Craft Focus - December 2022/January 2023 (Issue 94)

58 Art in wire Holly Berkley Je ellery is run and owned by jewellery designer Holly Berkley. Holly specialises in producing wire work sculpture and jewellery crafting kits. Holly tells us more... Tell us a little bit about your company. Where are you based? When did the company start? I’m based in Somerset, where I specialise in designing, testing and producing wire work craft kits that enable people to create fashionable and classic pieces of jewellery, small sculptures and ornaments. Although I’ve been designing and selling my own jewellery since the late ’80s, I actually began teaching wire work jewellery and sculpture making 10 years ago, and when Covid arrived I decided to make my wire working craft kits available to the wider public. Who founded the company and why? I was teaching a lot of people both oneto-one and in groups, everything from classes of young home schooled children to the Women’s Institute and many of the people I taught lived with long-term medical conditions and others had special needs of one kind or another. What I saw first-hand, was the amazing therapeutic effect that wire work crafting had. Its ability to improve focus and fine motor coordination was already obvious to me, but when people told me that it actually helped with their chronic pain and lessened the symptoms of their anxiety and depression, I was amazed! So, when Covid reared its ugly head, I thought hey, I’ve got something here than can actually be of benefit to a lot of people and so I set about making my craft kits accessible. How has the company evolved? Even at the outset, I knew that successfully communicating to people exactly how to execute the wire working techniques used in the fabrication of my craft kits was absolutely vital. Thankfully, after teaching hundreds of people, I knew how to explain those techniques in a simple and easily understood way. So, I produced fully illustrated PDFs and YouTube videos to go with each and every kit. My first kits were all copper or plated silver wire but as my business has progressed, I’ve added a fantastic rainbow of colours in the form of beautiful enamelled wire as well as distinctive world beads, which I just love. For those people who want to make something extra special I’ve created some kits in sterling silver wire and semi-precious stones, with practice wire included of course! What do you specialise in? Although some of my kits are sculptural, jewellery is definitely my speciality. Talk us through the current products you’re particularly excited about. Do you have a favourite? The kit that immediately springs to mind is my Wire Work Crystal Bonsai Tree