In my quest to show off some of Cornwall’s artistic talent of which there is plenty I stumbled across jeweller Cath Bull from St Just, nr Penzance. A fellow listener to Radio 4 as she drifts off to sleep trying to decipher the shipping forecast and what might be brewing in the Atlantic.
Although not Cornish and only having lived in the county a short time this is the story of one ladies leap of darkness to the west of Cornwall but fingers crossed the future is looking bright…
‘I was not born in Cornwall, Leeds was my birthplace. I have lived in various places in the UK with the last 25 or so in Lancaster. I moved to St Just, near Lands End, October 2010. This was the outcome of being diagnosed with a form of arthritis, and neither the health service or benefits system seemingly being able to cope with the intermittent nature of the illness, with my families help and support decided to move down here. It was a leap in the dark, and after some admittedly shaky moments, the ferocity of the Atlantic storms took me by surprise, Lancaster is relatively sheltered by comparison, and the fierce winter, being practically snowed in, I now feel it was and is a good place to be.
I trained initially as a Goldsmith, gaining a National Association of Goldsmiths Diploma, then went on to gain a BA in jewellery design at Birmingham. I have worked in other areas, bookbinding, production pottery, textiles, graphic design for screen printing, at the point where PC’s were just becoming widely available. For now I have two outlets and am hoping to build on that. One is the Arts and Crafts Gallery in St Just, and the other is Bohemia in Market Jew Street, Penzance. I don’t as yet have a website, but my details can be found on www.cornwall-arts-and-crafts.co.uk under jewellery, and also www.landsendchamber.co.uk.
The jewellery I make has changed. It has become more colourful and freer. Walks on the beaches nearby with my camera have fuelled more ideas that I hope to carry out soon. The round rug is a new departure. It was inspired by walking down the Cot Valley, October just gone, in an unseasonably warm spell. The sea and sky were summer blue tones but the bracken had turned so there were also the rich russets and rusts of autumn. And then the soft glow of lichen on the rocks. I didn’t have my camera with me that day, but when I got home I dug out all the colours and started working on it. This is still a work in progress. The light down here is at first overwhelming, and even on a winters day can be blindingly bright. But being a jeweller I love all things that glisten and gleam. And the granite does just that in the sunlight. I hope I can carry on working and making things for other people to enjoy and feel quite eager to crack on with the ideas that come through living in this incredible landscape.