Ian Barrett from ‘Jurassic Jewellery’ was kind enough to answer ‘The Planet of Sound’ a few interview questions, which you can read below.
Ian established Jurassic Jewellery in 2007, combining his love of science with his flair for creating stunning jewellery. His unique pieces, featuring fully authenticated meteorites, moon dust and fossils, are loved by fashionistas just as much as science fans. They are for sale online and will also be available in Salford Museum and Art Gallery’s By Hand Gallery from late September until April 2016.
Can you tell us a bit more about your background as a jewellery designer and where are you based?
I live in Manchester, England – a City that has inspired creativity for hundreds of years.
I have always loved collecting fossils and meteorites and many years ago had the idea of creating something that was not only timeless but wearable!
I have never had any formal jewellery training – I have grown the business organically from day one and taught MYSELF the skills I need to create my jewellery.
I think that way you can develop at your own pace and not be moulded by what can be a restrictive formal training.
What or who is the inspiration behind your brand ‘Jurassic Jewellery’ and what is the idea behind it?
What could be more exciting than wearing real Moon rock around your neck? Or a fossil shark tooth or Ammonite that lurked in the seas MILLIONS of years ago!I am inspired by natural materials that are not only beautiful, but rare and intriguing
Another inspiration is the career of my Uncle, Syd Barrett.
He was the original frontman of Pink Floyd – and while his career was a short one it has inspired millions ever since he quit music in the early 1970’s
His psychedelic, space inspired music has fed into my jewellery and I have tried to capture something of his legacy and keep it alive for a new generation.
What is the main material you use?
The main metal I use is Silver. Gold is lovely but it pushes the price up and out of the reach of most people.
I am not making jewellery for the few, I want it to be affordable by all – and for that silver is the way to go.The bulk of my work uses meteorites and fossils, but I also use other unusual materials like FORDITE.
Fordite is the most beautiful material with a mass of swirling colours and patterns and when people see it they fall in love with it even before they realise what it is.
Fordite is actually recycled car paint!
In car paint shops every time a car was sprayed – a layer of paint would build up on the floors and walls of the paint shop.
Someone had the bright idea of cutting this residue up and they found that it was BEAUTIFUL!Fordite is actually incredibly rare as so little of it was collected and it isn’t created nowadays as paint shops are safer and the residue is sucked off with extractor fans before it can collect.
What there is, and there is VERY LITTLE is what has been collected before being binned.
Where do you source the material you use and what is the process of making the jewellery?
People always ask me if I collect all the fossils and meteorites myself.
My answer is that I would LOVE to have the time and money to travel the globe and collect them all, but it’s just not feasible
I have been doing this for years and have built up a big network of dealers and suppliers who sell me the most AMAZING fossils and meteorites at a price that works for my art!
In the meteorite jewellery I use a range of different types.
Some pieces use WHOLE meteorites, stone and iron are the main types.
The stone meteorites were originally part of the Asteroid Belt – a band of rocks spinning between Mars and Jupiter.
They have been pushed out of orbit and into deep space and some end up falling to Earth.
They are collected, often from the deserts of Northern Africa where they are easy to spot in the sand.
I also use whole iron meteorites which started out as the core of a failed planet.
The most exciting meteorite material I use in my jewellery is the Moon and Mars meteorite.
These were once sat on the surface of the Moon and Mars.
With such weak gravity they are often hit by OTHER rocks and this knocks them off the surface and into orbit.
They can travel around for THOUSANDS of years until a FEW land on Earth.
These all have to be tested and retested in specialist laboratories and if they pass this rigorous testing they are allocated an official meteorite number.
Two of my most popular pieces of meteorite jewellery are my Silver Star Meteorite Necklace and the Moon Dust Necklace
The Silver Star is a gorgeous little hand crafted solid silver star, set with a fragment of iron meteorite.
The meteorite is Campo Del Cielo which is a HUGE iron meteorite that fell in Argentina.
The Moon Dust Necklace is made with a sample of Moon dust, from a meteorite found on Earth but that was knocked off the surface of the Moon.
I mean who WOULDN’t want to wear a piece of the moon!
Where can we purchase your jewellery?
My main web shop – JURASSIC JEWELLERY (http://www.jurassicjewellery.co.uk )
is the best place.
You can see the biggest collection there and buy instantly.
I also do a lot of commission work and you can see my past work there.
If anyone would like to commission a piece of jewellery do get in touch as I LOVE commission work.
Animal commissions are a specialty of mine and I have made pretty much every animal you can imagine, from pigs to sheep through to swans and frogs!
I also have an Etsy store with a lot of jewellery, some not available in the Jurassic Jewellery store.
Do check both out so you can see everything!
My work is also available in various shops, websites and galleries around the World so do keep an eye out for it!
What are your plans for the future?
I have a folder FULL of designs for new pieces, so there are plenty more pieces to come.
The current work keeps me very busy so it is hard to find time to create new jewellery.
I’ll be making jewellery until the day I drop off my workshop chair I’m sure!
© Ian Barrett Sept 2015
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Salford Museum: http://www.salfordcommunityleisure.co.uk/culture/salford-museum-and-art-gallery