Growing up on her family’s smallholding, surrounded by livestock and taking part in a variety of country pursuits, Jasmine King wanted to combine her two loves, art and the countryside.
Using feathers collected from the chickens and ornamental peacocks at the smallholding, as well as dried flowers and foliage, she conjures up a range of one-of-a-kind accessories, from hatpins, brooches and earrings to wreaths, picture frames, bow ties and fascinators.
We spoke to Jasmine about her rural creations at Thistles Studio.
What inspires you to create new products?
I absolutely love creating new products, and I’m inspired by the fact that no two feathers are the same! Lots of my feather hatpins/brooches are one of a kind, as I use feathers that are normally quite hard to find in large quantities. I enjoy combining feathers together to create a unique piece.
Where do you get your materials?
I collect lots of individual feathers from the chickens, peacocks, guinea fowl and ornamental pheasants kept on our smallholding. I tend to get a huge variety of feathers from all of these magnificent birds. Lots of the feathers I use to make my wreaths are sourced from a local game shoot. These feathers would otherwise go to waste and I love the fact I can make something beautiful out of them to be enjoyed by all.
When working with my dried flower wreaths, I love to dry as many different flowers as possible. I am always looking out for new flowers and foliage to try out and dry. Many of my wreath bases have also been made by hand using natural materials such as honeysuckle and willow!
The fact most of my materials are natural, and I can find the majority of them in the countryside, is amazing.
What are your most popular products?
I sell many different products throughout the year. In the spring and summer, I find there is a spike in sales of feather bow ties and handmade flower fascinators. These products are mainly being sent to people who are attending weddings or young farmers’ balls.
As well as this, I send many dried and artificial flower wreaths out in the post around this time. They are the perfect home accessory to add a bit summer into any home. Come autumn and winter, I find lots of my items are brought as gifts. My feather wreaths, earrings and hatpins are most the popular as they make wonderful gifts.
What do you most enjoy about your work?
What I enjoy most about running Thistles Studio is knowing that the customers who have purchased are as happy with their products as I was making them! I look forward to getting in my studio each morning to create something new and unique. I love sharing my ideas and products on my social media platforms and engaging with my very supportive community of followers. Knowing I have a day of crafting ahead of me, is one thing that makes me very happy!
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