The longer version ……
Born into a theatrical family, I think my passion for dance stemmed from wanting to be like my big sister, who was attending the Royal Ballet school and went on to become a soloist at the Kiel Ballet Company. But fate took me on a different path, studying sculpture at The University of New Delhi, before going on to achieve a 1st Class degree in 3Dimensional Design at MMU.
My interests were predominantly in ceramics and wood, until I entered a design competition for a water jug in my 3rd year, for The Goldsmiths’ Young Designer of the Year Award; and won! Part of the prize was to go and assist making the piece, at the Crown Jewellers – Naylers Brothers, under the tutelage of Tony Bedford. It was the best introduction I could have ever wished for and I was hooked. In the years following University I was lucky enough to briefly work with silversmiths like Michael Lloyd, Richard Fox, Angus McFadyen and Brian Clarke and for a while I was solely producing my own designs and working to commission.
In addition to my own work, I unexpectedly was offered a position at one of the world’s best stop-motion animation companies, Mackinnon and Saunders (M&S), creating puppets for a Tim Burton film back in 1995. With 24 camera frames being shot for each second of film, it was an exciting introduction into the world of “Lights, camera and ever-so meticulous Action!” There’s something so fascinating and compelling about the world of miniature and part of the pull of being drawn into this world, was the wonderful people I got to work with.
So over the past 20 years, I’ve been dancing between the two worlds of silver and animation, working for M&S and other companies like Warner Brothers, Aardman and more recently, at Laika over in Portland, Oregon. In a world of magic where anything can happen, I feel privileged and honoured to have worked alongside so many talented people, who are the very best in the world at what they do.
More recently, I was given the opportunity to return to England and my love of silver, to work alongside master silversmith and restorer Barry Witmond, at Burghley House in Stamford, designing, making and rediscovering my love of ceramics and its restoration.
It’s a magical setting, steeped in so much history. I hadn’t expected the world of restoration to be such an anonymous and secretive world. Each piece tells a story. It’s a constant learning experience and can be quite stressful having to return to the past, as you are entrusted with each treasure.