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'Stories From a Herring Lass'


June 2023

The knowledge of my country’s, and my own history, is of the utmost importance to me and instills a sense of understanding and belonging. I have always had an undefinable gravitation to the Scottish coast and it was this that lead me to the discovery of my family’s fisherfolk history. The powerful imagery and enchanting stories of this landscape have always captivated me and been a great source of inspiration for my work. I love making, be it working with three dimensional models or channeling my ideas through a pencil. The use of traditional silversmithing and jewellery techniques is important to me; I feel a connection to metal and am in love with its ability to take any form.
Influenced by the exploration into my family history, the stories of the ‘Herring Lasses’ from Scotland’s coast captured my imagination, and established itself as the main subject of my graduate collection. I began with visual research exploring form, texture and pattern through paper craft and drawing. Made using precious metals, this body of narrative metalwork and jewellery aims to express a sense of the lives lived by Scotland’s ‘Herring Lasses’. During the herring seasons of the 19th and 20th centuries, women travelled from all over Scotland down the East coast of the UK to process herring. It was a gruelling job requiring arduous work but allowed freedom and independence and resulted in a huge sense of female camaraderie and friendship. These collective memories combined with stories passed down by my own relatives and my natural lifelong pull to my native Scottish coast continue to be a profound inspiration for my work.

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