Tag Archives: interview

Interview with… Dria Hades

Dria is a regular on the Crafteroo forum and likes to dabble with most things that involve a needle!

Who are you and where do you come from?
I’m Talia, and I come from Bristol. These days I live in Crawley, with my lovely boyfriend though!

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
I bake, I watch TV, write to friends, travel back and forth to Bristol, gossip via email, blog, and listen to heavy metal!!

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I mostly make sock creatures, but in the winter I make hats and scarves. I also make button corsage flowers, and I embroider.

What do you enjoy making most?
I think sock creatures. When I’m making one I can see a little personality developing, and they always look so cute when they’re “born”.

What part do you dislike the most?
I don’t like photographing my products much. I need more practice on that, and a decent place to take them. At the moment most of my photos are taken in the garden, and that’s very weather dependent!

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
If I see something pretty (like socks or wool), then I generally want to buy it to make something pretty from. I’m a big sucker for buying pretty socks and wanting to turn them into cute sock animals!

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
I’m really not a big planner. Mostly I’m halfway through cutting up socks, or through a row of knitting before I’ve even decided what something’s going to be!

What are you currently making?
At the moment I’m working on my new project – embroidered underwear!

Do you make custom orders?
If someone wanted me to, I don’t see why I wouldn’t!

Where can we buy your work?
In my Etsy shop – http://www.driahades.etsy.com

Interview with… LEJ Jewellery

lej1 lej2

 LEJ Jewellery is Jo- though I’m not sure what LEJ actually stands for or symbolises- it’s a mystery! I particularly like the combinations of colour that Jo uses in her work as well as her eye for great beads!

lej3 lej4

Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is joanne, i do many craft such as cross stitching, card making, jewellery making and i have recently started glass fusing and knitting. I live in lancashire with my husband and 2 lovely children.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
Spare time? whats that? no seriously i like going for walks and just enjoying the quite.

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I mainly make jewellery, my style is novelty although i do make some fashion pieces too. I love to make something which the chances of someone else having is slim. I have recently sold 2 VW beetle charm bracelets from one of my shops and have had an order for a spider charm bracelet. Plus pigs are always popular.
 
What do you enjoy making most?
I have to say bracelets as they are what i have the most of. I think lampwork beads are my favourite beads at the minute for making them with too.

What part do you dislike the most?
Having to wait until the kids go to bed before i start, i would craft all day if i could. It’ll probably be easier once my youngest starts school next year.

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
Sometimes i’ll see a piece in a magazine which i like ie. colours or style and then i will change it so it is more my piece. I also love fairies and angels and a few of my pieces tend to be designed with that feel.

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
More often than not i will just put all my beads out on the living room floor and go from there, once everything is out i can see what works together and what doesn’t.

What are you currently making?
I am currently making some beaded curtain tiebacks, i have just made a hello kitty set and i am now going to try and make some boy themed ones.

Do you make custom orders?
Yes, i welcome any custom orders.

Where can we buy your work?
My work is available from my website – www.lej-jewellery.co.uk
My misi shops – http://www.misi.co.uk/store_info.php?user_id=467
My folksy shop – http://www.folksy.com/shops/lejjewellery
and my coriandr shop – https://www.coriandr.com/shop?seller_id=435

Interview with… Daisychain Jewellery

 

Jo makes classic and effective silver jewellery, through traditional piercing techniques and also dabbles in silver clay, resulting in some beautifully feminine and organic pieces.

 

Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is Jo Tinley, and I currently live in Southampton. I lived in Leicester before that, and Suffolk and West Sussex too. I’m a jewellery designer and silversmith, and I absolutely love my job! I teach jewellery making and silversmithing too, and write tutorials for my website, my blog (www.daisychaindesignsjewellery.blogspot.com) and for craft magazines.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
We have a 3 year old boy, so he obviously gets most of my non-crafting time. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though, and although from a business point of view the extra time when he goes to school will be welcome, it’ll come as a big shock too. I think I’ll be the one with the separation issues!
I do spend a lot of my ‘free’ time doing other crafts though. I’ve recently renewed my addiction to knitting – 4 pairs of glove, 2 pairs of baby booties and two hats so far this year, and I’ve got a few other patterns lined up waiting for me. I’m very lucky that I come from a family where arts and crafts were always valued and encouraged, and I was taught quite a few crafts at an early age.
And then there’s the work we need to do to our house and garden – it’s a bit of a project too!

