Charmian Harris was born in Bath, Somerset in 1953 and spent much of her early childhood in Nigeria, returning to England aged 9 when her family settled in Cambridge. She trained initially in ceramics at Cambridge School of Art, later specialising in ceramics at the West Surrey School of Art, Farnham under Henry Hammond and Paul Barron. During this period Charmian took part in jewellery classes with Jacqueline Mina.
After leaving Farnham, Charmian went to work for Clive Bowen at the Shebbear Pottery in Devon where she helped to build his large woodfired kiln. It was here that she met her future husband, Nick Chapman, who was also working there at the time.
With two small children to look after, Charmian's ceramic production declined and gradually her interest in metalwork took hold. She uses techniques that are largely self-taught, always simple and which give importance to the design, colour and texture of the materials.
Charmian works in different carats and colours of gold, silver and semiprecious stones. She often fuses the metal before use, giving it a texture and softness that she enjoys. She uses charcoal blocks to cast the shanks of rings and to make the solid gold and silver beads which she uses as components in necklaces. Charmian uses hand tools and very simple equipment. Each piece is individually made.
She cuts and shapes her own stones, when necessary, using a diamond saw and carborundum wheels. Her stones come from all over world sometimes she travels to choose them herself, otherwise she buys them from collectors, dealers and, in the case of Australian Opals, from the miners themselves.Influences:
· Early Greek and Roman jewellery
· Egyptian jewellery
· Pre-Columbian gold
Previous exhibitions include: