DIAMONDS that appear to float in mid-air and gemstones set in seed pods are among the innovative jewellery designs that have secured Chorleywood resident Stacey Whale a place at the glittering UK Jewellery Awards ceremony being held in July. Stacey is one of ten finalists shortlisted for the prestigious Jewellery Designer of The Year award.

Having lived in London for the past eight years, Stacey moved to Chorleywood last November.

"I needed some nature," explains Stacey. "I go on a lot of walks by streams in farmland and on public bridleways to get away from it all. I sit in the fields and lie down and do roly polys and look at the flowers. I really like to look at the small things and get in touch with nature. My back yard has beautiful flowers in it and once they've bloomed and died I'll look at what they've left behind."

A native of New Zealand, Stacey did a foundation course in textile design on leaving school and then worked as a banker. She went on to do a visual art and design course at Whitireia Polytechnic in Porirua, Wellington where she learned many disciplines such as papermaking, photography, textiles, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, painting, stone carving, jewellery techniques, fabrication and design.

Her Natural Instinct range has been inspired by the flora of her homeland and she is now looking at plants in England to further her work, which combines gemstones with flower and seed pods. Her other ranges also focus on minute details and patterns that might otherwise be overlooked.

"I look at small details on buildings such as grilles, drains and grates on the ground. I see patterns everywhere and take photos of all those things and enlarge them. My work with surface patterns goes back to my study of textile design. I am repetitious in my designs. I like it for balance and harmony."

Stacey tells me her attention to detail was what helped her to scoop four prizes in the Goldsmiths Craftsmanship & Design Awards 2007 including the gold award for technological innovation and a special award for the gem, which won her a one-year diamond scholarship - a practical diamond grading course at The Gemmological Association of Great Britain.

The piece which won her the technical innovation award has a loose diamond at its centre that appears to float.

"I first began using magnifying lenses and spheres in my jewellery after becoming obsessed with objects or beautiful patterns and textures found in the environment, or seen only by looking through a microscope. I started by sealing loose objects, precious or non-precious, meaningful or for purely aesthetic reasons, under a magnifying lens to entice others to become intrigued by what they saw. I started wearing it and so many people said wow, what's that?' that I had to take it off to show it to them. It's like liquid and looks like it's floating. People are quite mesmersied by it."

Stacey will be showcasing her latest collections at the Coutts London Jewellery Week. The first show, Brilliance, is at Craft Central, St Johns Square, Clerkenwell, east London from Wednesday, June 11 to Saturday, June 14 and the second is part of the Young Upstarts show organised by Nicholas James on Thursday, June 12 at 16-18 Hatton Garden.