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I design and make sterling and fine silver jewellery, and sometimes gold if a commission calls for it. My style tends to be fairly delicate looking, and based on natural shapes and patterns. I use gemstones and designer lampwork beads in my designs too. Some of my pieces are one-offs, either because of the length of time that they take to make or because the materials they’ve used are themselves unique. Other pieces are made-to-order.
As well as the jewellery I sell, I also design pieces for my classes and for tutorials. I run workshops at home – everything from complete beginner’s classes to one-to-one silversmithing tuition – and am about to start teaching a City and Guilds course at my local college.

What do you enjoy making most?
Last week I would have said making bangles as I made quite a few and find the whole process very therapeutic; this week its stone setting as I’ve nearly finished a brooch with an onyx set in the middle, and I’m really pleased with it. It really depends on what I’m working on.

What part of jewellery making do you dislike the most?
The admin – accounts, taxes, the things that no one enjoys but have to be done!

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
Anything and everything that I see around me, from the pattern on a piece of material to the shape of a leaf.

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
Both! I have 3 sketch books – one by my bed (there’s nothing worse than having an idea just as you’re about to drop off to sleep and not having anything to write it down on), one in my bag that goes everywhere with me, and one in my workshop. I have lots of ideas jotted down in there, but still if inspiration suddenly strikes as it did with the brooch last week, I just have to get straight to work!

What are you currently making?
On my desk at the moment are 3 bangles, the brooch I mentioned, and a leaf cuff. The bangles are commissions, the brooch is a new design, and the cuff is one of the made-to-order items on my website. I sold one last week and I like to keep one in stock.

Do you make custom orders?
Yes! I love commission work, especially when I’m designing something with a client. I like a challenge, and it’s great making a piece with someone specific in mind.

Where can we buy your work?
On my website (www.daisychainjewellery.co.uk), and at notonthehighstreet (www.notonthehighstreet.com/daisychaindesigns).
I’ve also got work in some local galleries – I try to keep the stockists page on my website updated.
I also post pictures on my blog of many pieces of work that don’t make the websites as they’re destined for galleries or are commissions, so it’s always worth checking there to see is there’s something you like!

Interview with… The Bijou Dragon

 

Nic is a regular on the Crafteroo forum, and shares lots of useful tutorials on her website, from cardmaking to glass pebble magnets. She is currently updating her website, where she sells semi-precious jewellery which is elegant and timeless in design.

 

Who are you and where do you come from?
I am Nic, I was born in Manchester and lived in Macclesfield in Cheshire most of my life but moved down to London to live with my Fiancé in 2006.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
Now then, how long have we got? I enjoy Medieval Re-enactment and when actively taking part I portray a 14th Century Lady of great wealth alongside my Fiance who portrays a Knight in the court of King Edward III. I collect and read books, collect playing (and other kinds) of cards and I enjoy car modding and am currently working on my 17 year old Mazda 323F. I also keep tropical fish and own two Cockatiels which take up quite a bit of my time. I also design and develop websites and am currently working on a completely new look for my Bijou Dragon website which I hope will wow the customers a little. I build and maintain PCs, play PC games and enjoy working with anything technical either hardware or software related. I have a rather time consuming addiction to Photoshop CS3 as well which can suck up several hours at a time. There’s also cooking and brewing beers, wines and Meads… there’s not much I don’t do to be honest!

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
Well, I started making earrings as a hobby after buying some cheap ones from e-Bay which weren’t terribly wonderful. I decided I could do better so I started making earrings then moved onto bracelets and finally necklaces. Up until now I have worked in Silver Plate but I have slowly moved onto Sterling Silver and will be moving over to predominantly Sterling Silver items in the future.

What do you enjoy making most?
I enjoy making anything with Sterling Silver and either Semi Precious stones or Swarovski Crystal beads. Being a bit of a magpie I greatly enjoy making anything shiny or shimmery and I enjoy the healing aspect of certain semi precious stones.

What part do you dislike the most?
Currently I dislike inserting small pieces of php code into my new website design which clashes with some other, earlier inserted code which makes my shop disappear in a poof of electronic tomfoolery. But I really dislike trapping little bits of my finger in pliers, it makes my eyes water.

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
I don’t tend to work from inspiration alot of the time I just generally sit down and go with the creative flow but on occasion I take inspiration from the current season and try to come up with something that will make people immediately think of say a particular season or a particular historical period.

