097 Cheeky Danglers



Location: BRISTOL


20160719_150010My feature today is about Pascale Stanley, who I met through a group of friends from Worcester in 2008. Over the years we’ve kept in touch and bump into each other both at festivals and in Bristol. She’s an incredibly talented lady and it’s great to get a chance to feature her work.

Pascale is a jewellery designer and maker, using a variety of mediums, techniques and materials. “As a child, I was inspired by my mother when it came to crafts. She is a big collector and hoarder of materials, treasures and found objects, meaning that we would often make things together. Growing up she had to make all her own clothes and she would also experiment with making jewellery. As I grew up, she would teach and help me to do the same, and there was nothing better than rummaging through draws and the attic to find beautiful things to turn into art, clothes, or jewellery.”

fst_5960At A level Pascale was lucky enough to study Jewellery Design at Worcester Sixth Form College, being one of the only places in the country to do the subject at A level. “I spent many of my free lessons, in the workshop under the guidance of an amazing and very patient teacher. However, I left jewellery for quite a long stint, deciding to take a path in Arts and Events Management which I studied in Bournemouth. But then after a trip to Central and South America in 2013, I was not only inspired visually, visiting temples and exploring jungles, but meeting artisans on my travels encouraged me to take up handcrafted jewellery using wire and macrame”

Returning from her travels, Pascale also faced a rather serious diagnosis. “Experiencing such a huge reality check in the form of ill health, I felt the need to follow my heart and actually do what I love, even if it took time to build and make a living. I have Crohn’s disease, which is an auto-immune condition, causing inflammation of the gut and a whole host of symptoms, that vary between individuals. It can be very serious and debilitating for many people and is becoming more common in the UK. It is not a subject people want to discuss often, which can be incredibly isolating for people in their journey to get better and we are often mislead by the medical world to believe that there is nothing we can do to get better, other than take prescription drugs. img_20160720_210117_27834831733_oHowever I believe that in a truly holistic approach involving a balance of both Western methods and adapting your diet and lifestyle, taking control of your own health can be very empowering.” In 2014 her health took a turn for the worse and she faced a difficult time recovering from an operation. “Although I experienced a bad patch, I came out the other side with a very positive outlook and a strong will to get better and focus on something for myself. Making jewellery was something that allowed me to manage my own time, enabling me to take control of my condition and use my creative skills again.” 

She quickly got obsessed with wire work, enjoying the weaving and forming techniques. “I found this extremely therapeutic and with some encouragement from friends and family I considered taking my work to sell at markets to see what people thought. After realising people would buy my designs I was convinced to carry on and I kept up jewellery making as a sideline.” All the techniques she uses are self-taught from books and online tutorials from wire artists such as Nicole Hanna. “I found that with only a few tools, wire work was easily created anywhere and I liked the simplicity of the process, which could create beautiful results. I have also been taking some classes in silver smithing and metal work at Windmill Hill City Farm. Here I have been revisiting metal work techniques and stone setting, for when I set up my own metal workshop so I can combine all the techniques I have gathered. I also attend lapidary club, where I  cut and polish my own stones ready to wrap or set, this is a long but satisfying process! I usually collect stones and beads to work with from my travels, the rock and gem fair and supplies online.” 

14523203_1303109849730191_4094390960831046628_nPascale takes influence from a variety of sources. “Since I was a teenager I have been a fan of the painter Gustav Klimt, with his beautiful golden, decorative and often erotic artworks. Curves and spirals often feature in his work and I think you can see that influence in my jewellery design. I really love the decorative styles from ancient cultures, design movements such as Art Nouveau, and styles from the 60s and 70s. Although I have never visited India, I find the patterns featuring paisley and henna style designs really beautiful.”

At the end of last year Pascale decided to take her jewellery more seriously. “I did the Enterprise course with the Prince’s Trust which was a great move for my business and I really don’t think I would be where I am today without their help and support. I went to the Business Launch group this summer and received a loan which is going to help me fund some new materials and tools. Having an mentor to guide you through and put a bit of pressure on so that you get things moving has been such an invaluable aspect of the service they give. I think many creative people struggle when it comes to promoting yourself, putting a price on something hand made, and having confidence in yourself. What I gained from the Prince’s Trust was some belief in what I am doing. However, I want to keep the balance of being creative, developing and imagining new designs, whilst ensuring I can support myself and run a business. Cheeky Danglers, is a name that will either make you laugh out loud, or cringe with awkwardness. I did not initially think I would keep it, but it is very memorable and does fit the bill!”

img_20160721_111538_28345893882_oNow she is at the stage of growing her business and has her jewellery selling in three shops in Bristol. “CoLab, CoExist and Glass Designs, all stock my designs and I would like to get more out there in Bristol and the surrounding area. I also have an Etsy shop to sell my work and take a lot of commissions through word of mouth or Facebook. I really enjoy doing markets and events, so that I get to meet all my customers. It’s so great when you see someone wearing your creations, when people return to buy more, or just come to say hello!”

Being creative is a natural urge of her soul. “I feel that to be creative is to be lost in time, and where I feel happy. Looking back at the times where I have not been creating, I can see that I wasn’t as satisfied with life. Therefore I see it as a fundamental part of my life and wellbeing. Turning it into my business and living is just a way of making creativity have a prominent place in my life! I am not really sure why I was drawn to jewellery, maybe just because I really love to wear jewellery and to design and make my own was really fun and I love the various techniques involved…it is never ending how much you could experiment with.” 

20160921_141008Currently Pascale is developing her new brand, with a more serious name! “Pascale Stanley Jewellery Design will be launched in January 2017 and the first collection features pieces using very intricate weaving of fine silver. I just did a couple of photo shoots with local photographers Channon Walllace and Anna Kirschner and can’t wait to release all the photos! I will actually be debuting some of the pieces at markets this December so people can get a chance to buy jewellery from my new brand. Over December I am selling at Bristol Bazaar pop up shop at The Island, The CoExist Winter Shopzilla at Hamilton House, Bristol City Hall Christmas Market on the 14th, Westbury on Trym Market on the 17th, and Stroud Christmas Market on the 22nd and 23rd.” 

Very generously Pascale has created a special Etsy code just for you, my Spiralling readers! It’s for 20% off minimum orders of £20 available to use throughout December. Voucher code: 041216

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