For centuries, women have adorned themselves with beautiful objects – shells, precious stones set in copper, silver or gold or even just a flower in their hair - that accentuated their traits and their beauty.

Spanish-born Augustina Otero Iglesias was a woman that has fascinated me for years. Born into an impoverished family in Galicia (Spain) in 1868, she was what we would call a "Bad Girl", running away from home at 14 to seek fame and fortune as a dancer and actress. She reinvented herself, becoming "La Belle Otero", famous dancer at Folies Bèrgere, and embarking on a career as a Europe's most sought-after courtesan (her affairs comprised Prince Albert I of Monaco, King Edward VII, Spanish and Serbian kings, Russian Grand Dukes Peter and Nicholas, the Duke of Westminster and writer Gabriele D'Annunzio) as well as possibly the world's first film star, when she appeared in a one-minute scene performing her famous "Valse Brilliante" in St. Petersburg in 1898. However, she was not only famous for her beauty and her lovers, but also for her beautiful jewellery, most of which was given to her by her wealthy admirers. Often, she would appear almost covered in jewellery, simultaneously wearing many of her most precious pieces, among them colliers having belonged to Austrian Empress Sissi and to former Empress Eugénie de Montijo. It was not only her love for beautiful jewellery that inspires me when crafting my pieces, but also her free spirit and ability to do what she most wanted without thinking much of what others thought of her…

I believe that in today's world, where both clothes and jewellery are cheaply mass produced and sold in large quantities through multinational fashion stores, to be worn for a few weeks and then discarded, there is, more than ever, a place for hand-made, individually crafted and personalised jewellery. I strive to make beautiful pieces from vintage objects from around Europe that I collect to give them new life as part of a unique piece of jewellery. For that reason, quite a few of my pieces are one-offs. Should you like a particular unique piece already sold, let me know and I will attempt to make a similar one for you.