Jewellery is second nature to Judith

JEWELLERY maker Judith Kenny has perfected the art of quirky, whimsical designs.

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Jeweller Judith Kenny busy in her workshop near Glasgow  Picture: Colin Mearns
Jeweller Judith Kenny busy in her workshop near Glasgow Picture: Colin Mearns

Fluttering birds, floating clouds and rockets jetting off into space are just some of the highlights of her ever-growing collection.

Beautifully hand-crafted in silver, gold and platinum, the array of necklaces, earrings, brooches and rings ooze the magic of fairytales.

The Aberdeen University History of Art graduate had her own shop in Glasgow's West End for a number of years. Now with a young family, she has a workshop at home, bending and soldering metal into charming designs that are sold online at and at craft markets and fairs around the city.

"There are so many different ways to sell now. When I started the shop in 2003 I didn't even have the internet there. I had to come home, check the orders and do them the next day," Judith laughs.

"It's more interesting for me now as I don't have to be static - I can go to a fair at the weekend and then maybe go and meet a customer in the West End, then I'll be back in the workshop."

Meeting customers and talking about design ideas is what makes Judith stand out from many other jewellery makers.

She says she loves collaborating on ideas.

"People sometimes come to me with their own idea of what they want and I will do some sketches with ideas around that," she explains.

"I can do a commissioned piece within a week if need be but I usually say three to four weeks as I might have to source stones, go back and forth with sketches and finalise the idea, buy the metal - if I don't have it already - and make sure the sizing is OK."

She can do everything from restyling and redesigning old pieces of jewellery to making engagement and wedding rings.

"I have a customer coming in to pick up two diamonds, and he's just giving the loose stones to his fiancee to choose. That's lovely because often you don't see them unset.

"She can then come and speak to me about designing something, which will be nice.

"Often you get a wee secret to keep because someone is going to propose to their girlfriend and it might be someone you know or a friend of a friend."

Judith works from a little log cabin in the corner of her garden in Eaglesham. Surrounded by green fields and trees it is no surprise that the natural world heavily influences her designs.

Fruit and flowers are popular subjects with an intricately crafted beech nut on a necklace one of her most recent projects. She can now source eco-gold and conflict-free diamonds, enhancing her green credentials.

"I am constantly making, as I have so many ideas in my head. If something is successful I'll make a range around that but I don't make more than a few of each piece."

Judith's other love is typography and offbeat lettering stamped into tiny pieces of jewellery reveal lines from a William Wordsworth poem or upbeat phrases to make the wearer smile.

"The stamp for the lettering gives it an industrial effect - some letters sit higher than other and it's not perfect. It's like an old typewriter,"she says.

Find Judith at Ashton Lane Sunday street market this weekend and on other weekends at the Makers' Market, upstairs at Hillhead Library, as well as Little Birds Market, at Sloans, in the city centre.

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