I have a slight addiction to craft and style blogs and have just discovered Pinterest, I think I may need help. When willl there be a 12 step programme for blog addicts!
1. I have a degree in metalwork and textiles
2. favourite food is aubergine
3. My favourite places to visit have been New York City and Vietnam
4. I think Bill Hicks would have been a cool president!
What got you started crafting?
I have always made stuff and for as long as I can remember I wanted to go to art school. I got into jewelry on the 3rd year of my degree and have had a studio ever since I graduated.
I have never woken up and thought 'Oh no studio today again!' Making is part of me and something I could never give up.
I just love hand making objects and designing new pieces
What is your source of inspiration?
I am seduced by 40's and 50's design and domestic life. I love retro styles of dress and the make do and mend sensibility of the mid 20th century.
I love the look of vintage tattoos but have shied away from getting one so decided to design a range of jewellery that looked to tattoos and a vintage style without being too kitsch. Don't get me wrong I love a pink plastic flamingo as much as the next trailer owner (I have a 1961 Airstream) but I think jewellery should be made for keeping.
What have you made recently?
'Hey Girl, You Got Wings' silver necklace.
I love this piece and really I made it for me. Ever since I was little I wanted to learn to fly and I thing air travel had a real romantic quality (not now, but once upon a time)
This piece looked to the war and those unsung women who flew for the US and UK army.
'Make like Nancy Love the WWII female pilot and wear your wings with pride! A pair of wings feature 3 stars flitting across the middle.'
All pieces are scribed onto a sheet of metal and then cut using a piercing saw. The shapes are refined with files and sand papers and then the small star elements are soldered to the wings. Oxides are then cleaned off the surface by imersing in a warm safety pickle. Attachments are added and the handmade pendant is attached to a silver chain, voila, your own set of wings!
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
Bluebird Jewellery is a new collection and a new venture for me and I am selling on Etsy. Previously my work sold in galleries and shops so selling direct to customers is new. This is a steep learning curve for me but I am enjoying the challenge of getting the work seen. It means the cost of hand made, labour intensive work can be kept a little lower so shop commission is cut out!
People don't always realise how time consuming hand made items are and as a professional jeweller I take pride in producing beautifully designed and made pieces of future heirloom jewellery.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
Handmade has integrity, quality and a history. Some handmade products you buy have been made in the same way for generations and maybe hundreds of years. The skill the maker brings to the piece represents hundreds of hours of practice and learning and the item is filled with the passion that artist has for there work.
Why would you not buy handmade where you can!