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Foreshore Jewelry

Irene Farrar

My interest in found objects and the beauty of hues found in nature merge in my one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces. It all started with a walk along the Thames River foreshore in London, looking down and picking up fragments of broken porcelain and stems of clay tobacco pipes.  These relics of 17th-19th century everyday life, which were once thrown into the river as refuse, are turned into treasure when combined with metal, leather, ceramic, glass or gemstones.

I create original jewelry from these scavenged pottery shards which are used as-is in their organic broken condition naturally tumbled by the tides of the Thames. Earrings, necklaces and bracelets are created by combining sterling silver, yellow- or, rose-gold-filled settings with these centuries-old fragments. One wonders who the original artist was who created the pottery and who was the Londoner who used it then threw it into the river. The connection to history and the mystery of never knowing the answer to these questions gives her jewelry an intriguing relationship with the past.

In addition to my shard jewelry, I have been fabricating sterling and gold-filled bent wire pendants. Popular designs include the state of Vermont, dragonflies and other organic shapes.