I am absolutely delighted to welcome the beautiful work of Judith Brown Jewellery to Dotty Vintage Weddings. I had a chat with Judith, the designer, to find out a little more about her business.
When did you first establish the business, and what was your inspiration for doing so?
In 2004, I came back to the UK after living in Sicily and I started playing with some wire, beads and buttons and making my first jewellery collections, which have eventually developed and evolved into the business I have today, selling around the UK including at the V&A and the British Museum as well as a range of boutiques and galleries.
Although I had studied a degree in embroidery, I hadn’t really done anything creative for around ten years until suddenly, to my surprise and delight, I found myself making things again! As a child, my Mum had taught me to sew and knit, and I was always making something, from clothes for my dolls to jewellery for my friends at school. It was inevitable that I would become a maker, that the techniques I would choose would be textile related and the materials nostalgic of my Mum’s button tin. Many of my designs use beautiful old lace, vintage mother of pearl buttons and even lace I have made myself using the traditional technique of tatting.
Who works ‘behind the scenes’ at Judith Brown Jewellery?
I love making and make all the jewellery myself from my studio in Staffordshire. In fact, I am responsible for most aspects of the business. I love styling displays for my jewellery, sourcing vintage materials from specialist fairs and markets, though I’m not so keen on paperwork, so I have a bookkeeper for that and someone who helps me with aspects of PR and marketing. The stunning modelled photos of my jewellery are taken by Holly Booth Photography and her team.
How would you describe the ethos behind your business?
I believe in reusing forgotten objects and techniques to create something contemporary with a nostalgic elegance. The vintage buttons and pieces of lace I use were carefully saved from favourite garments to be reused and then forgotten in a drawer, I love giving new life to these beautiful vintage treasures. Working by hand is also an important aspect of what I do, each piece is slightly different and the overall affect even on a large piece is subtle and understated.
I’m a vintage bride-to-be – can you tell me about your bridal collections?
From tiny earrings and bracelets to statement necklaces, there are many designs to choose from, the newest additions are hair accessories, and there will be more to come!
My Vintage Lace Bridal collection is made with vintage lace in shades of white, ivory and cream. These are all hand stitched with fine silver wire, which creates an effect of delicate looking silver lace around the edge of the lace and finished with glass beads and freshwater pearls, some are even hand beaded with tiny glass beads to add a subtle sparkle to the designs. These are limited edition designs as I usually only have small pieces of the vintage lace to work with.
A Vintage Affair Bridal is made with beautiful iridescent mother of pearl buttons around one hundred years old, all embellished with silver wire and sterling silver chains and findings. Most of the necklaces are unique pieces as the buttons used are always different.
Finally, the Hand Tatted Lace collection is made with lace I have handmade myself using the traditional technique of tatting. Pretty lace flowers made with cotton thread, in a choice of colours, are hand embroidered with beads and then connected to make unique jewellery.
Do I have the option to request a bespoke piece of jewellery?
Yes, working with a bride-to-be to design the perfect jewellery and accessories to complement her dress is an exciting process.
As a starting point we look at the designs I already make, the style of dress, any fabric or beads that need to be matched and other things that may have inspired the bride. I can work with vintage lace or buttons that you may have in your family, lace and buttons from my collection or source lace to match your dress. Consultations can be done by email using photos, sketches and samples as required, or at my studio by appointment. I can also design and make bespoke pieces for bridesmaids and the mother of the bride to match any colour themes.
Can I find you at any upcoming events, fairs or shows?
Some of my newest designs will be featured at the Heart Gallery in Hebden Bridge and at the Royal Exchange in Manchester. I am also exhibiting around the Peak District at various events with the Peak District Artisans this summer. There’s a full list of UK wide events and exhibitions for 2014 on my website.
For more information, please make sure to visit Judith’s website, and keep up to date with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.