A STRESS-relief toy called the ‘fidget spinner’ has taken school playgrounds by storm in recent months, dominating the Amazon bestseller lists and attracting the ire of teachers across the UK.
While much has been made of the fidget spinner’s mainstream popularity (stores are struggling to keep up with demand and trick videos attract millions views on YouTube), it
was initially conceived as a tool for children with ADHD to release nervous energy and cope with anxiety.
Now one designer has developed a version for adults, using her own experience
with anxiety to craft a collection of sleek and sophisticated jewellery that has been ergonomically designed for fidgety fingers to relieve stress.
‘Cure for the Itch’, Charlotte Garnett’s range of pocket pebbles and fiddle sticks, is available as part of online design hub Fioray’s new collection of products designed with stress release in mind.
The collection was curated in partnership with East London arts charity Arts for All, which offers creative therapy sessions to help people beat stress and build confidence through artistic endeavours. A portion of profits from the sales will be donated to the charity.
Alongside ‘Cure for the Itch’ are April Black’s calming, nature-inspired hand-turned wooden vessels inspired by her work with Scottish mental health group Greenbuds, and Annmarie Ruscoe’s porcelain figures that combines neuroscience and ceramics to depict the beauty within a person, despite having a chaotically imbalanced mind.
Charlotte says she was inspired to create helpful solutions for some of the habits formed through mental illness to help try to break the stigmas surrounding the subject that she had experienced first-hand before seeking solace through artistic expression at school.
“The truth is that despite it’s prevalence, many people aren’t willing to accept this side of themselves for fear of being labelled as inferior, and are unlikely to seek help or speak about it publicly,” she says.
“Whether struggling with severe anxious disorders or dealing with the stresses of everyday life, the majority of us have developed natural, in-built coping mechanisms, many of which we utilise on a daily basis without even noticing.
“I spent my final year observing and analysing these behaviours, in others and myself, with the aim of creating something sincere, something useful and most importantly, something still aesthetically desirable.”
Charlotte drew inspiration from religious and meditative tools such as worry/prayer beads and boading balls, but wanted to bring their form and function into the 21st century.
Among the designs is an 18ct gold plated brass cigarette style packet brooch containing fiddling sticks of ebony, brass and ash-filled resin, and an ebony ring with a spinning gold top designed to satisfy urges (pictured).
“Cure For The Itch focuses on making a difficult part of our psyches easier to live with, whether you identify as ill or not,” she says.
“I handmake each and every piece to create jewellery that is not just useful, but also stylish, elegant and luxurious to use with pride.”