As I was walking to the train station recently, something caught my eye in a shop window. On the corner of Station Road, Atlantic Games has a display of unusual jewellery among the magic and fantasy figures. I was intrigued …
Rachel Spittle has been making jewellery for 5 years now since suffering a stroke in 2013. As part of her rehabilitation her mother bought her some pliers and some wine glass charms to help recover her dexterity. Rachel found that as well as helping her get stronger, making jewellery was something that she enjoyed and that her children could join in with, and soon she had turned her interest in craft into a business!
Rachel: I started out with wire jewellery and beading, and tried lots of other things like card making, scrapbooking, wood engraving and hand crafting gifts for friends. About 18 months ago I got into glass fusion. It’s quite organic and every single piece is unique. You put hard pieces of glass together and bake them in a kiln, and the heat turns them into something soft and beautiful. You don’t know what it’s going to look like until it comes out of the kiln. The textures as the glass melts and hardens are fascinating and unrepeatable.
As Rachel shows me some of her jewellery I’m fascinated by the different styles I can see. There are very pretty beaded bracelets, gorgeous fused glass pendants and the simple silver earrings I had seen at Atlantic Games.
Rachel: I tend to have different styles available at different locations to suit the customer demand. For my customers at Atlantic Games I made a sort of ‘Geek Chic’ range of jewellery. For example there’s a game called ‘Magic, The Gathering’ which is played with 20-sided dice which I have turned into beads. My children and I love sci-fi and fantasy. We’re big fans of Harry Potter, Star Wars and Dr Who, so I’ve engraved some special quotes onto pendants. My favourite Dr Who quote is “We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one”. Another quote popular with Harry Potter fans is simply “Always”. Fans will know what that means! I am happy to take commissions if you have a special saying you’d like to make into something beautiful.
I also have a display of jewellery at Dixie Dot Crafts in Kingsway. It’s an arts and crafts shop that does pottery painting and craft workshops. I find that the beaded jewellery sells better there. I’m in talks with two other shops to sell some of my products, but my full range is available for sale online via my facebook page.
StormStroke Jewellery. Photography by Lydia Wakefield