Build a jewellery box with a conscience with Ocean Drift’s handcrafted pieces. Cornish jewellery designer, Debra, specialises in modern, elegant jewellery that's designed to be worn forever. Sustainability is at the core of Ocean Drift Studio’s work, as Debra hand-makes all the jewellery herself, meaning that each of her pieces are truly one-of-a-kind, and all the designs are created using 100% recycled precious metals from the UK. Plus, any off-cuts made in her studio are melted down and re-purposed. We guarantee you’ll want to look after these treasures forever, and love for a lifetime.
What made you decide to start Ocean Drift Studio, and what's the inspiration behind it?
To be honest it began as a hobby, making simple necklaces with silver and the sea glass that I had collected over the years which I would then gift to family and friends. When I lost my lovely Dad, I found the jewellery making process gave me a therapeutic distraction to my sadness and I delved deeper into the world of silversmithing. I was very quickly hooked and jewellery courses and tools became popular gifts for my Birthday and Christmas, and before long, Ocean Drift Studio was born.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Living in Cornwall makes it so easy to find inspiration, it’s like a 360 degree window to our natural world. Coastal elements, flowers and plants play a large role in my designs… often it’ll be a suggestion or hint of a shape, texture or pattern rather in literal form. During the first lockdown, I enjoyed spending time taking a much closer view of the structure and composition of plants and insects in the garden using a macro lens. It was a powerful reminder of how incredible and awe inspiring nature is.
What did you do before creating Ocean Drift Studio?
My work has always been on the creative side. I trained as a hairdresser in London which I continued to practice when I moved to Cornwall. Later on in my early 30’s, I started a business creating 100% natural body and skin care products which incorporated pure essential oils and botanicals. When my first son was very young, I decided to take a break to focus on growing and raising my family… and now the wonderful world of jewellery making.
What have been the biggest challenges/achievements, or your favourite story on your journey so far?
The challenges are pretty much on a day to day basis as I am responsible for every aspect of the business: designing, creating, photography, editing, marketing and finances whilst taking care of my family at the same time, but it’s what I love doing and I strive to improve on my weaker areas which is most definitely on the marketing side, so it’s great to be in good hands with Naturally Cornish!
Each and every sale I make feels like an achievement to me and I am truly grateful and humbled when someone chooses to buy a piece of my jewellery.
How would you describe Ocean Drift Studio in three words?
That’s a tricky one as I find it difficult to evaluate my own work, but I like to think of it as:
Emotive, honest and sustainable.
What is your connection to Cornwall?
It goes back to my early childhood where I have so many happy memories of family holidays spent here. Every summer my parents would load up and bundle us all (including our dog) into our bright orange VW camper-van for a two week adventure in Cornwall. We explored almost every corner over the years and naturally, we all fell in love with the county, but I didn’t realise at the time that Cornwall was seriously working its magic on me and would one day beckon me back to stay. I feel blessed to live here amongst such beautiful surroundings and warm hearted people, thank you Cornwall.
Do you have a special spot in Cornwall that inspires you?
There are several, but the Helford passage takes some beating. It has it all really, breathtakingly beautiful coastal paths, woodlands to enjoy and stunning creeks and coves to explore, I love its serene and calming atmosphere.
What's next / any exciting plans?
I’m currently working on a new collection using a completely different technique to my usual methods; like all of my work it still uses recycled silver, but begins in the form of precious metal clay and ends with a piece of solid silver jewellery. The process enables me to capture and preserve elements of nature in fine detail and transform them into eternal silver keepsakes that allow the wearer to express their individual connections and love of nature. Looking ahead, 2022 will see me working on some new designs that incorporate gemstones which I am very excited about, and of course they will all be traceable and ethically sourced.
Shop Ocean Drift Studio here.