New jewellery collection helps raise funds for RNLI
A special range of jewellery, handmade in Orkney, has been launched to mark the 150th anniversary of the Stromness RNLI.
The collection by Stromness-based Zoe Davidson Jewellery is named after the Saltaire, the first lifeboat to be stationed in the town in 1867.
Working in partnership with the Stromness Ladies Lifeboat Guild, Zoe designed a collection made up of jewellery for both men and women, ranging from tie pins and slides to necklaces and earrings.
The pieces are aimed at everyday use so people can show their support for the RNLI wherever they go. Ten per-cent of the income generated from the collection will also go to the RNLI Trust to purchase vital lifesaving equipment and to help train volunteer crews.
Stromness is a town shaped by the sea and has a rich maritime heritage. Zoe drew on these factors during the design phase. ‘I tried to emphasise the sea’s pure swirling power and then contrast that with the sturdy, tough lifeboat,’ she said. ‘Many people in Orkney depend on the sea for work, transport and leisure, so it’s hard not to be inspired by the work the RNLI volunteers do.’
The majority of the Saltaire collection is made from sterling silver and brass. Some of the pieces also feature gemstones, including a deep London Blue Topaz and the 'Fire Opal', a symbol of courage, which also represents the bright colours of the current Stromness lifeboat.
The launch of the fundraising collection comes at time when the town is marking its history as part of the ‘Per Mare’ celebrations. The name is derived from the town’s motto, meaning ‘By the Sea’, and events throughout the summer will highlight the connection between Stromness and the waters that surround it.
For Zoe, the project has a personal significance too. ‘I am part of a family of scuba divers and we go sailing, fishing and snorkelling around Orkney on a regular basis,’ she said. ‘My mum was also involved in a boat sinking at sea when we lived in South East Asia, so knowing that there are skilled volunteers with the RNLI ready to head out to save lives is very comforting.’
The Saltaire collection will be officially launched at the Stromness RNLI Station on the 23rd of June and will be available to buy from the Zoe Davidson Jewellery website, Zoe’s workshop in Stromness and from the Artworks of the Earth shop in the town.