Upcycled Jewellery with Julie Dawson

We will be learning some basic jewellery making techniques that will allow us to do basic repairs as well as make our own pieces. We’ll then transform found and natural objects and waste materials into wearable upcycled art. All materials will be supplied, but feel free to bring along any beads, broken jewellery, or small objects you may want to incorporate into your work.

I am a self-taught mixed media and assemblage artist whose work explores the creative alchemy that transforms trash into treasure, inspired by tensions between memory and nostalgia, people and place, what we cherish and what we discard. Whether natural or manufactured, every object is part of an endless cycle of use, waste, and reinvention. Within my work I seek to add a new chapter to the history of such refuse, and to challenge common perceptions of “value”.

My collections are the starting point for small scale, intimate, often wearable artworks combining found objects with techniques such as embroidery, collage, jewellery making, and painting. I work organically, relying on hands-on exploration and experimentation to guide my process. Junk shop finds and ephemera reinforce a vintage aesthetic, recalling an indistinct and halcyon past. Antique lace, embroidery, and buttons link my work to the generations of anonymous craftswomen who used their skills, without expectation of accolades, to transform their own small corners of the world. Seashells, pebbles, and driftwood are highlighted in their natural forms rather than smoothed and sanitised intovaluable but unrecognisable commodities. As an artist and a scavenger, I celebrate not only these unexpected gifts, but also the acts of mindful searching that yield them. Most of my time is spent either hunting for treasures, or creating them.