I am a very ‘hands on’ person and would much rather work in a grubby workshop or studio, than have to wear a power suit and six inch heels day in, day out. I feel much more at home in a workshop with a massive blow torch and highly toxic chemicals – melting, hammering and forming…I am a mad Scientist in a Laboratory!
When I finished school I knew I wanted to have a creative career, I only enjoyed subjects in which I could express myself and be creative, as I was quite shy and conserved during high school. (I mean my surname is Grose…and that never gets old – apparently!) Academic subjects such as History, Physics and MATHS were not my cup of tea. It wasn’t until I started an Art and Design course at the Isle of Man College that I discovered the world of Jewellery and 3D Design.
I was in Ceramics class in my first year at College (possibly even my first term) where our tutor, Linda, would say an emotion such as ‘un-happy’ and we had 30 seconds or so to sculpt a model that portrayed this emotion. The variety of work in the class was incredible, in the space of time I had sat and moulded a tiny 2 inch model of a glum figure, the girl on the table next to me had sculpted a gorgeous 15 inch tall model full of texture and impressions, whilst my little model was quite finely detailed and could fit in the palm of my hand. Still I continued while our tutor continued to instruct us to mould happy, scared, excited, worried.
Then Linda came round the class to view our work and I felt a little embarrassed and thought my puny little series of models wouldn’t be any match next to the 15 inch tall army of ‘BFG’ models next to me. She stopped and peered at me through her glasses, only to say ‘You’re a jeweller’, to which my face must have shown my confusion as she continued.. ‘you work very intricately and delicately, you are a jeweller’. I was so inspired, I had never even contemplated making jewellery.
After two fantastic years spent at College with our amazing tutors, I plucked up the courage to study Design at University where I specialised in precious metal jewellery. I was fortunate enough to exhibit my jewellery collection in a few different places, one of which being New Designers in 2013 at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. That was an incredible experience full of budding designers and wacky characters, I felt so at home.
Five years on from my first encounter with my tutor Linda (and maybe a few kicks up the behind from her and some other tutors too!) I am striving to create my own workshop, jewellery collection and brand to create my own jewellery range, it is hard work but I am aiming to get there one way or another.
When I look back to 14 year-old me, I can see how far I have come. I am not only more confident in myself but my skills have come so far and I am glad to have taken a few leaps of faith and I have learnt to step out of my comfort zone. I know I haven’t come extremely far, but I intend to go further.