These unique designs will be handcrafted at my London workshop using recycled/fair trade precious metals and historical artefacts I have found on the foreshore of the River Thames. My aim with this project is to bring history back to life in the form of wearable pieces of art to admire and treasure for years to come...
The story behind the work…
Mudlark; noun - a person who scavenges in river mud for objects of value.
The term Mudlark was first used in Victorian times to describe people who scavenged for coal on the Thames foreshore in order to survive. These days Mudlark describes any person who collects artefacts from the banks of the river Thames, for their own enjoyment and to find items of historical or precious value. For me it is a way to disconnect from the bustle of everyday London and to connect with the people from London’s past, in a tangible and thoughtful way. Being able to keep some of these fascinating artefacts and fragments is a bonus.
London has been at the epicentre for trade and commerce for thousands of years, but it has been populated and passed through by travellers for much longer. In fact some of the ceramic fragments that I have found possibly date back to when Romans first came to London (or Londinium as the Romans named it), approximately AD43, 1,976 years ago! Therefore my collection of artefacts is made up of pieces that cover a huge expanse of history and the world. With the passing of time the significance of Mudlarking finds, regardless of their abundance and our knowledge of their origin, can only grow in significance.
My collection of fragments and artefacts found on the Thames foreshore is constantly growing; with metal, ceramic and glass of all shapes, colours, sizes, and ages. Some of their origins are clearer than others, a Venetian trade bead or Roman coin for example. My imagination runs away with the hidden stories behind each piece, sending me back to the foreshore to uncover more mysteries...
All of my designs in this collection are inspired by the intrinsic beauty of each individual artefact, the teachings they offer us from the history they once belonged to, and the fascination that comes with their lost stories. Therefore it is important to me that they are received by others as the precious fragments of history that they are, by treating them as such in the medium of fine art jewellery.
What happens now...
My total outgoings so far have covered a 3 year permit to legally Mudlark along the Thames, and designing in my spare time. I now need funding to get this project off the ground.
In my previous funding target I was hoping to make all of the designs in the collection, but in this new campaign I am content with making the pieces that are pledged on and using them as a springboard to produce other designs over time. If I get to the original £5,000 then I will also be using the money to update my tools and workshop, and if I go over £5,000 then a part time apprentice would also be necessary so that I can keep on top of the increased demand.
- You will be contacted for your delivery and order details once the Kickstarter is successfully completed.
- Materials will be purchased as soon as funds become available, approximately 25th November (taking into consideration the possible 21 day delay in Kickstarter’s payment process).
- Making will commence that same week, and I will endeavour to complete orders in good time of your individual deadline dates. December deadlines will aim to be posted for Christmas delivery. You will be contacted if for any unforeseen reason your order is going to run over it’s deadline. For more information on possible reasons for deadline delays please refer to the Risks and Challenges section at the bottom of the page.
- You will be contacted once your piece of jewellery is ready to post. I will be posting via Royal Mail Parcel Force for everywhere in the world (including Europe due to Brexit uncertainty). Please see postage rates per item, and bare in mind postage cost increases when insurance cover increases. Royal Mail First Class or Special Delivery will be used for all UK addresses, ensuring adequate insurance coverage per item. All customers are welcome to drop by and collect from my workshop if this is preferred.
- If you have pledged on a Mudlarking Experience you will be in contacted once the Kickstarter is complete to find a date that suits you and that fits with the tidal timetable.
If you would like to talk to me about any of the above please get in touch via the comments or FAQ section, or message me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to clarify any queries.
Thank you for your interest in this project, and happy Mudlarking !!
Risks and challenges
I have been in the craft, art and jewellery industry for over 10 years, and have been a part of many different projects in that time, so I have a good understanding of what a new project involves. Therefore I realise it is very likely there will be some unforeseen challenges.
As you can imagine it is difficult to estimate exactly how long a bespoke piece of jewellery will take to make as each piece is original and has never been made before. The handcrafting process has the potential to take longer if designs need adjusting due to any unforeseen making difficulties.
With the highly unusual nature of this project, using found historical artefacts as the main material, it is possible that the Museum of London may wish to log or even keep an artefact that they deem of historical significance. The Museum of London are currently in the process of assessing my finds, and should be finished by the end of the Kickstarter campaign. However, if this is not the case then some deadlines will be extended until assessment is complete. It is a privilege to be given a licence to forage on the river thames and I take my responsibility very seriously.
I will be keeping all of my contributors up to date on progress throughout the making process. In any scenario where time has to be added, changes have to be made to a design or artefacts have to be replaced, you will be contacted directly and together we will come up with a solution to suit you.
For all Mudlarking experiences once a date and time is decided you will be able to cancel this booking up to a week beforehand. A days permit will be purchased on the week running up to the date chosen and after this time it cannot be refunded. A change of date after a permit has been paid for will need repurchasing through me for £30. It is a legal requirement to have this permit for any foraging on the river thames.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!