Designer Spotlight: Belinda Norrington
A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
The simplest answer is that I serve my love of jewellery and my incurable curiosity about nature by exploring botanical and other natural forms in precious metals, using traditional silversmithing skills. It is creative play in its purest form, and I am building a business around that to create a life I love. I also do it because I passionately believe that in this often-rushing, high tech world many of us increasingly crave some slow-made, hand-made, high-touch objects in our lives, that have a mindful, soulful provenance. And this emphasis on a soulful provenance is key to my whole business – I strive constantly to make my studio practice and supply lines as ethical and environmentally responsible as possible. I currently use 100% recycled precious metals and ethically mined Australian diamonds, and am working hard to source fair mined coloured gemstones. I am incredibly excited to be in the process of becoming a licencee for eco Fairtrade, Fairmined gold – still in its early days and a bit of a dream coming true for me.
How did you get into jewelry design?
I went to evening classes in jewellery making to give myself a bit of space in between caring for four young children, and fell in love with the whole silversmithing process. Man, I love the blowtorches, hammers and saws! I adore the mixture of intricacy and delicacy with brute force of heat and hammer blow!
What makes your collection unique?
It represents my unique interpretation of the beautiful minutae found within the British landscape combined with a weakness for simple lines, a rustic luxe feel and a desire for materials that have been sourced mindfully and ethically. That is my unique creative matrix.
What are your inspirations?
The ancient water meadows, footpaths, bridleways, riverbanks, hedgerows, woods and coastlines of Britain are my design inspiration. The way these places make me feel, the sense of perspective they bring me, the fragile but persistent beauty they offer up season after season is the soulful pulse behind the inspiration if that makes sense?
The social activist, Greg Valario and the outstanding work he has done to make Fairtrade gold a reality against all the naysayers in the jewellery industry is also a huge inspiration of what can be done against all the odds to make the world a better place in the field you find yourself working. It spurs me on when being an environmentally responsible jeweller feels like an uphill slog!
How are you making a difference in your life?
I am allowing myself to take creative risks and share them with the world which strips away any pretense and makes me realize exactly what I love and value. I would never have guessed that would be part of the process.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
If I wasn't a jeweller I would want to be a flower farmer or an actress! Growing up I always wanted to have a go at playing the Artful Dodger in ‘Oliver” as a girl – think it is the best part in all of musical theatre! I got to do a lot of acting at uni and I still sell bouquets locally from my garden in the summer, so no complaints! 🙂
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business? OR What is your biggest success in running your business like a business?
Let's be positive! Hands down, the biggest success is the radical change of mindset that it is not an artistic sell-out to make money from selling my jewellery, it is how I can afford to give the world my best work and create a life, my one life in this wonderful, crazy world, that I love.
I am a British jewellery designer maker working in precious metals and gemstones, creating pieces of nature-inspired jewellery from my rural home studio. I am endlessly intrigued by the shapes, textures and patterns in my local landscape and seek to translate their fleeting beauty into the permanence of silver and gold. I am committed to seeking out beauty and that includes the ethical provenance of my materials and studio practice.