Last week, I attended the ‘Brilliantly Birmingham’ ethical jewellery talk that was chaired by Kate Carter, the Lifestyle editor of ‘The Guardian’. While I was there, I was lucky enough to meet Helen Dobson. Helen is a jewellery student, currently in her final year at The University of Birmingham. BUt what makes Helen so unusual and interesting is that she is currently the ONLY ethical Jewellery student in BCU!
Helen first became interested in making jewellery in an ethical fashion whilst travelling around the world. Although she was able to experience all manner of beauty, she also came face to face with the grim realities of mining for the precious gold and diamonds used to create beautiful items of Jewellery. She made a decision that the jewellery she created which be made ethically, using a range of both recycled metals and stones, fair trade gold, and alternative materials, such as vegetable ivory.
Since then, Helen has proved she is talented as well as principled, creating beautiful pieces of jewellery using recycled materials. Her first fully ethical range was ‘The Sakura Range’, made using 100% recycled UK silver. This range is based on Cherry Blossom.
Another inspired piece is the Nepenthes pendant. This stunning piece has been made from 100% recycled UK silver and Peridot. It is based on Pitcher plants, carnivorous plants found in tropical regions.
Helen ultimately wants to see ethically sourced and produced jewellery being sold on the British High Street. She believes that design is the key to this, that people need to love the design and beauty of the item, rather than just its background. Producing stylish, covetable pieces is the key to this, and Helen hopes to follow the likes of Fifi Bijoux’s Vivien Johnstone and Sara Preisler in attracting new customers into buying ethical jewellery, by making it more available and visible to the masses.
Helen has clearly principled intentions, and with talent in abundance to back this up, hers is a name you will be hearing from in the future. Her website http://opulentethics.blogspot.com is well worth a look to find out more about the wonderful world of ethical jewellery, and the amazing, sometimes strange things that can be used to create it.
To find out more about Helen, visit her web page http://opulentethic.blogspot.com