Fran Baker and her jewellery inspired by the New Forest
PUBLISHED: 16:07 23 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:07 23 January 2017
It's the small things that matter and getting the wedding jewellery right is not always easy, both from the point of view of style and budget. Try made to measure by a Forest craftswoman, or lean on the expertise of your trusted local jeweller
We’re all for locally sourced food, but how about taking it a step further with wedding jewellery made in a New Forest studio?
Jeweller Fran Barker specialises in wedding commissions, creating rings and necklaces, taking inspiration from the Forest around her.
She says her jewellery features ‘curves of gold and silver that embrace treasures of the earth like amethyst, jade, star ruby, topaz, emerald and diamond’.
Fran adds: “Gold is so pure; it’s a joy to work with. I can manipulate the metal into intricate twisting structures and evocative flowing flora around exquisite gemstones. “Sourcing unique shapes and cuts of gemstones, in particular voluptuous and pear-shaped, can take months. But it is so important to find that perfect stone for the bride-to-be.”
Each of Fran’s commissioned piece is unique. She works with brides-to-be from first sketches to finding the right gemstone. The whole process can take four months, from initial correspondence to delivery onto the bride’s finger.
Fran discovered a love of working with metal in 2005 at Bournemouth Arts Institute. She honed her skills at evening classes where she also taught for five years.
“My inspiration comes from people with a passion and a determination to realise that passion. My love for Art Nouveau has never wavered, though I’m drawn to antique jewellery, especially Victorian and Georgian. I love fine detail and admire quality craftsmanship no matter what the item is. Good design needs to be timeless, not disposable.”
• Meeting set designer Lynda Kettle - In the 1980s, millions tuned in each week to a BBC drama based on Hampshire’s south coast. Sandra Smith meets the designer of its glitzy sets and many others