beach bling

PUBLISHED: 13:22 14 June 2013 | UPDATED: 13:43 14 June 2013



Julia McIntosh photography 2013

I can’t tell you how happy I am that summer is almost upon us. I don’t know about you, but I really struggle with my spring wardrobe. Half way between winter and summer the weather in Cornwall can be so changeable, one day its tee’s and flip flops and the next it’s back to scarfs and fleeces.

However, what I really adore about this time of year is feeling like it’s okay to make more of an effort with my accessories. I wear my most vibrant flower hair clips and mix and mismatch my jewellery with no thought as to whether it enhances my outfit. In general I just feel more adventurous and experimental.

Over the next couple of issues, I’m going to be looking at some gorgeous accessories available right here in Cornwall. From local jewellery producers to a designer that specialises in hand making stunning textile bags.

This month I’m taking a look at jewellery designer Sarah Drew. Based in Cornwall, Sarah was recently featured on BBC’s ‘Coast’ program talking about her love of making jewellery from recycled materials. Sarah has supplied both Liberty’s and Harrod’s with her work and is known for her unique and creative style.

What makes her jewellery so striking is that it incorporates a combination of recycled materials from Cornwall’s beaches. The appeal comes from the juxtaposition of the rough sea glass with the soft pearls . I’m amazed that Sarah can make something so beautiful out of things that are washed up from our sea.

“I make contemporary, eclectic jewellery with plenty of colour. I combine found objects such as driftwood, sea plastic, sea glass and slate pebbles with bright stones, pearls and vintage beads. These are linked together with chunky hammered silver chains and delicate crocheted fine silver. Of course using recycled materials, remaking old broken jewellery or basically ‘rubbish’ in this way is a sustainable way of creating unique pieces that aren’t a strain on new resources,” explains Sarah

Sarah goes on to tell me that she likes to use materials that challenge the conceptions of preciousness and which may have personal meaning for the wearer. Perhaps using an old broken piece of jewellery which may have been a gift from someone special and imbued with family memories.

“This is a great way of making meaningful jewellery that has a personal link to a time and place, reminding you of a special person. For example, a pebble found on the beach and made into a pendant will make you smile when it holds the memory of a special day out,” says Sarah

Sarah tells me that she really enjoys the process of beach combing for the materials she uses. “Foraging for materials is almost as enjoyable, or perhaps even more enjoyable, as the making and wearing of the subsequent piece of jewellery. Firstly, it usually involves a good walk in the open air and it also gives directional purpose to your day out.”

Sarah has even found the time to write three jewellery making books despite being a busy mum of two. ‘Junk-Box Jewellery’, ‘Wild Jewellery’ and ‘Hair Accessories’ The books guide you through the discovery and selection process of sourcing decorative ingredients. With detailed instructions on how to create beautiful pieces from your finds.

With the plentiful beaches right here on our doorstep there’s no reason why anyone can’t have a go at making a piece of beach jewellery. n

Sarah Drew designs can be found at


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