What's in a Name?
I started making jewellery about 12years ago, having worked my way through upholstery, card making, textiles and machine embroidery I found a course locally on beading and the rest is history. From this small beginning I attended various jewellery making short courses and one to one sessions to gain the skills needed to venture into using silver. After seeing handmade glass beads I purchased the equipment and sat and looked at this fierce looking torch for a year before I finally plucked up courage to light the thing.
Thanks to Mike Poole of Tillerman Beads, who taught me the basics, I have carried on making glass effetre beads ever since.
Stephen O Keefe provided the confidence to start working with silver jewellery and Andrew Berry's At the Bench provided one to one sessions and on line courses on a variety of jewellery making techniques including stone setting and metal manipulation. Tracy Spurgeon, from CraftWorx, taught me silver clay to advanced level. With practice I became competent at jewellery making and started to sell my work at craft fairs.
My handmade jewellery is now displayed in numerous Galleries across North Wales and is also sold online at my Etsy Jewellery Shop.
Midas was a very special Golden Retriever who sadly died of leukemia when he was only 3 years old. He was one of those dogs that everyone knew. He visited Schools and Day Nurseries to meet the children and sat at the gate each morning to greet the children passing on their way to school. He also managed to get a huge response from elderly people in a Mental Health Unit who had never spoken, they just wanted to sit and touch him, often crooning as they did so. They say stroking a dog lowers your blood pressure, well Midas made everybody feel chilled.
As you can imagine we loved him very much and, when looking for a name for my business, the answer was obvious. So MidasTouch Jewels it was. Patsy, well that's me, I've always been Patsy.
My background is nursing, heath visiting and 20 years as a lecturer in
health studies and child care. After several very stressful years I
stood up in front of my students one day and found I had lost my
voice! For 4 years I could only talk in whispers and was forced to
take early retirement. 5 years later and I finally heard my voice again.
I spent my time in my workshop (our garage converted) making jewellery from silver, gold aluminium and glass, and with time the scars have healed. I started MidasTouch Jewels in 2010 initially selling handmade jewellery in craft fairs, then galleries and craft shops and teaching other people how to use metals for jewellery and started my Etsy shop last year. . I was lucky enough to meet up with a Community organisation called Oriel RhylCreate Gallery who went a long way to giving me my confidence back & I became a Director, seeing the gallery grow from a tiny backstreet room on to a major precinct position with newspaper and TV coverage. I was able to obtain European and Welsh Assembly funding to help with learning how to run a gallery and presenting art and craft work in innovative and different ways, my Olympic Torch Window Display will never be forgotten! Now I volunteer in the gallery periodically.
I also take part in the local Art Trail Helfa Gelf most years, opening my jewellery making workshop to the public.
I love what I do now and really enjoy working with people who really want to learn a skill. The favourite things I make are wedding rings and bangles, it is great to make the jewellery tell a story.
I live in the quiet village of Deganwy in between Llandudno and Conwy in North Wales, where we have been for the last 29 years. My family consists of my wonderful, patient husband and our 2 dogs, Bailey. Sadly we said goodbye to Leo in March 2017 following a short cancer. Our two children have flown the coop, according to our daughter, we have replaced then with fluffy alternatives. The 'boys' were wonderful and very close, So close that they appear to share a brain cell! Bionic Bailey (2 metal knees!) spends his time running about 'solving' problems, Leo sat and watched and once Bailey had worked it out Leo copied. So who was the more intelligent? There are 2 gates to our house and Leo still never worked out that if one was closed the other might be open. He would happily sit by the closed gate waiting for it to be opened when the other one is wide open. He would give a single 'let me in' woof and the stupid humans would come out and open the gate for him. Bailey is missing him dreadfully so we are looking for a new pal for him. I think he might have worked out how to twist us round his little claw. If you come for a jewellery making workshop North Wales you will meet Bailey.