A Valentine Project

It’s been a busy few weeks in the studio and workshop. I’ve been working on a Valentine project, designing a neckpiece and the packaging to complement it.

Taking the theme of Valentines I have explored current and historical customs and gifts of affection.  The cleverly folded “Puzzle Purse” was one of the historical customs which inspired me to develop the neckpiece.  The Puzzle Purse is a written message, poem or letter which encloses a small gift. When the Puzzle Purse is unfolded it reveals each part of the message.

puzzle purse 2

Further development and research led me to experimenting with handwritten love letters and how they could be incorporated within a jewellery piece.

neckpiece sample


I tried a variety of materials, fabrics, papers, metals before designing my final piece.


“This multi-media piece holds fragments of love letters between Isadora Duncan (American dancer) and Gordon Craig (actor and stage designer) around 1905. The silk and organza have been digitally printed with the handwritten letters and later screen printed with gold foil. The layers of fabric and paper and threads are held together by concentric circular metal hoops, influenced by the traditional embroidery hoop. The sheer fabrics represent the fragility and beauty of the 18th Century letters. The two circular frames represent the strength of love between two people in a relationship.”


“The neckpiece cleverly folds into itself and becomes a package in itself. Digitally printed, stiffened and stitched silk has been used for the packaging.”

“This design has been developed and adapted from the original puzzle purse idea but using a circular interlocking pattern. Each section unfolds, revealing the gift inside.”


The project ended with the opening of a Valentine Exhibition in the jewellery corridor of DJCAD on 14th February.  All the 3rd year jewellery and metalwork design students had their work out on display to provide the viewers with a feast of original designs and packaging ideas for Valentines.


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