Literally from childhood it has only ever been silver jewellery for me. Right from my very first locket given in return for being a slightly surly bridesmaid at a family wedding – you’d have sulked too, forced to wear a scratchy lace bonnet like that. I’ve never worn anything else but Ag. since that day. With a carefully cut out and incredibly tiny photograph, on the one side, of my prized white rabbit ‘Brighteyes’ – named for the Art Garfunkel / Watership Down hit – and with both my parents in the other heart-shaped locket side, festooned in all their 70’s flared finery. I so loved that little locket! Just not the bonnet. Never wore one of those ever again.
Not gold of any carat, nor sparkling, exorbitant, mined gemstones for me, the pieces I’ve fallen in love with over the years were always crafted from Anglo-Saxon ‘siolfur’. Whether smooth or slightly hammered, matte or shiny in finish, it’s the bright, silver rings and bangles of this world I adore and keen to wear. Forget those charts professing to match skin tones to your ideal metal; poppycock! I plump for the brilliant, white, metallic lustre of argentum regardless.
Laura came to me early last year as a client wishing to have her silver jewellery photographed prior to launching her newly formed business. We actually met in a hair salon, shampoo-ed & turbanned, ahead of her leaving for New Mexico and The Taos School of Metalsmithing. We bonded and fused a little and made a date to meet.
American-mined turquoise comes in all shades of beautiful blue and green and features in Native American tribal jewellery, which has inspired Laura’s work and a shared passion.
When we initially met, Laura was deciding on a business logo, there was no website or branding of any kind and now here we are, striding into 2017 – just a year later – and she has made such phenomenal progress and growth in not only her business identity but her designs and sales.
There’s the beautiful turquoise ring boxes, an elegant logo, along with a slick and fabulous website courtesy of PosAbilities – many different outlets from which to purchase her work and some sparkly photography to showcase her talents.
I’m particularly proud to have been involved in this journey and have enjoyed witnessing her growth and talent shine every bit as much as the silver treasures Laura creates.
We agreed straight away, ahead of shooting for her website, that photographing her in action in her workshop was vital to communicate all the various stages of craftsmanship that go into the pieces she lovingly creates. There’s an inordinate amount of skill and precision involved and hours of craftsmanship that go into the bespoke ring commissions and large pendant creations.
Workshops are wonderful places and hers is no exception. There are implements aplenty to discover. A great big vice, kiln, gas soldering torches, various scary-looking tweezers, rawhide hammers, rows of graded silver tools and moulds, a giant ceramic jug with all the variegated pliers clamped in place ready for use. I loved being in that space and it was a huge privilege to watch Laura work and learn a little of the stages involved in her workmanship.
Over my visits, I noticed ( it was the blue-tipped fingers ) it can often be cold and dusty in that workshop during the winter months, but making the jewellery is very physical and there are some heavy pieces of kit to warm up Laura’s muscles. She also has her music playing and sips New Mexican chilli Mocha, on occasion, to keep the joy flowing during solitary soldering sessions!
The stones have fabulously evocative names; Kingman black web, rainbow moonstone, Carico lace, Crazy agate & bumblebee Jasper. The No.8 mined turquoise from Nevada is my favourite, for the particular matrix effect on the surface of the turquoise collected.
It’s not always possible or practical to endorse and support a client’s business with purchases following a photographic commission, but since we all in this household have fingers & love rings, we have become something of a regular customer! With three separate ring commissions to date and a fourth family member booked for 2017, we are confirmed LDZ fans and look forward to seeing how her jewellery designs evolve over the next twelve months. You can see more of Laura’s stunning work here http://www.lauradezordo.co.uk