Art to Charm: Turning Your Child’s Art into an Everlasting Piece of Jewellery

By Claire Girdlestone

So here’s the thing:

I WANTED SOMETHING I DIDN’T HAVE…

A gosh darn thing, that I did for me and ME only!

That let me feel like I was doing something creative. And that it was also contributing to the bigger picture. Well I took the step, leap, jump what ever you want to call it and it FELT GOOD!

“Start a business” I said. “It’ll be great.” And it really has been. I chose something that I am passionate about and that helps so much.

Claire Girdlestone – ART to CHARM

The thought behind my business was to give back to parents. Enable them to rejoice in their children, their achievements, those touching moments in time. Celebrate them and have a stylish piece of jewellery they can accessorise with on a daily basis.

To do this, I take kids drawings, your drawings, handwriting, words, images and prints, then etch them onto sterling silver. They can be any shape or size and there is no design like the next. I enhance the artwork to make it stand out by cutting and blackening the metal to suit.

Whatever the design we create, you receive a personalised, hand-crafted item that can be shared by you and your children for generations to come. Imagine wearing this creation for years and then giving it to them on their 18th birthday. It’s more than special and I love that connection it can create both through heart and people.

Also inspired with the ammunition that I wanted to always be available to my two beautiful children and husband, this drove me to find the things I had within me to start back doing my jewellery. Although what I created was in fact WORK, and hard work at that, I loved it!

Switching back on was not easy but it was exactly the jolt I needed to get me started and yearning for more. It was motivating, inspiring and ever so exciting. It was all new to me and my mushy mum brain and I loved every minute of it.

So EXCITING! Not at all like the changing nappies or making sure the kids didn’t fall off play equipment kind.

To create the space in my home, I started setting up, moving furniture and making things happen. Since completing my jewellery diploma over 20 years ago, I finally had the reason to use all the equipment I had kept in storage for so long.

Soon I had a workshop (lucky I have a big house) to be able to set up and just make jewellery. I had an idea, a vision that turned into reality. After many years of thoughts and dreams ART to CHARM had begun.

As the school year started, I got windows of time to myself. And for the first time in five years, I just started chipping away. I’d be planning and creating. Asking questions to those around me.

Other mums at drop offs would ask what I’d now do with all this free time. The concept sounded good in theory, free time…but with this personalised jewellery business idea I had to skip the coffee dates and make the most of every minute in that three-hour window I had!

I definitely had coffee, but it helped me in trying to be as productive as possible in that time. Geez, there’s a lot to do when starting a business.

I literally cut, buffed, shaped and produced. I edited, posted, researcyed, I made and created over and over again and boy did it fill my cup.

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