I haven't always been particularly interested in jewellery design, but have always had an interest in arts & crafts. My masters is in Liberal Arts specialising in Environmental Studies, which had some creative elements to it. Between graduating and having my children I had a variety of jobs, none of which were in the creative industries. However recently when looking through old school work I happened upon my Standard Grade Art assignment which I had completely forgotten about...it was designing a jewellery collection inspired by sea life/shoreline finds.
Did you teach yourself how to make the pieces or did you do a course?
I'm entirely self taught when it comes to jewellery making. There is a wealth of information out there in books and online and then it's just practice, practice and more practice!
As quickly as I can! I'm very impatient once I have an idea and hate having to wait for materials or tools to arrive for example. Some items are quite quick to put together whilst others take considerably more time to make up. I'm learning to be more patient as I go. I always have lots of ideas but unfortunately my imagination works quicker than my hands.
Do you sketch your designs before making them?
Some of my designs are sketched first but more often than not I just have an idea in mind and start making...my pieces evolve as I work.
What inspires your designs?
My designs are inspired by my love of the world around me. There is so much beauty to be found in nature. Living so close to the coast it was inevitable that it would play a large part in inspiring my work. I also tend to make a fair bit inspired by Scotland and it's landscape, flora, fauna and culture. Another source of ideas are my customers, particularly face to face at stalls where they suggest ideas I may not otherwise have considered. For this reason I also love working on commissions as I enjoy the challenge and find I can push the boundaries of what I have previously considered to be doable.
I'd say go for it, but be prepared to work hard as there are a lot of people out there doing it and trying to sell in a fairly saturated market. It's hard to get seen. Also it costs an awful lot set yourself up with all the tools and equipment you need. A short course would probably be the best way to dip your toe in the water if you can find one nearby.
What do you love most about Scotland?
I love the landscape, I love to be out in it and if for some reason I'm not for a few days I definitely notice a dip in my mood. Scotland has been my home for 30 years now and I am so grateful that it has given me a wonderful husband and my beautiful children.
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