CAROL JAMES

Jewellery / Gemwaith

Carol lives and works on the side of the beautiful Malvern Hills, creating her jewellery designs in The Little Studio at Blue-Ginger Gallery. Having spent four years at Southampton University studying for a degree in Archaeology, followed by a Masters in European Archaeology, she is still actively involved in the field. Carol’s main interest lies in prehistoric rock art and includes work on an on-going project finding and recording rock art in Wales as co-director of the Welsh Rock Art Organisation. These influences are reflected in many of the pieces she produces. 

Her interest in jewellery making began as an escape from a busy job when she joined an evening class in silver smithing at a local college. What began as a couple of hours a week on a recreational course turned into a two-year OCN course, completed in 2004. Since then the business has grown to become a full time occupation, with work being sold by a selection of galleries and at a number of contemporary craft shows across the UK.


2021 has seen some changes. Having had a little studio at Blue Ginger Gallery on the Herefordshire border for 13 years Covid has seen the gallery close and Carol building a new studio at home, and now balancing her jewellery making with her small veggie and vegan catering business; when not distracted by a demanding garden and more demanding furry friend! 

Carol enjoys experimenting with different metals and decorative techniques, particularly the effect of heat on the metals surface. Her jewellery designs are handcrafted in sterling silver with occasional gold or oxidised detail. Her style is contemporary and organic, exploring textural effects and contrasts, and the way light plays on the surface of the metal. She takes influence from the natural and ancient worlds using these to create unusual and unique pieces to be worn and enjoyed every day or saved for special occasions. 

Designs incorporate a large element of her archaeological background, drawing particularly on Welsh, Italian and Gallician rock art for inspiration. The initial range of rock art designs was based on the Bachwen burial chamber in North Wales, followed by a collection of pieces inspired by other prehistoric sites within Wales and further afield depending on where her work and travels take her. Recent collections have developed during working trips to record the petroglyphs found in these regions. 2014/15 saw Carol involved in an EU funded project, as both an archaeologist and an artist, based at Barclodiad y Gawres, a decorated passage grave in Anglesey. This amazing resource has led to many more designs with their roots in the past. Carol looks forward to the days when she will be able to travel more extensively and continue her research with her rock art colleagues and the new designs this will bring. But for now, a wander down the garden or a walk or run on the Malvern Hills is a great way to clear the mind before heading for the bench.