Monday 3 October 2011

ARTicle - Frankie Langhorne

Frankie Langhorne (pictured) designs and produces bespoke exquisite silver jewellery and is also a budding watercolour artist with her works shown at a major exhibition in London.

Frankie’s passion is art. She studied Ceramics at college but taught most aspects of Art at schools in Derby for 38 years, retiring four years ago.

Most of her jewellery is crafted at home, but she also travels to Chesterfield College where she is tutored and has access to special equipment for the more complex processes of silversmith work.

Frankie loves travel, and purchases gorgeous gemstones and beads from India and Nepal which are incorporated into her jewellery. She has used delicate freshwater pearls, amethyst, rose quartz, turquoise and even lava stones. She also buys from gemstone suppliers at jewellery exhibitions.

Her beautiful silver link bracelets are all handcrafted. Frankie uses little hammers to give each individual link a pretty, dappled effect by texturing and planishing. She said: “The hand-made bracelets can take several hours to complete, whilst other bracelets take less time dependent upon the individual pieces that I make to add to ready-made chains. I create tiny charms and fasteners to make each bracelet unique.”

Her earrings are again all individually made, either adding tiny gemstones, or cut shapes of textured silver. Some are made from an etching and this process is carried out at college using acid. Frankie’s silver rings are cleverly designed so that they can adjust to fit any ring size. Some are textured silver bands while the others have teeny gemstones; each individually attached to the ring using fine silver wire which takes 2.5 hours to produce.

Frankie’s other passion is botanical painting in watercolour. She began her art classes seven years ago and is now proud to have had her work accepted by The Society of Botanical Artists. Her pieces have been exhibited in the Central Hall of Westminster in April this year and she is already working to produce five new pieces ready for 2012.

Frankie’s jewellery and artwork was displayed at Belper Open Houses earlier this year and another event is planned for Whitsun in 2012.

You can also see Frankie’s work at the Christmas Fair held at Strutt’s Centre, Derby Road, Belper, on Saturday 3 December from 10am to 4pm. For more details contact 01332 557113.

This article appears in the October / November editions of All Things Local. The community magazine for Kilburn, Ripley and Belper, Derbyshire.