Portrait of Polly
Artist-goldsmith Polly Gasston trained as a goldsmith straight out of school after her A levels and when she graduated from the Sir John Cass college she worked for a short time in Hatton Garden.
Coral and 22ct gold cuff links
Then her life took a turn which moved her away from goldsmithing, and she wouldn't return to the bench for 30 years. In 2007 when, once again, her life changed, Polly unpacked all the tools she had trained with and which she had kept, had a new bench made and started work again.
Tourmaline and 22ct gold ring
"The things I make are a combination of gold and feeling: the gold never alters, but how I feel when I sit down to my bench is never the same from one hour to the next. With one of the two essential ingredients always changing, I find it impossible ever to make two things the same, and now I never try."
22ct gold 'flake' brooch
"The most awe-inspiring fact that I have ever learned is that the gold I use in my work was formed in supernova explosions in the early history of the universe, long before the formation of our solar system, and therefore it is infinitely older than the Earth."
22ct gold Leo sign ring
"I have found that I am one of the very few people in this country, outside the communities from the Indian Subcontinent, who uses 22ct gold exclusively – and because there can't be much call for it, I can only buy it in a few forms"
22ct gold ring and bead earrings
"I buy the bullion I use in my work from a well-known supplier. I use their standard 22ct. alloy, because the colour is consistent, and so are its working properties."
22ct gold vine motif brooch with coral bead
"The combination of gold wire and melted sheet, solid beads, sequins and stones suggests itself to me when I set down to make something. Drawing what I want to happen is simply time wasted – I don't know what I want to happen, and whatever does happen will always be different from the drawing."
22ct gold ring, melted and beaten shank wrapped in wire
"I make things, and then customers decide which one they would like best. All my customers come to know this, and they also know that nobody in the world has one the same."