In 2007 I spent a year on the island of Zanzibar. Weekends were often spent at one of the beautiful white beaches, swimming, relaxing and beachcombing. One day I sat with my daughter looking at our spoils and saw she had picked up some broken coral entwined in fishing line and tied it to a piece of driftwood. That was the beginning.
From those rudimentary mobiles, over the years I have refined the art and learned how to craft and design for beauty and endurance. Some still hang around my own home while others have been gifted to family and friends.
In this journey to where I am now, the beach has always featured as a place of inspiration, meditation and rejuvenation as well as a source for materials.
My beachcombed treasures might be fragments of seaglass, shells or coral and to these I add beads, chips of semi-precious gems, crystals and pearls. I source only beads that are made from natural materials, either sustainably from my travels or from upcycled old pieces of jewellery.
The driftwood, that lines the beach after a winter storm, I greedily collect allowing my dog to play only with those pieces that do not pass muster.
I love to sit, designing and creating.
I love the feel of the smooth glass, naturally tumbled by the ocean.
I love finding a new, unique piece of driftwood, holding it and turning it to appreciate its striations and form.
I love discovering some dazzling beads in an old unwanted necklace amidst the discarded jewellery in a charity shop.
I love the satisfaction of seeing each finished unique mobile.
I love the thought that someone else will receive a little bit of the energy of the ocean and the beautiful discoveries of my beachcombing.
I love and take pride in knowing that this sculpture will give delight wherever it may hang.
I love feeling virtuous in knowing that the majority of the materials have been repurposed into this new life.
And finally I love that each and every day I can walk along the beach and be delighted, be invigorated, be dazzled and energised, and when I get home I can combine these elements and create something new.