My father came in from the garden (from his workshop) and told me to close my eyes and hold out my hand. He dropped the most amazing jewel in my hand that I’d ever seen. It was the clearest crystal and a huge blood red ruby ring and he’d made it for me. I was the princess with the crystal ring.
Of course it wasn’t really anything precious, it was glass and perspex, but try telling that to an awestruck 6 year old (1964)
My lovely dad, who was away at sea for many of my young years, was able to do anything. He was taller than anyone else’s dad (and I used to stand on a chair to try and show people how tall he was and he could do anything at all. I suppose I idealised him, and then used to get a bit shocked when he came home from sea and would swear – he would say ‘bugger’ and ‘bloody’ but – well I supposed all men did that didn’t they?
(When I grew up I realised he wasn’t really that tall, and although he did swear he only used mild words).
Thing was, I grew up in a world where you were judged more by what you created than by what you knew. We didn’t have any books in our house, save for a set of encyclopeadias and a few Denis Wheatley novels. Both my parents were incredibly creative. My mother was an amazing seamstress, knitter, painter, flower maker and very entrepreneurial. My father was an incredible carpenter, and could fix any and everything.
I miss the man, the honest, straight, honourable man, stiff upper lip English to the core man, but I also miss like hell the man who could tell me what I needed, how to fix it, where to start man, the man who would always sort it out. We called him ‘daddy fix it’.
Anyway, I digress, I just wanted to show this ring, this was the thing that made me fall in love with jewellery, and now that I make it, I so often think back to this ring and would so love to show him that I still have his ring, and to show him the rings that I make now.
Yes, this is the most precious thing I have I suppose, it’s lovely isn’t it.
(By the way, yes that is a monkey on his shoulder – a great holiday we had as a family revisiting a part of the world where I spent some years growing up)