Published on October 4th, 2019 | by Alastair Gilmour0
Wear your beer with pride
A North Tyneside woman has discovered a way for beer lovers to display their devotion to a brand while looking stylish. Clare Moore’s Brewery Jewellery is also great for initiating conversation.
Clare fashions every style of jewellery imaginable – pendants, earrings, badges, brooches, cufflinks and rings – out of beer cans and bottle labels from her home in Seaton Burn. It’s more of a hobby for now but it’s going so well she’s expecting it to become a full-time business.
“The irony of it all is I don’t drink,” says Clare. “I have mental health issues. It’s something I don’t shy away from saying and anyway I have a daily cocktail of drugs that would play havoc if I had a drink.
“The idea for jewellery started with me going with my partner Ian to Hop Secret at Coppers in Brunton Park (Gosforth, Newcastle). He and his friends would be drinking out of cans with beautiful labelling while I was drinking coffee.
“I got thinking about all the artistic effort that has gone into them just going in the bin – the very thing that attracts you to drinking the beer in the first place seems to be the least appreciated.
“I peeled off a couple of labels and started wondering about what I could do with them. Then got the idea of making jewellery. I started doing it last September, so it’s been a year now and it’s going really well.
“You’ve no idea how much jewellery is being bought by women who didn’t know what craft beer was – but they just like the art.”
Clare put a display of her work in Coppers and took samples to craft fairs. She set up an Instagram page which also gathered a lot of attention and took her wares to last year’s Christmas Fair at Tyne Bank Brewery in Newcastle (despite one of her conditions being agoraphobia which leaves her suffering from huge anxiety and panic attacks).
She previously worked in adult education, mentoring and supporting the long-term unemployed and those with few skills. She was able to identify with people, like herself, who had debilitating mental health issues, but that became too stressful for her and she needed something more calming to work on.
She says: “’The Fear’ takes over and paralyses you. It’s infuriating. Ian comes with me to all the fairs and beer festivals because I couldn’t do them on my own. I even have to stand with my back to the wall. Sometimes it’s all about how my head’s working that day.”
Clare has developed an encyclopedic knowledge of beer styles, breweries, artwork and designers. From tiny earring samples she can rattle off the name of the brewery, the head brewer and the artist who created some of the astonishing work.
“The artists and breweries have been brilliant and don’t mind me at all using their work,” she says. “In fact, they really encourage it. Lee Renforth at Brinkburn St Brewery has also been a great supporter and invited me to take a stall at one of their beer festivals.
“Steam Machine have some of the most devoted supporters, they come and buy a lot.”
Clare works with labels from breweries as diverse as Magic Rock, Credence, Wylam, Anarchy, Errant and Hawkshead. A growing list of outlets she supplies includes CentrAle, Coppers, Flash House Brewery and the Dog & Rabbit micropub. Her tools are scissors, tape, rulers, glue, brushes and an assortment of variously-shaped templates – circles, ovals, squares and rectangles – which she uses nimbly to identify appropriate pieces of artwork to create her jewellery.
“It depends on how you manipulate the template to see how best it looks,” she says. “Sometimes a geometric shape looks better in a circle than in a square. The labels from a Stu Brew and Flash House collaboration gave me so many ideas to play with, while Anarchy even said it was OK for me to use their logo on pieces – and Twice Brewed Brewery love my work. Verdant Flight Of The Falcon is my favourite label ever. Every article is unique, you couldn’t ever duplicate it, so everybbody is getting something different.
“This is my way of appreciating the design that someone has created to put on a beer can. And because he helps me set up my stall, Ian gets in free to beer festivals…”
*For further details and Clare Moore’s invaluable advice on mental health from her perspective, visit www.breweryjewellery.com