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
A bit of both once again. Sometimes I just sit there with the beads in front of me and make whatever comes to mind but occasionally I see some special beads which require a little designing before hand but these tend to be the one off pieces I make that cannot be repeated due to say the hand crafted aspect of the bead or beads.

What are you currently making?
I am currently working on a beautiful Purple glass bead and Sterling Silver necklace, earring and bracelet set along with a Lampwork bead Sterling Silver bracelet which will feature on my new look website.

Do you make custom orders?
I do on the proviso I can source the materials needed and it is within my capabilities or area of expertise to make the item requested.

Where can we buy your work?
You can pop along to http://www.thebijoudragon.com we’re always happy to see you!

Interview with… Meridian Ariel

 

Apryl is a lovely lady with a taste for everything rustic and primitive Americana. She can lend herself to many different crafts, jewellery, illustration and embroidery, but these themes are prevalent throughout.

 

Who are you and where do you come from?
I’m Apryl Lowe, an anthropology/Art student dropout from California turned illustrator, turned blogging crafter, and geek, with a few stops in between. I was born in New York State and grew up in Northern California. For the past decade I have lived in Derbyshire with my husband and our incredibly industrious and inventive five year old Jedi Knight in training, and two cats.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
I love to cook and bake, experimenting with various recipe combinations. I have apparently developed a following for my brownies and cupcakes at my son’s school. Good to know that there is something to fall back on if this crafting lark doesn’t pan out. I’m also  movie and sci-fi/horror novel geek, and have the coke bottle glasses to prove it. And I drink copious amounts of coffee, my vice of choice next to dark chocolate.

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I play about with  a lot of different craft mediums, semi-precious beaded jewellery, illustrations on vintage story book pages, I knit simple objects(patterns are beyond my meagre brain comprehension) , and this past few months I have been teaching myself embroidery and sewing.

What do you enjoy making most?
Right now I’m really enjoying playing about with fabrics and paper, and learning to sew simple objects.

What part do you dislike the most?
Can I say the self promotion aspect of crafting? I’m terrible at selling myself and my creations, I can only hope that they speak for themselves.

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
I draw inspiration from everything around me, the books I read, the movies I watch, my dreams, and my daydreams when doing the housework, Domestic Goddess I am not. I find that I am inspired by my crafty friends and the work of fellow crafters in the blogging and crafting community, sometimes all it takes is to see someone use a colour or bead or piece of fabric and my thoughts spiral in new directions.

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
I try to plan out my crafts but when inspiration strikes sometimes you just need to go with the flow and make what feels right with what is inspiring. I always carry a notebook with me wherever I go, so that when inspiration strikes I can scribble down my thoughts and little doodles.

What are you currently making?
At the moment I have been playing with mixed media art, combining fabric and vintage book paper with ink, paint, and card. I have also found a passion in sewing small lavender and rice filled warm bags, and a slight obsession with owls. Hopefully some of these works with filter through to my etsy shop.

Where to buy…
http://meridianariel.etsy.com
http://meridian.folksy.com

Interview with… Crafted Gems

 

I owe my first magazine article to Caroline,  she gave me the contacts, knowledge and confidence to give it a go and now I have had 2 articles, and I would say it really helped me kick start my book writing too! Not only is she a talented writer, but she makes amazing lampwork!

 

Who are you and where do you come from?
I’m Caroline Cash and I live in Cheshire with my husband and son.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
I’m a full time mum so I don’t get a lot of spare time. I do like watching american crime shows like NCIS and CIS:NY when the little one is in bed and having a girly natter over a coffee while the little one is at Nursery School.

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I mainly make lampwork beads. Each one is made by hand at a bench torch. You melt a glass rod in the flame and wind the melted glass round a mandrel dipped in bead release and once made it need to be put in a kiln to be annealled to remove stresses from the glass. I also make a bit of Jewellery out of wire and beads.

What do you enjoy making most?
I like making both. Beads need to be made around my little one so when he is at Nursery or when he’s in bed as I need to pay attention to what I’m doing. Jewellery on the other hand I can make while he’s painting or playing with his toys. I quite like making jewellery while watching TV in the evening with my Hubby.

What part do you dislike the most?
Cleaning beads. Once the beads have been annealled in a kiln, the mandrels need to be soaked in water and the beads removed. Then you clean them with a diamond coated bead reamer to remove all traces of bead release. I use a dremel but cause it needs to be done in water- it ends up everywhere and I’ve knocked the bowl over myself countless times, lol.

