“I was born in North Wales, UK, and studied electrical and mechanical engineering at Southampton University before working in the field for 5 years. I met and fell in love with an Australian while working in London and we emigrated to Queensland, Australia in 2001. I never thought I was in the least artistic – I flunked art class at school – but my technical background has stood me in good stead as I am very good at figuring out the mechanics of pieces and how to construct them properly, keeping them lightweight but strong.
I started teaching myself beading about 10 years ago, progressed to wirework and then found someone to teach me the basics of silversmithing. I’ve had a total of 11 days of training, and I’ve been teaching myself ever since. I’m still discovering new skills (recently tried my hand at enameling for the first time, for example)
My weakest point is that I have still never really learned to draw. This can be a problem when I can’t quite explain to clients what it is that I intend to make for them. I can see it in my mind’s eye perfectly but my sketches still look like technical diagrams – they tell me how to build the piece rather than show my customers what it will actually look like. My regulars have learned to just trust me!
Most of my work today comes from commissions. A lot of people, I find, have a stray gemstone in their jewel box, and I get presented with them and asked to set them. Being in Australia I get to see a great many stunning opals, multi-coloured sapphires, chrysoprase, prehnite, topaz and South Sea pearls, as well as some really unique stones found nowhere else in the world. Unfortunately I have to give them back, but I do have a small collection of my own and a good relationship with some independent miners and fossickers.”
I told you she was talented! Take a look at some of her designs you can purchase in her etsy shop Banksia Creations.
Each piece of jewelry is stunning and unique. I am fascinated by Catherine Bilson’s artistic ability. She is talented and those talents shine through each piece of jewelry she creates.
This ear cuff has been sold, but it shows off some more of her talent for jewelry making.
Beautiful isn’t it! Imagine the time it took to create such intricate detail for such a tiny ear cuff!
The Chunky Black and Electric Blue Designer Bead Necklace and Earrings is probably my favorite in her shop. I love the color blue, and I like the variety of shapes and sizes of the beads. I also like the chain accent around three of the beads in the front of the necklace. Definitely a statement piece!
Here are two more of my favorites.
I encourage you to take a moment and visit Banksia Creations and see all of the beautiful jewelry by Catherine Bilson.