I have had a lifelong love of poultry, but never for one moment did I think that in my sixties, having been made redundant from my job as a PA, as sadly my boss had passed away, that I would be producing silver poultry jewellery! But this has given me a real thrill and I have had to learn completely new skills involving marketing and design as well as the intricacies of silver purity, the differences between different types of chains, clasps, earring wires and studs, as well as numerous other jewellery detail, which I had previously never given a moment’s thought. I now find myself staring at jewellery, thinking up designs, and ferreting around antique markets for ideas and inspiration – and I’m having a wonderful time!
For nearly 40 years I have kept poultry. Hens, ducks, geese and turkeys have entered my life over the years. My main interest though has been the chickens, with the Scots Dumpy breed being “the love of my life.” I have kept this delightful breed for nearly 30 years now, and have been Secretary of the Scots Dumpy Club for nearly as long. At any one time I have approximately 20 breeding birds and continue to show and exhibit my poultry.
Perhaps one of the things that has struck me more than anything for some time now is the difficulty in finding attractive and unique poultry jewellery. Could I do this? Answer – yes, but it has taken a while to get the designs how I want them and made in the best quality sterling silver. I am now able to sell geese, ducks, hens and cockerels as necklaces, bracelets and earrings. (Oh! And turkeys too, so you can now wear your turkey at Christmas as well as eat it!). It then occurred to me that if I intended to exhibit and sell the jewellery at shows I had to branch out a little more, so I designed some scarves – not just any scarves, but chicken and goose scarves!! Ducks will follow I am sure. I have also searched the country for good quality poultry themed bags, tea towels, magnets, calendars, note books and a few other silver bird and feather themed jewellery pieces, for those who like owls in particular.
Now my love of poultry has turned into my business. It’s time-consuming, and occasionally I have felt as though I am in front of a brick wall, but I’m having fun.