Val Muddyman has produced a body of work entitled ‘Tidelines’ which is inspired by, and in some cases made from, the seaweed she collects from beaches around Plymouth. The details include the fine textures of the organic material and the resulting jewellery is delicate and beautiful. She collects the washed up seaweed from the high tide line mostly from Devil’s Point which is just metres from her studio in Royal William Yard. Foraging on the foreshore has become a key factor for change in her working practices as she has become more environmentally aware.
Val now works in a sustainable and ethical way using only recycled silver and makes her own glass ‘gems’ by repurposing sea glass also collected at the same time. The glass has already had a life as a bottle perhaps, but it now attains a level of preciousness and beauty and looks nothing like it did when it reached the beach. The end result can be looked into where inclusions and tiny bubbles, possibly suggestions of its time on the beach or former function can be seen.
Val works mostly in organic materials (seaweed) and adds to that with various types of wax, also carving and constructing in wax before either sending the items off to be cast or carrying out smaller sand-casting in the studio. The act of sending waxes away for the casting process in recycled silver has a carbon footprint which is being offset by Val who is collaborating with a local Community Interest Company, Pollenize, who are pioneering scientific research into urban bee-keeping and re-wilding.
Val Muddyman started making jewellery in 2007 after attending workshops with Victoria Sewart and then went on to study for a degree at Plymouth College of Art graduating in 2017. She lives in Plymouth.