How did you get started as a designer-maker and is it a full time job?
As long as I remember I’ve always liked creating things with my hands. First, it was knitting, crocheting, then sewing and painting. However, I found my real passion in jewellery making. I discovered that while traveling in India and Nepal. I was fascinated by all the beautiful stones, amazing jewellery and by people making it, very often on the streets. When I returned to London, I enrolled on a jewellery course which I really enjoyed. After I finished my course, I set up my own business Kaila Jewellery. Jewellery making is currently my part-time job as I have a daughter, and fit my work in around school hours.
Talk us through your collection.
My collection offers a range of earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets designed and handcrafted by me with care and attention to detail. Geometrical and organic shapes, texture of the metal, granulation and semi-precious stones are prominent features in my collection. All my pieces are made by hand, using traditional and contemporary metal-smithing techniques. I work principally in silver, but I like using other materials such as gold, copper and brass. My jewellery is designed to appeal to all tastes and to be worn everyday.
Tell us about your practice and making process.
When I have an idea for a new piece of jewellery I try to jot it down in my sketchbook. Then I make a lot of sketches, and once I am satisfied with the design, I begin the process of forming, cutting and joining the metal. Depending on the design, I might set a stone, texture the metal or oxidize it. Sometimes my finished piece looks completely different from the original idea. Quite often I start making a pendant and then end up with earrings. Jewellery making is very time-consuming, but as I really enjoy doing this, it rarely feels like a job to me.
Do you have any tools unique to you ?
I usually use professional jewellery tools, but I like experimenting with kitchen utensils which I find very useful for texturing the metal. In my collection of unique tools, I also have crochet hooks and dental probes which I use for working with wax.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
Inspiration for the pieces I make, comes from many sources: nature, everyday objects, music, architecture. I am fascinated by texture, patterns, shapes and colours.
How do you manage your time between making and the other commitments in your life?
I try to fit in my work around being a mum to my daughter. In the morning, I take her to school. Then I work until it is time to pick her up. Through the day, I check my e-mails and orders and in the evening I spend some time on my online shops: new listings, photography, promotion.
Who’s your favourite maker on Folksy?
There are so many talented makers on Folksy, but I think Julia Driftwood’s Furniture absolutely attracted my attention.
Do you have a craft hero?
My grandmother, as she had a passion for crafts and loved making things by hand. She inspired me to want to create.
Do you have one great tip for other makers?
Take great photos and include a detailed close-up and pictures taken from different angles. Be as informative as possible in your product descriptions. Your customers will feel more confident about buying from you if they have more information.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself doing the same job as I am doing now but on a larger scale, being still healthy and happy.
All of Kaska’s work can be found in her Folksy shop Kaila Jewellery.