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Meet the artist

Cressida Mason-Hornby (nee Reid)  is a self-confessed bead addict who, from the age of 9 started collecting beads; traveling with her family from Sussex to the Covent Garden Bead Shop, an Aladdin’s cave of gems for a young impressionable girl.


At school in Kent she would augment her tuck money by making and selling seed bead necklaces to her friends until the games mistress curtailed her ‘thriving business’ when school uniform more often than not included a Reid necklace.


Following a career in Interior design Cressida moved to Cumbria with a young family and set up Reid & Mason designing and making bespoke semi-precious jewellery, and so the bead collection expanded. Moving on another 18 years and at the start of the first UK lockdown in March 2020 she learnt the skill of bead embroidery.


The Morse Code element of her beading came to her one day whilst stumbling across letters written by her grandmother in a code they sometimes used to correspond. She was transported back to school and remembered the elation of receiving ‘secret’ letters to decipher and the fun her own children had from learning and using the same code. Secret messages hold a magical and personal element to them. Cressida believed she could combine love of beads and codes to make wonderful jewelled artworks for generations to treasure. She taught herself International Morse Code and her idea resulted in these unique pieces of work that can be admired by everyone but understood by only a select few.

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