In conversation with Jess Wheeler
We are delighted to introduce Jess Wheeler. Friend of Wild Beauty. Jess runs a design studio in North Wales, where she works across a variety of disciplines from sculpture to homeware design, which has a unified, nostalgic, nature driven narrative.
Her work aims to remind the viewer the beauty and fragility of our natural world, it is therefore important to Jess that her pieces transcend seasonality and have a conscience.

Her work occupies an interesting space, somewhere between being an artist and a homeware designer. She hand makes brass candle sconces, candelabras and chandeliers, as well a sculptural hanging mobiles and lighting. Everything that comes out of the workshop is unique, all of the leaves are different and are arranged differently on the candle sconces. No one would ever have two of the same thing.
Jess sells her work through her website and a select few retailers around the world, including John Derian in New York, Artilliet in Sweden and Claridge's in London.

Your work is unusual in that it crosses art and homeware – what drew you to mixing the two?
I like the idea that we can consume in a more considered way if we value our homewares as works of art. I’ve always wanted to make pieces which people really treasure. Someone recently described my work as jewellery for the home; this is it, I want to create functional pieces which enhance your day and are loved, cherished and passed down through the generations. For me, making a piece of art which can be useable in the home is am inspiring challenge.

You haven’t always worked in metal – how did this transition come about?
I was a set designer in London for many years primarily creating sets for fashion shoots and shows using organic materials and flowers. Process and materiality had always been the driving forces in what I made; I would compose living sculptures using wood, fabric, soil, wire and grasses; metalwork was left as the itch that still needed scratching.

Moving to rural Wales a few years ago gave me the space and time to explore crafting metal. I spent a few months in the workshop of an incredible local sculptor, Stan Jankowski, who taught me how to solder, bend, cut and construct my designs in brass. I began by making a pair of brass oak leaf candle sconces to go either side of my fire place, they immediately received such a positive response that I decided to create my own workshop, in a barn adjacent to our home on the farm.

You predominantly work in brass and bronze – why did you choose to work with these metals in particular?
Both are naturally such beautiful, versatile materials, you can achieve so many incredible textures and colours using patina’s. I leave all of my brass pieces un lacquered, which means they age really beautiful. I love the physicality of the process of creating my pieces: the flames, the melting, the bending; and ultimately the satisfaction of turning a raw, harsh material into something delicate and considered.

North Wales is your home – what drew you to this area and how does its landscape influence your work?
We moved to North Wales a few years ago. I get inspiration from the landscape where I live; my first collection of brass oak leaf candle sconces were designed using the leaves from the giant ancient oak in the field behind my workshop. I have also recently made a series of cast bronze lights using vegetables grown in the garden, the cabbage is my favourite.

How do you weave sustainability into your work?
Both bronze and brass are incredibly long lasting, completely recyclable, and mostly recycled. I try to make my pieces as timeless as possible, they work equally well in contemporary and more traditional spaces, transcending seasonality and really lasting.
My packaging is all recyclable / compostable, I try to avoid plastic. The wool which the Wild Beauty products is packaged in is incredible, I’m very jealous. We are surrounded by sheep, I’d love to find a way to use their wool in this way. I have worked with the Campaign for Wool, and couldn’t love the material more. It’s horribly underrated as the most incredible natural, sustainable fibre which is so versatile in fashion, interiors and thanks to Rhug, packaging!

How do you find balance in your life?

I do as much walking as I can in the mountains where we live in North Wales. I find balance comes from a mix of hard work, inspirational travel, galleries, walking, and long Wild Beauty scented baths. To be honest, the balance is off at the moment, the lead up to Christmas is manic in my workshop.


What do you love most about Wild Beauty?
The wild foraged ingredients are so fascinating and delicious smelling, it’s so interesting learning about all the healing qualities of the plants which grow wild around us. Living so close to nature in North Wales makes you completely connected with the seasons; what is growing at different times of year. Foraging for mushrooms, edible plants and berries is incredible, and you're always observing and learning.

What does organic beauty mean to you?

It’s about being kind to yourself. If we can, we try to eat healthy and organically. Organic beauty is just as important, what you are putting on your skin goes into your body too, for me it’s as important as eating in a considered way.

What is your wild beauty escape?
I’m so lucky, I feel like where I live in the mountains in North Wales, I’m always on a wild beauty escape! Next on my wish list is to visit Romania and ride across the Carpathian Mountains, through the fir forests, flower filled meadows and mountains.
Jess Wheeler has a new course available at