Hello and thank you for visiting my Etsy Shop.
My name is Hilary Bravo and I make non precious contemporary jewellery. I live and work in the West of England in the small and very beautiful old riverside town of Topsham in South Devon.
My story began when I had a dream one night that I was showing a portfolio of my paintings to a gallery owner, a woman who, as she looked at my work, said to me "Have you ever thought about cutting some of these paintings up and making them into brooches? You really should, they would be stunning" No, it had never crossed my mind.
The next morning, however, I set about the task and made a collection of pieces that I sent off to the Guggenheim Museum Shop in New York and they absolutely loved them. Then I sent a selection to Liberty in London who also wanted to sell them. Everything about my jewellery was and still is, quite original. That was quite some years ago now and I have been very busy selling my work through galleries and shops ever since.
My output is obviously limited as I make my own pieces and I still make jewellery in the way of the dream of course, as brooches, pendants and earrings etc. I also make other pieces with cast papier-mâché impressions from natural and found objects, incorporating semi-precious stones and pearls, threaded on silver chains, artificial suede, spun and knotted, washed flax, silk ribbon or leather cord etc.
Oh yes, and I use resin nowadays - there was a time when I used many, many coats of lacquer to seal my pieces. In many ways I would like to leave them unsealed as they have a different quality but resin brings its own magic by creating a lens when applied to the surface or by hardening pieces when soaked on the reverse.
By the way, I have put some 'seconds' up for sale here as well as I aways manage to have a few that don't quite make the grade - a speck of dust or resin not quite meeting the edge might qualify.
Walking is part of every day and whenever I'm in London I always go down to the foreshore of the River Thames at low tide to see what can be found and indeed, worn shards of iridescent Roman glass, Delft pottery and fragments of clay pipe stems can all be found with a little patience. I always feel a need to get to the margins of the sea and walk along the edge, where sea meets land so there are many opportunities for collecting treasures from beach-combing forays to incorporate into work too.
And pavements in my world, are actually paved with gold, when picking up old, worn pieces of metal, washers and wire etc - understood more readily in the aesthetics of Japanese culture as Wabi-Sabi. I am also very aware of paying in to the tradition of making work from simple and easily obtainable materials that do not exclude by expense and by tools, a well established tradition of making jewellery from found and from simple materials that thrived between the 1st and 2nd world wars in Europe and that continues to thrive today as another form of creative expression.
Although I spent years and years, seven in fact, at Art School and took a degree in Fine Art, I have really developed my own approach, methods and techniques over the years. I see beauty in the discarded object, in reflected light and eroded surfaces but most of all in shifting combinations of colour.
I use all sorts of paints and mark making tools, papers, foils etc. Painting on top of silver foil with transparent ink and adding swirls of subtle iridescence brings an etherial magic, especially when put next to impasto matt paint for example. Sepia ink and gilders pastes add yet another dimension. There are many combinations.
I love to be in my studio early in the morning in time for the dawn chorus in spring and summer or with the rain beating against the windows in autumn or the wood stove crackling away in winter. My time in the studio is quiet time after time spent traveling in search of inspiration. There is a completion of the circle, something I planned for when my children flew the nest. I have plenty of inspiration around the area where I live but I do especially love Paris, Venice, the South of France and Capri, places I never tire of exploring and of delving into the history of.
And for those of you who like to make and create, I share a lot of my ideas, methods and inspiration on the video tutorials that I post on my YouTube Channel.
I've been painting & making jewellery ever since I had a dream in which I was showing my work to a lovely woman who owned an art gallery. She said to me "Have you ever thought about cutting some of these paintings up and making them into jewellery?"
Accepted payment methods
- Accepts Etsy gift cards
- Other Method