I have already blogged today about some very talented folk out there, and their collection of sophisticated Clutch Bags and vintage inspired wedding dresses created using antique french lace and fabrics, but possibly the most gorgeous of my discoveries today must be the curious, quirky, and very brilliant Clara Francis.
London based Clara is a self taught jeweller. Trough trial, exploration, experiment, books and vintage patterns she learnt the intricate process of beading. And the results are just stunning. Taking most of inspiration from nature, Clara has produced a selection of intoxicatingly beautiful necklaces, bracelets and earrings fashioned into foxes, birds, butterflies and flowers ~ some of them are even three dimensional and crafted to drape just perfectly.
Clara first set up shop in Spitalfields with a little market stall. Her designes were quickly snapped up by the locallers and visitors from over seas, and word quickly spread about this very talented designers master-crafts. Now, Clara’s pieces are sold all over the world, from South East Asia, to America and beyond.
Clara’s First Collection was snapped up by Harvey Nichols, and The British Fashion Council have enabled Clara to exhibit her jewels at London Fashion Week on a number of occasions. Fashion Designer Tracey Boyd commissioned Clara to crreat a selection of pieces to accompany her latest seasonal collection, and Clara has had several exhibitions around the country at the request of various Craft Guilds. Recently the Victoria and Albert Museum (my favourite London Museum) invited Clara to be one amongst a select few artists, including Grayson Perry to design a piece inspired by something within the great bastion itself for the Cherry on the Cake exhibition. Clara perpetually came back to an antique Huguenot Tapestry. The result is a necklace fit for a queen, exquisite three dimensional flowers cascading from the neckline to the waist.
So from her Spitalfield beginnings Clara has now travelled far and wide. But still she crafts her jewellery herself. Aided and abetted by five apprentices, who have learnt her technique and craft. Some of Clara’s pieces are so delicate and intricate, they can take up to 10 days to produce.
I adore Clara’s design philosophy, I love the way that nature and it’s colours have inspired her so – it reminds me of my Husband, who took so much inspiration from the natural environment when he was working on his own designs. And I also love that Clara is completely self-taught; I can imagine an inordinate amount of time and effort has gone in to creating her brand and that a great deal of love goes into the production of each individual piece.
I hope that it’s not long before I have the pleasure of asking someone to fasten the clasp on my own very beautiful and delicate Clara Francis necklace.