This tale was dreamt up one night after a long, wet, walk in the Dalkeith woodland. As a native Scot, the wet weather does not stop me going out for walks, and this rainy day was no exception. I was a lone wanderer, meandering my way through a wooded path, brushing water out of my eyes until a moment of dry. A misty interval in the day lead me to sit down for a moment, and munch on the soggy chocolate bar from my pocket. I sat letting the rain drip down my face and watching as birds flitted around in the trees. A huge grey slug was creeping it's way up a tree in front of me. I watched it for a while. It pulsated and oozed it's way up the branch. It was disgustingly fascinating. He was completely unattractive and sickening, yet I was rooting for him to reach wherever he was going. Suddenly, my silent cheering was interrupted as a black bird swooped out of nowhere and swallowed up my new friend in one gulp. I was horrified. I guess it was the horror that found it's way to invade my dreams that night. I woke up in a crazed dream state, whirling black feathers and death flitting behind my eyes. I scribbled down whatever was going on in my mind into my journal and drifted back to sleep. Re-reading my scribbles in the clarity of the morning gave me my new story.
The jewellery came a few months later. I wanted to represent my story in a decorative illustrative format. I used trees, slugs, and crows as drawing inspiration, and combined them all into narrative illustrations. Each pendant represents a different part of the story and each one can be attached and removed from the neck-piece through the use of hook mechanism. This enables the wearer to decide upon which segment of the story the want to wear and therefore which emotion they want to convey. Stories are meant to be shared and interpreted by each listener of the tale, and this neck-piece acts as a vessel for such an exchange.
One day, when I was a tree and you were a slug who was afraid of the rain…
One day, when I was a tree; standing tall and alone at the edge of The Great Forest, and you were a giant grey slug, it began to rain. You slimed your way up my trunk, carefully edging up to my branches, up to where the leaves would protect you from the dripping water that you feared so irrationally.
“Oh great and mighty tree,” you called out from the dense covering of leaves, “Please save me from the rain, allow me to shelter in your beautiful curved branches.”
I didn’t say anything. An immense ecstasy was building up from deep within me, and a wave of laughter broke forth from my core; it was so intense and rolling it dislodged the little you from the tip of my branch. You fell with the rain down onto the lonely earthen floor.
The next rainy day the same journey was played out before me. I let you ooze up my body, caressing my bark, striving to reach the safety of my leaves. You begged me to let you stay using tantalising flattery but I just laughed you back to my feet.
On the fifth rainy day it changed. Just as the great laugh was building up inside me a stormy black crow swooped out from the night and grasped you within its mouth. The crow landed on my wet branch, resting its wings as it swallowed you in one mouthful.
The crow did not ask me if he could shelter on my branches. He simply expected it. I missed your beautiful words, your gentle trail as you embraced my body, the playful murmurs you whispered on our journey, the joy you filled me with, a joy you never took a part of. You always came back. I did not laugh at the crow, he gave me no satisfaction. I flicked him from my branch, but he did not fall to my feet. His sharp beak bit into my skin, his talons clawed at my arms, scarring the bark. He tore off my leaves and broke my branches. I was helpless as they fell to the ground. And then he stopped. And flew off into the night. I was left bleeding, and broken and all alone. In that moment, and for the rest of my life I mourned you.
This work is available for commission. Please email me at for more details.
While developing my degree show collection at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design I discovered that my niche skill within the world of jewellery-making is etching, especially hand-drawn nitric acid etches. Through this method of scraping away
lines of black etching fluid I fell in love with pattern drawing and this love has become my ink and paper illustrations. My portfolio of illustration is inspired by my penchant for the fantastical, and I often feature strange creatures within my highly patterned portraiture. The crisp black and white lines have become my signature style.