A profile of Delia Ash.
I have always been inspired by women who create their own path and don’t follow the crowd. My jewellery is designed with these values in mind; to be worn and enjoyed every day - and to become a part of who you are and what you want to say about yourself.
This is a profile of my wonderful mother. She is a total one off and it goes without saying that she has had an enormous influence on my life, and is a constant voice of support and encouragement. She has a radiant and uncompromising style, and perfectly embodies my brand.
Delia, or GD as she is known in my family, can be recognised in a crowd usually by her collection of incredible hats. Her iconic French straw hat, pointed at the top with a unique shape and form is a staple of her wardrobe - and a perfect example of her style; French-inspired, unconventionally cut, and perfectly paired with accessories that are usually made by her in the ‘atelier’ room of her Cornish home.
She has never been one to care much about current trends, rather her tastes for what she wears or how she decorates her home are uniquely hers. Her house is full of antiques, bought in generally tired condition in brocante and vide grenier markets in France and lugged over the channel in the back of their Volvo to be repaired by Dad. French antiques and fabrics are her passion, and her taste has certainly rubbed off on me.
She would never admit it, but she is also an incredibly talented artist. All my life I remember her scribbling and sketching on the backs of envelopes and newspapers. After school she would take me to her life drawing classes - and I think that all of my creative endeavours can be traced back to my childhood.
When I settled in Cornwall, married and had my kids, my younger brother Toby followed a few years later. Living in Surrey, and feeling rather far away from the family, my parents decided to relocate to Cornwall too - and bought their rectory in West Cornwall. When they got it, it needed an enormous amount of work - but over the years my mother's eye for interiors, combined with my father’s can-do attitude towards DIY has transformed it.
As well as renovating the house, she has paid equal attention to restoring the once-renowned garden. Collections of rare ferns and succulents fill the borders, the lawn slopes away towards a perfect view of St Michael’s Mount. Typical of GD, she also allows wild areas to flourish. Wild garlic creates a white carpet under the trees in April, and there is a wild-flower meadow dotted with poppies and tulips. Mum also designed her ‘Victorian stumpery’ and installed a beautiful terracotta fountain for my father’s 80th. The magnolias she planted at the foot of the house, have grown to now cover the Cornish granite facade.
I made my first gold piece, a rose gold Stone Drawing Bracelet, for her 60th Birthday - and her collection of my work has grown ever since.
The organic nature of my jewellery fits effortlessly into her outfits and style. I love how she wears the stone drawing bracelet exactly as I designed it; for everyday, gardening, cooking, and drawing. It has become an extension of her personality, a timeless symbol of how creative and fabulous she is. Something that she can wear out to dinner, or with her gardening overalls. It has a stylish and unconventional informality about it, and so does she.
Words by Emily Nixon.