Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland silversmith Lesley Brown dazzles on festive TV show

Lesley Brown’s winning silver wreath which was featured on Kirstie’s handmade Christmas
Lesley Brown’s winning silver wreath which was featured on Kirstie’s handmade Christmas
Sarah Tulloch

By Sarah Tulloch

A crafty Northern Ireland silversmith has created the "most marvellous Christmas wreath in the land" entirely out of sterling silver.

Appearing on Channel 4's Kirstie's Handmade Christmas, Lesley Brown from Lisburn produced an extravagant wreath featuring intricate roses and winter berries in just six hours.

The show sees arts and crafters compete to win one of presenter Kirstie Allsopp's handmade trophies.

"I have absolutely no idea what possessed me to apply because it was a lengthy application form," said Lesley, who lives outside Glasgow with her husband Adam and three-year-old son, Orran.

"I've been in really bad health the last while so I think, for me, doing something like this was like the end of a really rubbish few years."

The 36-year-old's inspiration for the wreath came from a piece she had created for her silver jewellery business, Silbr.

A client had commissioned a necklace with three large roses and two smaller flowers which took two weeks to complete in between her part-time job as an NHS obstetric sonographer and caring for her toddler. She said: "For some reason the wreath competition caught my eye and I thought about the necklace I made for that lady and I just thought, 'Do you know something, that would make a really nice Christmas wreath'."

Lesley had her reservations about taking part in the six-hour competition as she still lives with severe pain after having previously suffered two slipped discs in her neck.

"I'm on quite a bit of medication and I have to be very careful with that, but I altered between many different techniques so I was able to keep going without too much pain."

Her design was up against three others, including an intricately carved wooden wreath and a woodland themed decoration finished with detailed pyrography (the freehand art of decorating wood with burn marks).

The show's esteemed judge, knitwear designer Katie Jones, assessed the four entries on their originality, design, skill, and festive spirit before deeming Lesley's winning wreath "a contemporary take at Christmas".

Kirstie's Handmade Christmas airs weekdays at 5pm until December 13 on Channel 4.

More of Lesley's designs can be seen at www.silbr.com

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