Well, the beginning seems a sensible place to start...
I grew up in the Cotswolds (in the UK) and lived in a rural little village and had a wonderful childhood, learning about plants, animals, the environment and anything & everything else I could cram into my little head! This fantastic upbringing really set me up for my life with a love and respect for the environment, which has fed into practically every aspect of my life.
When I was 16 and went to college I discovered Photography in my second year and fell in love... this became my passion, which led me to an Art Foundation Year after completing college, specialising in Photography. A trip to Krakow (Poland) in the middle of winter and experimenting and working for hours on end in the darkroom with toners & all sorts of chemicals, and trying out anything and everything with the support and encouragement of superb tutors resulted in one of the most exciting and creative years of my life so far.
This in turn inspired me to move to Cornwall to study a BA degree in Photography at UCF (University College Falmouth) - then the MA postgraduate degree, which really helped cement my practice and theory [and get me in a bit more debt! ;)].
As a practical soul, I knew I needed a regular job, and largely by chance ended up getting a job in a local picture framers, which I loved. After a while I became a specialist framer, doing all the fiddly or delicate jobs... some of my favourite jobs were heirlooms from a favourite aunt/granny, a collection of old army medals that belonged to someone's Granddad, and very old & valuable artworks (my most memorable ones were by Dame Laura Knight and Charles Napier Hemy). Amazing things to be involved in!
My next venture took me to where I am today... I saw an opportunity to work full-time in a local and well respected art gallery and jumped at the chance - I have become their Gallery Supervisor, and am constantly surrounded by incredible artworks and locally made jewellery & ceramics. We are constantly putting up new exhibitions so it's a very dynamic place to work.
It is over these last few years that I have started to take my jewellery-making more seriously - I have always been making craft work - cards, jewellery, textiles etc since I was little, and mainly made jewellery as I got older, but it was when I discovered Gemstone beads that I got really passionate about it - and I haven't looked back since.
I now sell my jewellery at the gallery where I work (Beside The Wave Gallery http://www.beside-the-wave.co.uk/) in Falmouth, The Picture House Gallery (http://www.picturehousegalleries.co.uk/) in Padstow, and also through online stores Folksy (http://folksy.com/shops/catwhitworth), Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/CatkinsDesigns) and Two Red Trees (http://tworedtrees.co.uk/) - a new website to promote hand-crafted items in Cornwall.
So that's me really... I love living in Cornwall, working with artists and artworks, taking photographs & making jewellery from beautiful natural gemstones... its all very rewarding and keeps me busy - I can't stand having nothing to do! (Can you tell?!)
...and now I've decided to write a blog... I must be mad!