LINDA JEANNE JONES JEWELLERY
Becoming a Jeweller
Linda Jeanne Jones Biography
My fascination with making jewellery from various materials started when I was a teenager. I grew up in South Africa which has a vast range of semi-precious stones. I was fortunate in having access to some fine examples of these and inspired by their mystery and beauty, I started to make jewellery with cabachon cut stones.
I was also intrigued by the traditional dress of Xhosa women who wore lots of colourful beads. The designs and patterns of these indicated the cultural status of the wearer within their society.
Then in the 1960s the simple and striking designs of Danish jewellery inspired me to want to pursue jewellery design and making as a career. Many years later after moving to the United Kingdom I was able to follow my ambition and embark on a course which focussed particularly on precious metal skills.
I completed the BTEC Nat.Cert in Design (Jewellery) at Wirral Metropolitan College in 1989 and have worked independently since then, continuing to concentrate on precious metals and stones. However I continue to be influenced by my early memories of brightly coloured jewellery which has led to my working with a wide range of materials including plastic, wood, aluminium, copper, brass, glass enamel and natural objects.
Teaching, collaborating and curating
My career has been split between the studio and teaching. I have taken great pleasure in being able to teach students of different ages in schools and College workshops as well as those gaining work experience in my own studio. The high standard of skills achieved by students at St Helens College was impressive and sharing in their achievements was most rewarding.
Collaborating with colleagues has been important to me. Setting-up Mersey Jewellers and Metal Artists Network (1994 – 2014) provided a forum to support established and new jewellers. I have benefitted from the exchange of ideas and co-operation of the group in holding exhibitions regularly.
Another important source of support throughout my career has been the Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool. Since the setting-up of my studio in 1989 the staff have promoted and sold my work and given me exhibition opportunities.
In 2012 the Bluecoat Display Centre gave me the opportunity to curate an exhibition called eKapa, showcasing the work of Cape Town jewellers. We also provided a residency at Hope University for a South African jeweller. This exciting venture linked my adopted city of Liverpool with my birth city, Cape Town.
Watch “Arts Alive, Bay TV Liverpool” on YouTube. In this Episode, Linda Jeanne Jones opens the doors of her studio and shows us the techniques in the making of jewellery.