How long have you been selling on Folksy?
I opened my shop when Folksy started but have only recently started building it up as I am busy studying for my Craft Design Diploma. I love the new look of Folksy.
Tell us about your work?
I use traditional jewellers skills in silver but I also enjoy using colour and unusual materials. In recent years I have worked with everything from leather, paper and textiles to titanium and steel as well as the traditional metals.
My designs are usually geometric with strong lines and curves. I add colour with resin. It is a light, durable plastic and I can carve it, embed designs into it or even mash it!
When did it all begin for you?
Seven years ago I gathered my courage and joined a short course in making silver jewellery at the local college. I was drawn to the alchemy of it and the teaching was wonderful.
How do you keep your work unique?
I work at it. Essentially I am always looking and collecting new ideas. I have a hoard of images of art, design, textiles and jewellery, it all feeds my imagination and gets distilled into my designs
What’s your favourite piece of work?
Well, one piece I wear every day is my Big Round Ring in lipstick red. I think the crisp square edges and minimalist look are very typical of my style. It’s the kind of ring I was looking for but couldn’t find when I first began making jewellery.
Tell us about your work space.
Three years ago I went to the local flower show here in Bath and came home with a workshop. We put it up at the end of the garden and I rapidly filled it with tools and my wonderful bench – made by my husband. It has a view of our little garden and is close to the house – which was important when the children were younger and also means I can adjust my hours and work really late into the night, if I want to.
Describe your day as a maker. Are you organised/disciplined?
I am pretty disciplined when I’m working. Once I get into the rhythm of whatever I’m making then I am in a very happy place. Each piece of jewellery involves a huge number of skills and processes and each stage needs to be finished well or it never looks or feels right in the end. You need to be methodical and a bit of a perfectionist, I guess.
What three tools could you not live without?
My piercing saw, a planishing hammer and my Swiss files are pretty fundamental – they were the first three tools I bought and I still use them everyday.
What gets the creative juices flowing when creativity is stifled?
I have a pile of my own sketchbooks full of references and drawings – not necessarily full designs. They are a wonderful resource built up over several years at college. I visit jewellery and craft exhibitions all over the country and also take time to wander around local galleries and museums.
We are lucky to have quite a choice in Bath, of course, but I recently visited Lace in Birmingham and that was inspirational.
Are you inspired by any artists from the past or present?
I have always been very influenced by sculpture – Naum Gabo, Barbara Hepworth, Anthony Caro mid-century artists and designers such as Ben Nicholson, Terry Frost and more recently Wouter Dam’s beautiful fluid ceramics.
What do you love most about being a maker?
I enjoy the mix of intense, solitary, peaceful creativity in my workshop and the lively face to face marketing at craft fairs and galleries. It’s the best kind of independence.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
I’ve established my business on the web and am very proud to sell worldwide. Over the next few years I hope to develop more local business in galleries and to participate in more exhibitions. It would be wonderful to be able to work full time rather than just 3 days a week.
What would you say to any makers starting out?
Share your work and your processes; it’s a great craft community out there. My clients and fellow makers I’ve met through communities like Folksy have been very supportive, creative, interested and interesting. They’ve taught me a lot.