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
I use seasonal colours a lot. My mood can also effect the colours I use and I can get inspiration from anywhere, clothes in the shops to pictures to places I have been.

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
I have an ‘ideas’ book that has pages and pages of bead ideas, but everytime I sit at my torch, I end up just making what comes to me,  I get a lot of my bead ideas while I’m sat there. It’s a case of ‘I wonder what this, this and this will look like’. Jewellery-wise it’s a mixture really. I try to sketch out ideas but most of the time I just end up going with the flow. I’ve had a few of my jewellery designs published as tutorials, so I make lots of notes while I’m making in case I write it up as a tutorial.

What are you currently making?
I can make up to 4 sets of beads in a 2 hour session so they are not really long term projects. I do have 2 unfinished chainmaille projects next to my laptop. One needs a clasp (i’ve not found the right one) and one because I didn’t make enough jumprings to finish it. There is also 3 wire coils ready for cutting to finish the chainmaille so i need to get my Koil Kutter out and cut them.

Do you make custom orders?
Yes, as long as it’s one I feel comfortable doing and it’s a style I know I can do. For example, I wouldn’t take on a commission to do floral beads as they are not my thing so as long as it’s my style I will. The same for jewellery.

Where can we buy your work?
I have a website, www.craftedgems.co.uk, an Etsy shop, www.CraftedGems.etsy.com and a Folksy shop www.folksy.com/shops/CraftedGems

Interview with… AMI Designs

 

Alison is a really lovely lady, and has an eye for vibrant coloured beads and shows off her work beautifully through pleasantly lighted and composed photographs. She has been on Etsy exactly a year today, so happy anniversary AMI!

 

Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is Alison Irving and I live in a wee village about 15 minutes outside Belfast.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
I’m a physiotherapist working with people with lung disease and I have 2 kids aged 7 and 10, so I’m kept pretty busy.

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I make beaded jewellery, especially bracelets.

What do you enjoy making most?
I love making wraparound bracelets on memory wire! I never seem to run out of ideas for them and if I could just make them I’d be happy. It’s a bit strange because I never, ever wear a bracelet. I can’t stand them on my wrist!

What part of jewellery making do you dislike the most?
The futtery bits! Like finishing off a bracelet with crimp beads and ensuring jump rings are properly closed.

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
When I started out making jewellery it was after a holiday to Cornwall and I was totally inspired by the ocean. I still love blues and greens and would make loads of my jewellery in those colours but I try and vary it a bit.

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
I get stuck in straight away. I’m not a very organised person so planning isn’t really an option!

What are you currently making?
I’ve started making some new pieces for the spring and am using all my turquoises, aquas and greens again after making loads in grey, silver and black for the winter.

Do you make custom orders?
Yes I’ve made a few.

Where can we buy your work?
My shops are:
http://AMIdesigns.etsy.com
http://www.folksy.com/shops/amidesigns

Interview with… Pips Jewellery

 

Pippa’s work is really amazing. She uses polymer clay and can imitate other materials and create intricate designs, all with one simple ingredient and her imagination and skill. I want to have a custom order made, but there’s so much to choose from, I haven’t yet decided what I want!

 

Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is Pippa and I live in a beautiful little village not far from Bath in Wiltshire. I am a Mum to my two Children, Katie who is 12 and Logan who is 6.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
I don’t have any spare time! Every spare minute is taken up with making beads and jewellery! It makes for a busy life, but I love it! I do set aside time for the Children though, Sundays are our Family Days when we go out for walks or to the park or just stay in and play endless games of Frustration! I am very lucky to have a near perfect Husband who supports me so much and will do the washing or ironing and cooking when I am at Craft Fairs or working. I couldn’t do what I am doing without him, he is truely one in a million.

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I make Polymer Clay Beads which I then use in my own Jewellery Designs. I only use my own beads, which gives me great scope for design. I use seed beads and crystal for accent, but that is all.

What do you enjoy making most?
There are so many techniques you can use with polymer clay from Kaleidoscope Caning, to Mokume Gane to Mica Shift, that it is hard to chose a favourite. I do love Mica Shift because it gives such lovely results – it looks 3D but is actually only 2D – almost like a hologram!
Kaleidoscope Caning is also a great favourite. Polymer Clay Artists all over the world are pushing the limits of this fantastic medium and are creating the most wonderful things with it. It seems to me that there is no limit to what you can do with it. I also love doing Swirl beads – they are really addictive!

