I first saw the necklace at the DUT Gallery. It was perched delicately atop an antique tome, it’s turquoise patina contrasting beautifully with the mottled beige of the page, part of an exhibit of final year jewellery students’ work. This particular student was called Christy-Anne Bestwick and I wrote her name down before being whizzed off to our next stop.
The rest of the day’s trip on the Arts Bus was whirlwind visits to several galleries and my senses were overwhelmed by all the creativity I had seen that morning. Days later, however, my thoughts were still sneaking back to the gorgeous necklace I had seen but it had been in a display of graduates’ work and so I had no idea where to buy it or even if it was for sale! I tried phoning DUT but it was holidays and I resigned myself that the beautiful piece was not to be mine.
In about March, I visited Artisan Gallery (which is completely wonderful for many reasons aside from this) and lo and behold there was the necklace I had been dreaming about for months!
It really was as stunning as I remembered and there was another one, too! After much umming and ahhing, I chose the one I hadn’t seen: an old penny which Christy-Anne had treated to develop that delicate turquoise patina of old copper.
Weeks later, I went back to the gallery and discovered the most exquisite bracelet – a flower attached to a bracelet in such a way that it seems to be floating on your wrist. Artisan’s owner, Sue Greenberg, told me that the creator of these masterpieces would be there later that afternoon as she works at the gallery.
Christy-Anne, it turns out, is as exquisite as her jewellery and she is passionate about her creativity. She says she loves the beauty of old things, especially the flaws things gain over time which make them more beautiful as they have a story to tell. “Its had a life.”
For the Patina Range which is my beloved, she simply speeds up the natural process of aging copper. “I love that the copper actualy beautifies itself,” she says. “The results are also different every time, so each piece truly is unique.”
Christy-Anne has also developed a new range called “Recollect” in which she uses bits and bobs she has collected over the years to create jewellery such as bracelets woven with gold and ribbons and unusual charms.
I am delighted to say that I am the proud owner of three pieces of Christy-Anne Jewellery and there is never an occasion when I don’t get a compliment. I simply respond with “Thank you, I love it too!”