It was a chance encounter on a shopping trip that led to Yuka Jourdain forging herself a career as an jewellery designer.
The owner of a boutique where she was browsing at the rails spotted her necklace and wanted to know where she could get some.
“She said she really liked it and would love some to sell in her shop. I had to explain I had made it myself but added that I could create some more if she wished,” explained Yuka.
“Her customers then complimented it so she asked me to make more and I started selling them in her shop.”
From those small beginnings she has gradually built up an artisan business selling her colourful contemporary-style jewellery at fairs and festivals.
Yuka, who is mum to two teenage boys and lives at Chapel-en-le-Frith, finds inspiration for each intricate piece from patterns she sees in her everyday life or recalls from memories of her life journey since childhood.
The artist was born and raised in Japan and moved to France and then to England with her husband so she has a wealth of multi-cultural experiences to call on.
Her original brand of jewellery was created using natural fibres – hand-felted wool stitched neatly to shaped wires, but more recently she has discovered how to print her designs on to aluminium and is now developing a new range of work through coursework at Leek School of Art.
“I always wanted to go to art school but didn’t get the opportunity. Everything I have done has been self-taught, apart from short night courses.
“I felt my work would develop if I learned more, so last year I decided to take an access to higher education art and design course at Leek. I am so glad I did it because it really made me think about what I produce and what skills I would like to learn for the future.
“I have just started a two-year Masters of Fine Art in Jewellery and Metalwork at Sheffield Hallam University.
“It is very exciting and I am really looking forward to seeing how my jewellery develops in the next few years,” she said.
For more details about Yuka’s jewellery check out her website: http://www.yukajourdain.com