Bek Genery

I feel deeply tidal as a person.  Things flow up and ebb away in our lives. Things come round again or are chance findings, opportunities to be seized; else in the blink of an eye they are gone, back into the depths.

I have been lucky enough to learn my craft from an eclectic range of artisans in an apprenticeship style. Going and finding people with the skills I want to learn and honing them under their watchful eye. I like to learn in this traditional way and then experiment and combine.

As a jeweller my work is heavily influenced by water; the towering reflections of the mountains in the Kintyre sound or the epic meeting of sky and sea on the East Anglian coast. Places I have spent long hours just being with the elements.

I am fascinated, in the true sense, by water and our relationship with it.  Some of my design is an attempt to realise its texture and nature.  I use different techniques to achieve this.  The process of reticulation allows me to turn metal from a solid to a liquid while retaining its essential shape.  When the surface of the metal is molten the base components of the amalgam sink leaving rippled silver wavelets.  The inclusion of pearls, particularly soft grey ones and Aquamarines adds to the depth and reflectivity of the surface.

Flotsam and jetsam from the shore line are sometimes integrated into my work either as a design motif (kelp and sastrugi) or as ornamental elements (found ceramics and debris).

Byzantium, Saxon metal smiths and antique setting techniques are wondrous to me. The Palla d’Oro in St Mark’s, Venice is the most incredible example of human craftsmanship and our ability to pick stuff up and take it with us as we travel. It is the personification of early European Trade routes meeting the Eastern ones, with its Amber from the Baltic and Emeralds from India.

I have travelled to both ends of this line and have experienced the places where things, ideas and people meet. I am interested in the notion of exploration, how it affects us and the tools we use.  Tools have been used historically to plot journeys through actual physical space. The people who used them also made them into talismans either to be worn or to adorn their bodies and bring them back safely.

I hope that this symbolic aspect is translated into my work. Jewellery is given not just for decoration but to mark significant events or cement bonds.

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