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Val Williams trained under the tutelage of Victoria Sewart at the Contemporary Jewellery Gallery in the Barbican, Plymouth, Devon as a second career after enjoying a lifetime of creative hobbies, creativity that was fostered from an early age by her Steiner school background.

Val tells us about how she gets her inspiration for her work.

"I would have to say that my passions lie in texture and colour and I can frequently be found photographing small sections of old crumbling walls, split slate and granite, particularly where lichen is present.  I love the three dimensional aspects that nature can contribute to manmade or constructed objects such as the effects of rain and salt air on metal as I live by the sea. Rust is a very firm favourite and whilst I don't always try to replicate the overall effect, I do take elements of the texture into my work. Whilst others may see deterioration caused by the elements, I usually see enhancements!"

Val takes inspiration and sometimes materials from nature to design and produce contemporary silver, bronze and anodised aluminium jewellery and has a great admiration for the artist Andy Goldsworthy, in particular, she feels an affinity with the way he takes nature's 'waste products' such as fallen leaves and turns them into something sculptural and different. Val is also a great fan of the work of Jane Adam and loves the industrial feel of her aluminium work.

"One aspect of my practice is the exploration of unpredictability.  I often reticulate silver or dye aluminium with no clear plan or design in mind at the beginning and this can produce waste material, but it also can result in some joyous discoveries.  At such times the resulting sheet of silver or aluminium will dictate what I make out of it by virtue of the patterns that appear.  One of my favourite tools is my rolling mill and I will sometimes deliberately take aluminium to its limits with deep textures, often using beach finds, leaves and fibres and again this technique has a large degree of unpredictability to it.  It is still an exciting way to work!"

Val Williams' range of jewellery is unique.  Aluminium designs are only produced in limited collections. Each silver piece is original and unrepeated.

Val Williams

 Image courtesy of Kinga J. Burakowska


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