Inspired by the sea

Curious tales of my sea inspired jewellery

The sea and all of its wild wonder and curiosities never fails to inspire me. Seaside holidays have always been my favourite - as well invigorating sights, smells and sounds of the coast I’ve always loved rock pooling and exploring what’s been washed up on shore.

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Sea inspired jewellery

March’s birthstone is Aquamarine so it seemed the perfect time to share some of my jewels of the sea. Aquamarine is believed to help calm the waves and keep sailors safe.

Turtle Collection

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Turtle collection

I’ve always loved turtles and was lucky enough to swim with them on my honeymoon in the Caribbean. As you may know I often take my inspiration from nature and the almost geometric pattern of a turtle shell is my starting point.

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Turtle ring commission

I couldn’t have a blog about my sea-inspired designs without including this special peridot Turtle ring I created for a very dear customer.  I have a simple silver Turtle ring in my collection here.

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Turtle bracelet

I often think the backs of bracelets are neglected – as a bracelet turns and moves on your wrist it’s often the back of the design you see. With my Turtle bracelet design I created a pattern on both sides to reflect the two sides of a turtle’s shell.

Coral Branch Earrings

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Coral Branch earrings

I wanted to create a piece inspired by The Lost Happy Endings by Carol Ann Duffy. It’s a magical tale about a wicked witch who steals the happy endings to bedtime stories. Magical twisting branches in my Coral Branch earrings feature heavily in the symbolism of fairy tales and my finished piece also reminded me of the mesmerising shapes of coral.

Two treasures

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Chinese treasures

I bought this fish padlock when I first visited China many years ago. This wonderful pearl then came from my most recent visit and I’m hoping to make into something special soon.

Starfish Bangle

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Star fish bangle

Inspired by starfish I wanted to create a bracelet that was a rigid sculptural structure (rather than something that moved freely like most bracelets). My aim was for the finished Starfish bangle to be almost brittle in nature.

Phish Earrings and Necklace

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Phish earrings

I had so much fun designing my Phish Drop earrings, I wanted to create something complementary that was elegant but with a sense of movement and my Phish pendant is the result. I called my finished pieces phish because they were inspired by fish and a swish.

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Phish necklace

Pearl Cufflinks

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Pearl cufflinks

I was commissioned to make these bespoke pearl cufflinks as a 30th wedding anniversary gift (pearls are the traditional gift to celebrate 30 years of marriage). I like the idea of hinting at a pearl in an oyster shell by cupping and partially protecting the pearls in sterling silver.

Diamond Octopus Ring

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Octopus diamond ring

My Octopus Diamond rings were inspired by the wonderfully bobbly texture of octopus tentacles. Octopus suckers are truly extraordinary. They can move and grasp objects independently. They can ‘taste’ the water around them and they can even form a seal on rough surfaces underwater. Amazing.

Sea Urchin Necklace

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Sea urchin necklace

This new design was inspired by the curious green sea urchins sparked in my workshop. The textured silver rounds are reminiscent of sea urchins – clustered and nestled together. My Urchin necklace makes a great talking point and reflects and really flattering light onto your face.

Sea urchin earrings

Catherine Hills Jewellery: Urchin studs

I’ve always wanted to design an earring that goes up the ear and these new Urchin earrings seem to fit most ears perfectly!

Axolotl cuff

Catherine Hills Jewellery Axolotl cuff

I couldn't resist including this commission for an Aquamarine Axolotl cuff here even though axolotls live in lakes and canals near Mexico City. You can buy a similar Axoltl cuff from my collection here, but with green and blue tourmalines.

You can shop my sea-inspired jewellery here or stop by my Tunbridge Wells jewellery shop to see the collection in person. My jewellery shop at workshop are in the historic Pantiles in Royal Tunbridge Wells and I’m open Thursday to Saturday each week.