Made in Jersey
Small artisanal production flourishes in Jersey. Carla Passino looks at some of the island’s most interesting businesses
Small artisanal production flourishes on the island. Carla Passino looks at some of its most interesting businesses
For an island that’s smaller than some London boroughs, Jersey has long had an astonishingly vibrant food and craft scene. A knitting powerhouse in the Middle Ages, it later branched out into what John Garton, chief executive of Genuine Jersey, an association that supports local products, calls ‘the best cows on the planet, the creamiest milk and the Champagne of potatoes’, as well as succulent oysters and Marine Stewardship Council-certified lobsters.
Lately, Jersey has seen a boom in artisanal production, ranging from handmade jewellery to eco-friendly sea salt. Mr Garton puts this down to the fact that the island’s lifestyle gives people time to have a passion ‘and that passion sometimes leads into producing goods’.
It helps that associations such as Genuine Jersey as well as local restaurants, retailers and residents are vocal champions of small producers. ‘There is a good network of people. It’s a really good building block for entrepreneurial activity.’
Lisa Le Brocq
Jersey’s natural resources are the main inspiration behind Lisa Le Brocq’s contemporary jewellery. Hammering away at silver sheets in her St Helier studio, she reproduces the form and texture of the island’s shells, pebbles and flowers in quirky pendants, which she then combines in necklaces, earrings and bangles, creating small snapshots of everyday life in Jersey (07797 783039; www.lisalebrocq.com)
Brothers Charles and Edward Potter began making and selling British-style pottery in 1946, when decorativeware production was banned in the UK, but allowed in Jersey. The Jones family bought the company in the 1950s and the fourth generation is now at the helm. All the designs—from the delicate flowers of the Stellaria collection to the hens in the Wacky Chicken range—are devised on the island (01534 850850; http://jerseypottery.com)
Two passions—pottery and the sea—come together in the work of Jane James. She turns fish, beach huts and coastal birds into striking, handmade ceramics that are painted with special glazes to re-create the gleam of seawater. Many of her ceramics are mounted on pieces of driftwood collected on local beaches (01534 866523; www.jane-james.co.uk)