Plymouth jeweller Nicola Hurst is marking the seventh anniversary of her gallery and workshop in the city by creating seven bespoke pendants for local charity Jeremiah’s Journey.
Nicola spent several days during September crafting the silver pendants, which are based on the hot air balloon featured in the Jeremiah’s Journey story. Each of the seven hand-made pendants contains a different stone, making them completely unique.
Jeremiah’s Journey offers professional support for bereaved children and their families in Plymouth and the surrounding areas. The city-based charity sees around 200 families each year, with the support tailored for each one. The story from which the charity takes its name follows the tale of a teddy bear called Jeremiah, who goes on a hot air balloon journey. The story is told to the children to encourage them to maintain a connection with their loved one.
Nicola said: “I’ve always felt that Jeremiah’s Journey is a brilliant charity that does fantastic work in our community. I wanted to do something to mark the seventh anniversary of my shop in Hyde Park but I wanted it to mean something, too – I wanted to give something back to the community. When I was considering which charity I could do this for, something just struck home with me with Jeremiah’s Journey. Being a mum, you do think ‘what if’.
“I looked at their website and the picture of the balloon just spoke to me. I thought the balloon would be a lovely thing to do as it’s central to Jeremiah’s Journey.”
The necklace pendants are being auctioned off to coincide with Nicola’s seventh anniversary on 25 October. The first is being auctioned at the Jeremiah’s Journey annual ball at the Duke of Cornwall Hotel in Plymouth on 5 October. The remaining six will be placed on the charity’s website, where bids will be updated right up to the closing day of the auction.
Jeremiah’s Journey chief executive, Joanne Anning, said: “What Nicola is doing is absolutely wonderful. These beautiful pieces will be completely bespoke and will raise some much-needed funds to help us with our work.”
Nicola has been making contemporary jewellery for over 20 years and has had some celebrity commissions – including one from Plymouth diver Tom Daley, who popped into her Hyde Park studio last year to order three bespoke pieces of jewellery depicting the Olympic motif; one each for his mother and his two grandmothers as a memento of his bronze medal success at London 2012.
“I really hope we can raise thousands of pounds with the auction of the balloon pendants,” said Nicola. “So the more people who can take part and push up the bids, the better.”
Visit Nicola’s website to find out more about her work and the Jeremiah’s Journey website during October to make a bid for the pendants.