Lesley Strickland is a jeweller who specialises in the use of cellulose acetate (derived from cotton oil) combined with sterling silver. The acetate can be layered into a wide range of patterns and can be manipulated into far more fluid forms than other forms of plastics. Lesley's passion for designing and making jewellery started in 1976 at The City Literary Institute, London, England. Since then she has continued to evolve and develop her personal style. Her inspiration comes from weathered, natural forms and sculptors of the 1950's. The final finish of each piece is important to her as she likes the wearer to have a very tactile relationship with her work.

Lesley Strickland image

Over the last thirty years Lesley has developed many new manufacturing techniques, either by modifying existing hand or industrial processes or by inventing them from first principles. To achieve her goals she has developed special methods of forming, polishing and matting the acetate. The basic methods used are hand scraping, filing and sanding followed by heat forming and polishing or matting techniques. Some pieces are decorated with silver piqué whilst others combine acetate forms with silver (sometimes gold) cast elements. Small batch quantities of each design are made and each piece is individually hand crafted to a fine finish.

The two guiding principles that Lesley applies to all her work are to strive for elegant simplicity and empathy with the wearer. This has enabled her to develop continuously fashionable, wearable jewellery.

Lesley's work is on the Crafts Council Index of Selected Makers, and in the permanent collection of the Ulster Museum, Northern Ireland. She is a member of Contemporary Applied Arts and Design Nation.