Spotlight on: Wendy Penrose
We talk to local jewellery artist Wendy Penrose, who takes inspiration from nature to create her bold, organic works in silver.
Words & images by Marta Wasielewska.
Tell us about your background and how you came to work as a jewellery artist?
I attended Central St Martins School of Art in London for Foundation and was accepted to study 3D design for degree level but got cold feet as to how I would support myself. In those days, there was little help or advice for developing a small business. Instead, I did a degree in Biology followed by 11 years in in marketing, first with Unilever and then Johnson&Johnson where I met my husband. When our children arrived, I decided I would rather stay at home to look after our family. Happily, I was able to combine this with returning to my creative roots, establishing my jewellery design business in 2008. It’s allowed me to create a good balance between being there for my children and developing a successful business at the same time.
Can you tell us about creative process and techniques you use?
I combine the use of traditional silversmithing techniques with Silver Clay which enables me to easily create rich texture and bold organic forms.
Where do you search for inspiration?
I am inspired by the natural world. I studied Biology at university I have a passion for the amazing variety of forms and texture found in nature
How would you describe your style?
Refined organic forms
Who are your clients?
Most of my clients are 40 - 60 years old and are looking for something unique to express their individuality and to reflect their love of the natural world
What are the main challenges working as a freelancer?
Time management is the trickiest thing. Striking the balance between completing commissions, preparing for shows, teaching, doing the necessary admin and finding time to create new collections.
Is there any artist that inspires you?
Rene Lalique was one of my earliest inspirations but there are so many other talented jewellery artists around today. I love the work of Kate Smith, who is a lovely person and talented jewellery designer but I also love sculptors such as David Harbour and Simon Probyn who develop strong, organic forms that complement the landscape.
Where do we find out more?