North London Food & Culture

A necklace by Penny Akester

Local Talent Q&A: Penny Akester, jeweller, 40

Earlier in the summer we put out a call to local artists to send in their work. We display the entrants weekly

What’s your practice? I’m a jeweller and jewellery teacher. I instruct at various centres and make contemporary pieces inspired by my experiences.

How does the area inspire you? I’ve resided here for 18 years now. For a very short while I had a stall in the market, and I adore the creative buzz – it’s like a little international city. While I do get direct inspiration from London, this is not always apparent – for example, a necklace from 2013 is a coded private timeline of my own history, with the marker points as key events or places in my life, a lot of which refer to people and places around Camden. Without my explanation however, it is just an unusual necklace. It’s made of fine silver and dyed nylon cables.

Jewellery maker Penny Akester
Penny Akester. Photo: self-portrait

What are you most proud of and why? One I made a couple of years ago, the result of experimenting with different ideas and techniques. I call it a ‘mindful jewel’; the concept was to explore different ways to motivate the wearer to feel a sense of calm. This item is made from carved and polished soapstone on handmade cords, with a silver river running through it – inspired by the (occasional) serenity of Regent’s Canal.

Where’s your favourite place to hang out? Locally, it’s the London Bead Co & Delicate Stitches. There are very few of these shops left, but this one is still surviving. It’s a complete treasure trove. Jewellery is such a tactile and visual subject, to be able to actually see and feel the materials in person is invaluable, so I love visiting this store.


Follow Penny on Instagram @pennyakester.

Main image: Penny Akester

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