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As many of you know I make my gorgeous silver in my little studio at home. Living in the country is a joy and my husband and I have been luck enough to have this wonderful, refreshing way of life for the past 50 years or so!!! Yes - I am so, so old now.

My background is as a horse rider. For 30 years I taught, rode, competed, judged and was immersed in organising dressage shows, training etc. I retired from the horsey side of life (actually I am still a 'listed' dressage judge) but although there are no more horses to cope with at home, I have my dogs. (Actually, I rather think they have me!)

Working from my home based studio could be a little lonely. Fortunately this is absolutely not the case for me. I have unlimited help, advice and companionship from my faithful followers.... Dazzle and Bindy are generally to be found with me under my workbench.

But joking aside, we should never undervalue the impact that our pets have on our lives. I work for Great Ormond Street on a service called the 'Child Death Helpline'. It is a service available to anyone who has lost a child, (of any age, prenatal, child or adult). People, often in incredible distress at the loss of their child, phone and can unload, chat to, and be supported by someone who is not going to say something daft like well, you could have another baby. Why not buy a puppy. At least she was with you for a few years, etc, etc, etc. When we lost our last lab (put down at home, on my lap) the vet left a little condolence card. Amongst other suggestions, Cruise (the bereavement helpline) was signposted It surprised me as Cruise is primarily involved in human bereavement. Really heart warming to know that losing a dog can be totally heart breaking and (almost) up there with losing a child. Our pets are family members. They don't judge or answer back. They simply love you.

The old joke about who loves you most, your wife or your dog?

Drive wife and dog out into the country.

Lock them in the boot of the car for three hours.

On your return, which one is truly joyful to see you?

My labs are central to how I trundle through life. My family, work, dogs keep me sane and happy, as do meeting all the lovely customers who come and buy my 'stuff' at the various exhibitions I attend around the country.

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