What part of jewellery making do you dislike the most?
I really hate sanding! I sand every bead with 4 different grits of sandpaper – it can take forever, but it is well worth it for the results!

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
I find inspiration all over the place. Nature, of course, especially leaves – I love leaves! My daughter is great at coming up with unusual ideas, probably because she never thinks “oh you can’t put that with that, or that colour with that colour”, she just says what comes into her head like ” I think you should make something in Purple with some orange and green highlights” I would never come up with that, but often she is right and the results are fantastic!

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
Sometimes I plan, but not often! I find when I plan something to much it will not turn out the way I want it to. The clay has it’s own ideas about what it wants to do and sometimes you just have to let it! Often I will just sit at my desk and look at the colours of the clay and just start playing – some of my best pieces have come about that way!

What are you currently making?
I am making lots and lots of stock for all the craft fairs I have coming up before Christmas as well as several commissions. I have also got involved with some Secret Santas and Ornament Swaps online.

Do you make custom orders?
Yes I love making custom orders. That is the joy of making your own beads. I can match colours for outfits such as Mother of the Bride or Bridesmaids, or for a special dress. It is wonderful for the customer to be able to design their own piece too. I can advise on what will work technically speaking, but they can design the colour, pattern, shape and size of the beads we use in their necklace. That is a really empowering thing! I get great ideas from these collaborations too, things I might never have thought of.

Where can we buy your work?
I am a Member of the Craftsmans Market in Cirencester. This is a Craft Market that has been running for nearly 30 years and has some amazing Artists who show their work there, everything from Mosiacs, glass, pottery, textiles, ceramics, furniture to jewellery. It was nerve racking applying to become a member, because I was not sure my work would be good enough, but was thrilled to be accepted. I am also a member of the Cotswold Craft Market, also in Cirencester, which is another fantastic Craft Market. These two markets are open on consequtive Saturdays each month. So I do every Saturday! It is quite a challenge having to make enough stock, but it does keep me on my toes! I also have a shop on Etsy (http://pipsjewellery.etsy.com), although there is very little in it because of time constraints – I just don’t have enough time!!

See more of Pippa’s work on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pipsjewellery/

I am taking part in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month), so I will be blogging every day in November. Today is post 29: http://www.nablopomo.com/

Interview with… Ali Bali Jewellery

 

Alison makes pretty jewellery with beads and silver. Her designs are classic, with a wide appeal, here’s a little bit more about Ali Bali Jewellery…

 

Who are you and where do you come from?
I’m Alison, I live in Edinburgh.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love playing tennis, badminton and when I have the time, sailing!

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I make hand crafted jewellery from a variety of materials including sterling silver, semi precious stones, freshwater pearls and quality glass beads. I also use art clay silver in many of my pieces. Art Clay silver is made by a Japanese recycling company and consists if fine recycled particles of silver suspended in clay. Once the clay is fired the silver binds together to form 0.999 fine silver.

What do you enjoy making most?
I’m obsessed with bracelets, definitely my favourite item to make, probably because they’re the piece of jewellery that I most enjoy wearing.

What part of jewellery making do you dislike the most?
I don’t think there is anything I don’t like. Probably waiting for art clay silver to dry…. I get impatient to get on with the next stage in the process.

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
Inspiration comes from loads of sources, initial inspiration is often buying a new item of cloting and wanting to make a piece to compliment it!!

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
Occasionally designs are planned, but most just evolve!!!

What are you currently making?
My current obsession is crocheted silver and so I’m making lots of items with that (especially bracelets!). I’ve also just started doing silver fingerprint jewellery and have a number of orders part made after a craft fair on Sunday.

Do you make custom orders?
Yes, I love the challenge of custom orders. I’m currently making a ‘bali’ inspired necklace for a friend to wear at her wedding.

Where can we buy your work?
I have three online shops:
http://www.alibalijewellery.folksy.com
www.alibalijewellery.etsy.com
http://www.alibalijewellery.dawanda.com
I also sell at a number of craft fairs in the Edinburgh and Scottish Borders areas, details are on each of my websites!

Don’t forget to enter the November giveaway here: https://pennydog.wordpress.com/2008/10/31/november-giveaway/

I am taking part in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month), so I will be blogging every day in November. Today is post 13! http://www.nablopomo.com/

Interview with Boo’s Jewellery

 

Boo’s work is exceptionally well crafted and combines various different skills from start to finish to produce work that is distinctive, classic as well as novel. The care and time taken over every process from making the jewellery down to the minute detail, to taking the photographs and describing her work is amazing.

