Val Worden MA – History of Art
University of Manchester
Undertook specialist research of the cultural role-play of Jewellery in ancient civilisations and the specifically sacred symbolism attached to gemstones and metals in the context of ancient ritual.
This culminated in a postgraduate dissertation entitled. ‘The Eye of the Agate’ a diachronic analysis of the esoteric nature and apotropaic qualities of this highly regarded hard stone.
As a Jewellery Historian has written extensively on the esoteric symbolisum projected by this major art form from the 3rd Millennium B.C. to the 20th.
Lectured as a freelance Jewellery Historian in the extra mural departments of Manchester University, University of Liverpool and the University of Wales, Banger. Has led study trips abroad and lectured for local museums, archaeological associations and antiques societies.
For many years has also operated in the Antiques trade: dealing in Antique Jewellery and Objects D’ Art from the C17th onwards. Latterly diversifying to sate an emerging obsession with the cool chic of retro and all things art deco!
Technical expertise in Silversmithing was grounded at West Dean College under the aegis of Derrick Grady, Freeman of the Worshipful company of Goldsmiths, short Jewellery and Metalwork courses at City College Manchester and Wrexham College of Art and Design. Advanced skills being honed at Wilmslow Guild under the professional expertise of Graham Hann, a protégée of the atelier of Andrew Grima.
Search for a true liberation of spirit let to a metamorphis from the academic professional background to an epiphany of the need to express ones latent creativity. The fount of academic knowledge now translates as a motivational precursor for ones design raisin d’etre – rather then an expression of mere adornment, the jewellery is intentionally charged with a deeper inherent symbolism. There is a specific intent to express to the owner/wearer the universal truths, the deeper meaning and interconnectedness of all things: Nature and the Cosmos, with all its glorious esoteric connections, being the insprational force. This ethos is reflected in the identification of each design with its own esoterically charged title.
Hence the fascination for the whole Alchemical process in the collection.
Fire and Ice Collection
The metamorphosis of metals to a further dimension via the subjection of extremes of hear, including reticulated textures echoing planetary landscapes of geological excrescences.
Application of extreme pressure with a texturing medium creating a projected play of light and dark chiaroscuro.
Reticulated surfaces aged with the subtle use of oxidising agents.
Takes inspiration from the mystical spiral. Shape and form dictated by the ethos of Sacred Geometry.
Off all the metals, Copper has the highest vibrational energy and therefore a maximum capacity for purification cleansing and healing. Aligned with its properties of warmth of colour and forgiving plasticity it presents itself as a perfect medium for Jewellery.
Inspired by light and sound wavelength energy. Alpha-theta symbolism injected into the wave shape acting on the bodies energy field.
Tiger Tiger Collection
Use of reticulated silver beads, antique beads sourced in India and sea bamboo to form a collection inspired by the concern for the demise of this magnificent animal. A percentage of proceeds going to Tiger conservation in the sub-contient.
Spiritus Liberta Collection – Present project
Inspired by the Jewellers long term passion and love of birds. Wing shapes, Picasso’s Dove of Peace the concept of Sanctuary etc all inspirational for the expression of liberty and freedom so evocative of the bird.
Colour plays a high prominent roll in the design ethos. An inherent fascination with the electromagnetic properties of light and the colour spectrum and the relevant hierarchical apotropaic effects of this energy for healing the human body projected the move to incorporate semi precious stones of ethical and pure provenance.
Val Worden works freelance from her Cheshire Atelier and has exhibitied at the following galleries:
- Artizana, Prestbury
- Galleria Silver Birch, Chester
- Firbob and Peacock, Knutsford
- Down to Fine Art Studio, Stretton, Chester
- Portico Gallery, Manchester
- Polka Dot Gallary, Exeter
- Dartington Gallery, Dartington Devon
- Arc Gallery, Chester
- Clarity Gallery, Knutsford
- Artfull Expressions, Birmingham Jewellery Quarter
- Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, Conway
- Sienna, Kirkby Lonsdale