Dittany of Dittany Rose sells fun, bold paper jewellery that has been screen printed and made by hand. “I cut the jewellery from card that has my design screen printed on it, which I then laminate and varnish with multiple coats. This makes the jewellery water resistant and light, yet strong.”
“I did my Jewellery Degree at Middlesex University, where the emphasis was on mixing medias, pushing the boundaries of what a particular material could do. I work with silver and paper because I love the contrast between the durability of the silver and the supposed fragility of the paper. Because I’m working with paper I can make jewellery with colours and patterns that you won’t find anywhere else. All my jewellery is handmade and as such no two items are alike.”
Dittany’s shed is where her researching and testing takes place. “I spend hours testing varnishes to try to make the paper as waterproof as possible. I’m like a scientist or a cook, noting times and combinations and trying to find the perfect recipe. I also try to find new ways to combine the silver and paper – when I started I was gluing everything together, now for most pieces I embed the silver in the paper so the bond is stronger.”
Dittany advises anyone starting out, “You will make mistakes. You won’t get rich quick. Be clear about what your goals are.” Within five years Dittany would like “to have expanded the number of stockists I have, including by selling through some museum shops. At the moment my newest and best stockist is VK Gallery in St Ives, Cambridgeshire . It’s a lovely gallery and my work is selling well there.”
Dittany and other makers will be around to meet and chat with at the Cambridge Made Summer Fair on the 11th of June at St. Andrew’s Street Baptist Church. If you plan to pop in for a browse, let us know you’re coming on our event page, by clicking on ‘Interested’ or ‘Going’.