I began making beads around twelve years ago while living in rural Ireland. I was making and selling jewellery locally, but it was difficult to find the kind of beads I visualized for my jewellery. So I started to make my own – first out of paper, then polymer clay and finally ceramics. At uni I studied prehistoric archaeology and was always fascinated by primitive art – from rock paintings and carved figurines to hair and body ornaments and early pottery – and a lot of my inspiration comes from the simple, imperfect beads that our ancient ancestors produced with very little in the way of tools and materials. All they needed was a lump of clay, their hands, a fire and an urge to create. I like to think I’m following in a long tradition, stretching back into the mists of time, though I have more materials and better tools at my disposal than our ancient forebears did. My primitive beads are glazed and I mix them with materials unheard of in prehistoric times – paper, metal, acrylic, glass and polymer. I enjoy mixing ancient and modern and juxtaposing clashing colours and different shapes and textures. All my pieces are one-offs and I hope they appeal to people who like to make a statement by wearing something a bit different.