Every piece of Merle O'Grady jewellery has unique qualities and is carefully handmade with love and care.
Most pieces feature elements created using polymer clay, a material known as a plastisol and a modern version of what was once called 'Bakelite' in its earliest form.
For each piece, I blend colours of this clay, then create a group to marble together until I love the pattern. This marbled ball of clay is then either rolled by hand into smaller beads or rolled out into a 2mm sheet from which I cut geometric shapes featuring the most appealing swirls and markings. Each shape is then cured at 130 degrees until hard.
Each hardened clay piece is then shaped with files and goes through the long sanding process. I use 5 different grits before buffing and waxing to create a smooth surface with a subtle sheen.
Then, each piece is drilled by hand and loops, tassels, Swarovski crystal, wire-wrapped tubes and pearls etc. are added to create the final piece!
Some pieces of jewellery also feature shapes cast with Jesmonite, an amazing non-toxic compound that mimics the appearance of stone. I create my own silicone molds and mix dyes and shimmering powder pigments to this material to create unique inclusions and marbled effects.