10th Feb - 4th May 2008
'Something Old Something New'
The 7th Annual Alternative Wedding and Valentine Show

Rings in 18ct white gold set with 'chocolate' diamonds by Diana Porter.




About Us

Diana Porter

There can't be many people in normal, everyday jobs who have not fantasised about giving it all up to paint, write or follow their own personal dream in some way. Sadly, very few manage to actually fulfil these aspirations, and fewer still manage to make a success of themselves if they do.
However, Diana Porter, the 1999 UK Jewellery Awards Designer of the Year, is one of these lucky souls. She gave up a successful career in arts administration in her mid 40s to become the only mature student in her year at Birmingham School of Jewellery.
She now runs a workshop employing three people in Bristol and her strong, expressive jewellery in silver, and occasionally gold and diamonds, has attracted a keen following.

"I think the reason my jewellery speaks to people is that I can't do anything unless it comes from deep within me. Life is difficult but precious." she says.

The clever and often witty use of words on her jewellery is one of Porter's hallmarks and she attributes this partly to her penchant for crosswords. She doesn't use a great number of words, but those she does are chosen with care to convey meaning and depth. Examples are 'this will change' on a series of five spinning rings, on which the message is only clear when the rings are correctly positioned together; and the variation of "on and on" which looks like a Squiggle rather than words. In other pieces (and in her own signature) she has combined upper and lower case letters to often humorous effect.
"I try to make the lettering suit what it is going on. Ambiguity is very important. There is also quite a lot of humour. I find it amusing to stretch the S or the O. And nothing is straight: even things that look straight are not."

Porter is clear that the administrative experience of her previous life has helped her to create a thriving business with a supportive and motivated team. She seems surprised, as well as pleased, that she has had such success with her work.
"It seems funny to call myself an artist and I find it amazing the way the jewellery has happened as it has. At the outset I had a business plan which stated I wanted to be comfortable in my retirement and retain an integrity in my work and that is exactly what's happening"

Sarah Pearson
Retail Jeweller, December 1999.

Biographical Details

Artists featured in 'Something Old, Something New' are: Natalie Jane Harris; Alexis Dove; Mirri Damer; Malcolm Morris; Zoe Newsome; Jacks Design; Beccy Gillatt; Angela Fung; Yoriko Mitsuhashi; Sarah Collins; Laura Marsden; Stephanie Moog; Min-Ji Cho; Victoria Kershaw; Hidemi Asano; Mikala Djorup; Tanja Ufer; James Newman; Ruth Tomlinson; Tina Engell; Catherine Mannheim; Sarah Lawrence; Diana Porter.