My housemates and I love a local jewellery designer from Birmingham called Betty Pepper. It’s probably not her real name but her jewellery is fabulous and has had her work exhibited at our local Birmingham Museum and Arts Gallery which was where i first came into contact with her beautiful jewellery. Locally, her work has been on sale at the
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA).
Her work incorporates embroidery and produces delicate, beautiful and wonderfully detailed pieces. She often likes to include old books that she has found, these books are considered ‘orphans’ and takes inspiratation from them. The jewellery pieces are found sunken into the books as if they are the visual counterparts. As if they jewellery tell the story of the book and she has said of work, ” I would like to believe that one day I could read the memoirs of a ring I once made”. This is very much what her work appears to be, while her work is always displayed under glass they are very much tactile pieces and evoke the sense of touch as well as sense because of the expected old, mildewy smell of the books. It’s a shame in a way that the books are behind glass as you can only imagine the texture and smells.
As the pieces are textile, they are able to carry the scent of the wearer, like a fond memory. This is precisely how she likes to view her work, imagining the jewellery having a long history and telling a story of those that wear it.
She envisions them gradually wearing with age and fading with time like a delicate old eiderdown.
While i don’t think i could ever wear her pieces without the fear of snagging or ripping the delicate embroidery. There is something very magical about them and you really do fall under the spell she casts, believing that these pieces do tell a story of some romantic, long forgotten past.