My name is Louise, I make sterling silver gemstone jewellery.
I’m quite often called Rochell by mistake, and I’ll respond because that’s my surname – it’s quite apt that it translates as “little rock”. Because rocks are my passion!
So how did I get started? I’ve been attracted to pretty stones since I was a little girl – picking up pebbles from the beach, with an eye for unusual patterns and colour combinations. It’s a habit that continues to this day, some 35 years later.
As a teenager I became interested in tumblestones, crystals and minerals, learning about their healing properties, choosing by eye and by intuition. I fell in love with my birthstone, garnet, and lucky for me being a January baby it was very affordable. I bought many pieces of ‘proper’ jewellery – the glitz and glitter of costume jewellery never appealed to me (it still doesn’t). I’ve always chosen gemstones and precious metals, happily shunning trends and passing fashions.
My journey into jewellery making was born of necessity, I couldn’t find the kind of jewellery I wanted to wear so I asked a jewellery-making friend if she could make a necklace for me. She invited me along to her wholesale supplier to choose which beads I wanted…. as soon as I walked through the door I was like a child in a sweet shop! So many beautiful gemstone beads! I filled a basket with dozens of strands, added a toolkit and sundries, had spent enough to be offered my own trade account and the rest is history!
The first necklace I made is of chunky fluorite and clear quartz, several years later I still wear it regularly (in rotation with two others which have become my everyday favourites). My style has evolved, prompted by newly available gemstones, new sterling silver components and customer feedback. All of my pieces are designed around the gems – I work intuitively with combinations of stones, and I am always excited by customer requests. I love the natural variation of the gemstones, each one as individual as you or I. Because I only use gemstones (aka crystals), the jewellery I make is well suited to crystal healing. Why carry stones around in your pocket/ bag/ bra when you can wear them? I’m always open to requests, so if you’re looking for a certain crystal or combination of stones please ask me – if I have the crystals available and can make something suitable I will. And it will be unique to you. The majority of my designs are 1-offs, because who wants to wear something mass produced? At the moment my work is predominantly with gemstone beads, as necklaces, earrings, bracelets and anklets. In future there will be a wider range of rings and pendants available, as my silversmithing skills flourish.
With the rise in popularity of jewellery making, I feel it’s important to state my motto:
Not plastic, no glass; not plated, no brass!
You’ll find nothing simulated, synthetic, man-made or laboratory grown in my jewellery. Just genuine gemstones set into 925 sterling silver. Mother Nature gives us such wonderful treasures, why use anything else?
Michelle’s FaceBook Page 🙂 www.facebook.com/rochellgemsjewellery