One Year On
Posted on 28 Feb 07:00
A year has gone by since Diana’s passing, and we wanted to celebrate her life on this anniversary with a series of personal memories. We wanted to explore some of the smaller stories and details about Diana, so we asked our social media community to send us some of their own. Favourite moments from the people she met and the paths that crossed.
Back in January 2016, our lovely local Big Issue Seller Jack came in the visit Diana with his partner to discuss options for their wedding rings. Diana often bought the big issue from him on Park Street and so decided to give them their wedding rings for free. Diana often made small gestures like this for people and her words and kind nature often left a lasting impact on people. One of our favourite such stories comes from Millie:
“We bought my first sibyl from Diana when we were going through IVF. Diana was so kind and gentle with us, as we left she wished us well and said, “you'll have to come back when your baby is born and get a Sibyl with their name on”. Four years later, my husband went back to Diana. Told her the news that “my wife had a baby boy, Evan. Can you make a sibyl with his name?” She did, and Diana sent it to me with a handwritten note.
What Diana didn't ever know is those few words kept me going in the dark days. We had 4 failed attempts and every time I would remember her saying... “come back”. Whether she really believed it would work for us or not, I don't know? but she made me believe it would and I held on to it until our son was born. The magic power of the sibyl.
Strong and Evan were joined by loved on my first mothers-day. A trio. I wear my sibyls everyday - I'm a spiritual person and I honestly believe they bring a sense of calm and power. They are my most precious piece of jewellery and I'm always complimented on them across the world.”
The Diana Porter Jewellery Gallery first emerged in Cotham Hill with a vision to create a gallery featuring the best contemporary jewellery designers from around the world. Diana has always taken a special interest in promoting the work of woman designers in a largely male lead environment and as a long-time advocate for women’s equality, Diana has organised women’s festivals and attended protests campaigning for women’s rights throughout her life. She built her business upon this ethos; ensuring her team were always paid above the national living wage and donating a portion of profits from the sales of her iconic Sibyls to Bristol charity Women’s Aid.
One of Diana’s favourite things to do was to design bespoke jewellery. She thrived in the consultation process which often felt like a warm chat with a friend. Exploring the different options, reworking heirloom treasure and working together to design something sentimental.
Another story comes from Julie and highlights this process beautifully:
"My daughter Grace and I visited the store on Park Street and met with Diana. She was lovely and understood the sentimental value these rings would have. One each for Grace and I to be made from my Nans 3 diamond engagement ring and my old engagement ring and some old gold plus money from Graces uncle who passed away. The result was 2 beautiful rings that we were so pleased with. An emotional, personal journey perfectly understood by Diana and executed with warmth and compassion. We still talk about our visit with fond memories."
"All of my pieces evoke memories. My first few pieces were for my 40th birthday, my children had been saving their paper round money and my husband had been squirreling away money. We all went together and chose some Sibyls and a spinning ring. To meet Diana was literally so special and she was so patient showing me how her Sibyls were made. Because of Diana and her starting her jewellery journey later in life it's what made me start making jewellery. She was my inspiration."
Many of our current stockists have bought and sold Diana's work since the beginning. Some she met on the early jewellery shows and forming genuine friendships over the years between both teams. Sarah at Gill Wing had this to say about Diana:
“I have loved working with Di selling and buying her amazing creations and still miss hearing her amazing sultry voice on the gallery answer machine! She truly found her soul purpose, through her creativity and her values has helped so many other creatives on their journey. I first met her in the early 2000’s and she struck me as a force to be reckoned with!”