Emerging designer Heidi Bennett's range is a revelation: hand-produced, unconventional and bursting with bold colour. She was one of my top jewellery discoveries of last year, so I was pleased to become one of her first stockists. I've now topped up my Heidi collection with nine new pairs of earrings for Summer 2016.
Every line is made in small batches, and, since the jewellery is stitched and and finished by hand, no two pairs are exactly alike.
Heidi's eclectic range of influences combine to beautiful effect in her work: folk, gypsy, Russian, '60s bohemian and '40s dressing-table-pearl styles can all be found in the collection (sometimes blended together in one pair!)
Since Heidi works alone at every step of the production process, from the initial product sketches to material sourcing to meticulously crafting the pieces, each earring is a showcase for her passion and skill.
Zoom in on the images to examine the perfection!
Bakelite - named after its chemist creator, Leo Baekeland - was an early plastic used as a cheaper alternative to crystal and metal in depression-era jewellery.
Here's my beloved Miriam Haskell giant black and orange flower brooch that I spotted in Hirst Antiques.
Due to the limited range of dyes available at the time, Bakelite's colours tend to be deeper and richer than those of modern plastics - vintage pieces usually come in shades of green, brown, black, mustard and red. The material is very resilient and polishes to a high shine. Also when worn together there is the special distinctive 'clunk' that only Bakelite has...
Since Bakelite was easy to manipulate and set hard, jewellers let their imaginations run wild and created wearable works of art. Pictured below are a pair of cheerful 'thumbs up' brooches.
Today these innovative wonders are highly sought-after by collectors and jewellery fans. You can view some of the most beautiful examples of modern and vintage Bakelite on my Pinterest board.
Here are also some of my own pieces from my latest addiction....Bakelite!!
This season, Philippe Ferrandis is the 'King' of the Swarovski crystal! Earrings are glittering with them whilst necklaces are studded in pretty shades of blue, green, turquoise, pink, purple and red. What could be more glamorous for spring?
Handmade at his studio in Paris, each Philippe Ferrandis piece is exquisitely made, and with names such as 'Waldorf' and 'Plaza', it's not hard to guess that his inspiration came from the glamour set and starlets of decades past.
So whether you opt for a pair of Swarovski twinkling earrings or a show-stopping necklace, not only will these pieces carry you right through to summer, but they are guaranteed to earn a permanent place in your jewellery box.