Jewellery & Watch News
Built on a shared love for Whitby, our partnership with British sculptor, Emma Stothard, is the perfect match. With her recent impressive sculpture trail that celebrates famous figures as well as historical roles from the fishing industry that played a huge part in Whitby’s heritage, we couldn't wait to collaborate.
Get to know the talented Yorkshire artist much better as well as her spectacular sculptures and stunning Silver Darlings jewellery collection.
About Emma Stothard
Growing up in Kilnsea, a tiny village that sits at the northern end of the nature reserve Spurn Point, inspired Emma’s love for nature, regularly sketching the Holderness landscapes throughout her childhood. Working at local farms as a teenager deepened her connection to wildlife and was always drawn back to this part of England when on breaks from studying for a BA Hons in Fine Art at Southampton Solent University.
Soon after her graduation, Emma decided to learn the process of growing, coppicing, bunting and weaving willow before returning to Yorkshire to begin her PGCE course at Bretton Hall, Wakefield. It was here that she was lucky enough to have the works of Henry Moore and Elisabeth Frink on her doorstep inspiring her to use her new skills. She began creating geese and small animals from woven willow.
Her teaching career began in West Yorkshire, however Emma relocated to our seaside town to take a position at Whitby Community College, which was known for its forward thinking art department. They were very supportive of her work as a sculptor as well as her teaching position.
Her global success has ensured that her work sits in the grounds of stately homes, art galleries and private homes around the world. A highlight in her career and as a thank you for her loan from the Prince’s Trust - which gave her the funds to begin her career - Emma made the HRH the Prince of Wales the perfect present, a large scale sculpture of his Jack Russell dog ‘Tigga’ from the willow grown on the Highgrove Estate.
Take a stroll around Whitby to admire Emma Stothard’s powerful sculptures that honour the town’s most memorable individuals throughout history. Made in partnership with Scarborough Borough Council, every character has a strong link to the ocean. Created using steel wire that is hand woven around a steel structure and then coated with zinc, each piece of art is unique and exclusive to Whitby. There are nine in total including the Herring Girls, Skipper Dora, Dora Walker, William Scoresby and Frank Meadow Sutcliffe. Lets find out a little more about each one.
The Herring Girls - Found by the bandstand at the landward end of the piers, the sculpture honours the tough, hard working women who followed the fishing fleet (who were hunting down the shoals of herrings along the coast) by rail ready to gut and pack.
Skipper Dora Walker - Standing proud on the West Cliff is the remarkable Miss Walker who was the first female skipper on the North East coast who defied all stereotypes of women at the time. Moving to Whitby on doctors orders to live by the sea, Dora was an extraordinary woman who successfully piloted boats through minefields in the war.
William Scoresby - Further along the West Cliff is whaling captain and explorer, William Scoresby. He is known for his time in the Artic studying the seas, in particular their climate, currents and biology and also his dedication to improve the accuracy of the ship’s compass.
Gansey Knitter - Make your way over to Flowergate, one of the oldest streets in Whitby, to find the Gansey Knitter perched on a wall working on her latest project. If unfamiliar to you, the gansey was a unique patterned sweater made from tightly worsted wool, which was worn as a weatherproof garment whilst out at sea. A different pattern would be made for each community to distinguish each person if unfortunately they became lost at sea.
Frank Meadow Sutcliffe - Take a walk down to Skinner Street to find Frank setting up a shot on the road where his studio once was. His successful photography career that has been admired across the globe provides an insight to the history of Whitby. He was fascinated with the everyday life of the people who worked and lived in the town.
Netmender - Carefully walk to the bottom of Flowergate where you’ll find the Netmender. Life at sea was tough and the equipment used required regular repairs to keep the gear in excellent condition.
The Fishwife - Standing on the West side of the Swing Bridge is the Fishwife who were expected to be heavily involved in the baiting or selling of fish alongside their family duties. Dressed in an apron she stands in front of a barrel with fish ready to sell.
Bridgender - Positioned on the East side of the Swing Bridge is a fisherman dressed in a sou’wester and gansey sweater with a basket of fish. Lost in thought he is assessing the weather, which is such a crucial part of a fisherman’s life. He is actually based on a photograph taken by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe.
The Penny Hedge - The final sculpture stands alone the riverside blowing a horn. It honours an unusual Whitby legend that began on an autumn day in 1159. It’s believed that a group of noblemen were hunting and their hounds attacked a wild boar, which sought refuge in a hermitage. The angry hunters attacked the local hermit who stood in their way leaving him for dead. The hermit proposed that in replace of the death penalty the three men should carry out an annual ritual of making a woven hedge from branches cut using a knife ‘of a penny price.’ If the hedge didn’t withstand three tides each nobleman would have to forfeit their lands. All these years later the ritual remains on Ascension Day, 39 days after Easter a hedge is planted at 9am. When complete a horn is blown three times and “Out on ye, out on ye, out on ye!” is shouted!
With Emma’s close connection to Whitby, it felt just right to collaborate to make a stunning, contemporary jewellery collection. Honouring the herring, which was named ‘Silver Darlings,’ each piece acknowledges how vital the fish were to the economy of the town. Beautifully handcrafted by us, the sterling silver necklaces, bracelets, earrings, charms, rings and keyring pays tribute to the fishing heritage of Whitby. Some designs feature fishing floats made from Jet, Amber, Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise, Amethyst and green and rose quartz.
Taking inspiration from The Herring Girls, the exclusive collection remembers their gruelling task of preparing the fish for sale. It was a vital role that inspired Emma to recreate the hard working lasses for the sculpture trail and to design a collection that honours Whitby’s history including influential women who played an important part in a thriving industry that could have been forgotten.