WHEN Kerrie Masters goes out metal detecting she never knows what she is going to find. 

But for the secondary school supply teacher that is the thrill of it. 

Her business Art By Kerrie sees her turn historical pieces discovered while metal detecting into jewellery.

After every find, and before injecting new life into the pieces she unearths, Kerrie conducts meticulous research to gain a better insight into an item’s age, maker and story.

The new owner then receives this information on a hand-written card.

Art By Kerrie frequented Colchester markets and is now stocking Colchester Castle and Essex Wildlife Trust with its unique, historic, and eco-friendly designs.

Kerrie started Art By Kerrie a year and a half ago and is working alongside running her business.

Her ethos is to combine art, creativity, and eco-friendliness with her love of history.

Gazette: History- Kerrie researches every piece she finds and includes a note on its history for her customers. History- Kerrie researches every piece she finds and includes a note on its history for her customers. (Image: Kerrie Masters)

Kerrie said: “My nan helped me discover my love of history. When I was young, she would take me to London for day trips, and I remember as we walked down one staircase in an old building with lots of beams she said, ‘Imagine who walked here before you.’

“I was imagining all the people in their finery and big dresses walking down that same staircase, and it gave me goosebumps.”

Kerrie was able to explore her passion in lockdown, which gave her the opportunity to search for pieces of history with every walk she went on.

She said: “I would find things and want to keep them with me, because I knew I was probably the first person to touch it in years and years, and I wanted to be able to give it another use. Otherwise, it’s just lost to time.”

She added: “These are all pieces of our history and it's worth giving them another chapter and another story.”

Gazette: Ancient- Kerrie finds the ancient objects herself before using them to make her products. Ancient- Kerrie finds the ancient objects herself before using them to make her products. (Image: Kerrie Masters)

One of the best things Kerrie ever found was a roman pot base, which was still indented with the original potter’s finger marks on the outside.

“Every single piece is something that I research,” Kerrie said. “I find what I can and then bring the pieces home, and whether its medieval, Roman, Victorian, even Georgian, I do my research.”

Kerrie particularly enjoys making pendants and working with Roman pieces “just because they’re so old.”

She also offers commissions where she creates pieces based on customers’ requests.

“I take so much pleasure in making the jewellery myself,” Kerrie said.  

“With my jewellery, you get the history, but you also get the story about where it was found, how old it is, sometimes who made it, so it’s more personal.”

In June last year, Kerrie won a Small Business Sunday award, which saw her attend a networking event where Stacey Solomon spoke about her own small business and ventures.

“It was really inspiring,” Kerrie said.

“Following that I feel like I’ve gained a bit of confidence, it’s spurred me on a bit to feel like I can do this, especially in taking the leap.

“I think I’m getting better at it and if I don’t do it, I can’t really teach my son to go for the stars and go for his goals if I’m not doing the same.”

Kerrie heard from Colchester Castle it was "especially excited" to have her products.

The Essex Wildlife Trust were also keen to have her in their stores, and have plans to expand beyond the three stores Kerrie’s work is currently stocked in.

Kerrie said: “Because it’s so eco-friendly, and I’m cleaning up the environment with everything being from the soil around us, they said they’d love to have me.

“It’s about giving something that is lost in time another chapter, while cleaning up the environment.”

For more information and to see Kerrie’s work, visit: https://www.artbykerrie.co.uk