Esther - the face behind the name

Hello, it is me that designs and makes all the jewellery you see here.  I absolutely love working with silver and mainly use silver clay as it allows me to easily incorporate my love of nature into my work .  I also do everything else needed to keep a small business and website running.

Have a look around and find out more about the jewellery making process and the inspiration behind the designs  

Esther Priestley 

My Story

Making silver jewellery hasn’t always been my job.  For 17 years I was a primary school teacher in a small village school.  In fact, as a child that was all I wanted to do. But life doesn't always go as we plan it!

In my late 30's I was widowed young and the sadness and trauma of my husband's sudden death had an impact on my ME/CFS. Previously, with his support, I had just about got back to full time teaching again, following my diagnosis a few years earlier but on my own, I was struggling to manage my hours.  So after a lot of thought I handed in my notice - deciding to have some time out to grieve and allow my body to heal..

I was always interested in the world around me but having chronic fatigue meant I turned to nature even more.  Just sitting and drawing the landscape or photographing flowers stopped me focussing on what I couldn't do and instead to concentrate on the moment and enjoy the beauty of creation.  

Living in the hills above Sowerby Bridge means that even on days when I have little energy to explore or walk far I am still surrounded by stunning views from each window and I love to watch the birds in the garden.

Moonlit Mountains - one of the pieces I created as part of my certification in Precious Metal Clay
Moonlight Mountains - by Esther Priestley
Silver Oak Leaf - made by coating a real leaf in layers of silver clay before firing in a kiln

Starting my own business

Wanting to still keep busy whilst out of work I enrolled on an open university course in Environmental Studies and did a few local art workshops, including a taster in silver clay.  I was hooked - so got myself a kiln and all the tools I would need. to make jewellery at home.  I have gone on to specialise in using silver clay, achieving an Extended Certification in Precious Metal Clay by completing three modules - Naturals, High Finish & Innovative Design.

Knowing I could always fall back on teaching if I didn't succeed, I set up Esther Priestley Silver Jewellery in order to showcase my work, and see if I could sell some of my creations.  Using my name keeps a link to my late husband. and I think he’d be both amazed and proud of what I now do.

I blog and post on social media - follow my pages if you want to find out more about me, the designs I am working on or the process of using silver clay to make jewellery.

Nestled in the hills above Sowerby Bridge I am lucky to have views like this on my doorstep