition. Chestnuts are symbols of fertility and abundance.
I have plans for a couple more designs, but all of the pieces in the photographs are now available online from my Etsy shop.