I trained as a jewellery designer-maker 11 years ago. Between 2014 and 2017, whilst working part-time at the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office, I developed two jewellery collections inspired by Shakespeare. I launched ‘The Noble Fool’ Collection in Stratford-Upon-Avon in 2015 and was subsequently commissioned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to design the Knot Garden collection for the opening of Shakespeare’s New Place in 2016.
I began my MA in 2017 and over the past three years I have discovered a fascinating symbiotic relationship between my life as an MA student and my life as a jeweller. Shakespeare uses an extensive metal- and jewellery-related vocabulary within his work and I have become increasingly interested in the way that Shakespeare weaves this vocabulary into his writing, particularly in the unusual case of touchstones and precious metal testing (assaying) phraseology.
By combining my fascination with Shakespeare’s language and the original practices of the goldsmith and assayer, I intend to illustrate the power of Shakespeare’s words and provide a new layer of meaning to Shakespeare’s language of deceptive appearance and disguise.