 

Who are you?
Boo. Just Boo. That’s not the name my parents gave me of course and my mother heartily disapproves of me using it, but my profession makes it necessary. I’m a woman of a certain age, married for 26 years, with a 21 year old hairy beast of a son away at university.

What do you do in your spare time other than craft?
Spare time . . . spare time . . . nope, don’t know what that is. If I had any, I’d spend it looking at trees in the Lake District, or mooching about with my camera trying to locate the treecreeper or wren I could hear. Photography has been my other passion for most of my life and combining that with being out in the fresh air, preferably near water and trees, would be my ideal way to spend time. I love photographing wildlife, but wish I were both better at it and could afford the equipment to do it justice.

Please tell us a little bit about what you make.
I hand craft jewellery – not fine precious pieces, but modestly priced everyday jewellery. I don’t have a particular style or niche – I have way too many ideas circulating in my head waiting to be given life, to pin my work down to one genre. But I like working with glass, crystal and semi-precious beads – wire wrapped predominantly, I rarely string beads. I like working with polymer clay too – you can soon lose several days absorbed in that work, once it takes hold. I love taking raw metal and bashing it into something too.

What do you enjoy making most?
I like forming things from scratch in copper and silver especially. Once you start applying pressure and heat to raw materials – rather like in my son’s field of geology, that’s when it gets really interesting.
I love the whole process of taking a length of heavy gauge wire and making it into something to wear – giving it a shape, then texture, maybe some adornment with stones, then finally choosing the colour – I love oxidising, then polishing it back to bring out texture – I call that antiquing – it takes raw materials and makes them look more finished.

What part of jewellery making do you dislike the most?
Without any hesitation; photographing items, measuring them, writing descriptive text and putting them on my various on-line selling outlets. It’s tedious beyond words. Considering how much I love photography, I actually hate photographing items and working on the photos. It seems to take a disproportionately long time and never feels like a very good use of my time. But it’s a necessary evil.

What are your main inspirations for making a piece?
Just things around me. A shape will catch my eye, colour combinations. Two bottles of shower gel in the bathroom yesterday were catching the light and the colours were gorgeous together – one was purple and I’d had some lovely dark amethyst beads arrive this week, so I searched out something in the other colour to put them together.
The natural world is always an inspiration – it should be to everyone – and being outdoors is very important to me. Mother nature is the ultimate designer – nothing we can do can improve on her work, so I let her lead by example. Doing some gardening a few days ago and clearing leaves, I loved the colours and textures, so I mixed some gold and copper metallic polymer clay, rolled it into thin sheets and took imprints of some of the leaves.

Do you plan out your designs or do you get stuck in straight away when inspiration strikes?
I rarely plan things – the ideas just come out and I work them immediately – or if I can’t, I keep a little notebook with me and sketch them down to work later.
Sometimes I have an idea that needs some thought to make it work physically – I might start with a doodle – every sheet of paper around my computer is covered in squiggled shapes as I try and hone a wrap shape – or work out how to form a particular shape from one piece of wire etc. Sometimes I pick up scrap materials and work it out physically – and sometimes just making a piece shows up the flaw in my design and that ‘prototype’ makes way for an improved version.

What are you currently making?
I always have many pieces in various stages of completion in progress. Some work needs appropriate light in a place, being able to work outdoors (oxidising), or hammering sounds, which may not be good later in the day. So I have a multitude of things on the go – some of which are easy to pick up for a few minutes waiting for a pan to boil and others don’t need much space and I can work at the table with my after dinner coffee. So I always have many assorted pieces in progress.
I almost always have some chainmaille in progress – I need very little space to work and only 2 pairs of pliers, so that’s what I turn to when I have a few minutes to kill or even when on the move. I often take a case with some materials and my tools with me.

Do you make custom orders?
Yes, indeed. At present, it accounts for about half of my sales. Certainly last year, before I got my web site better organised and settled on a cart format, I only really had photos of completed work on-line, so most sales were private commissions and even now, many pieces sell with some modification.
People might like one design, but the colour/stone of another, so ask for their own variant. With pieces that are easily repeatable, I note it in the product description – I’d hate to lose a sale because people didn’t realise how easily something could be made for them. Some customers really like the idea that they can have just what they want made. It’s an important marketing approach for me.
Even at craft fairs, where it is possible and I have stock to hand, I can make pieces to order. There hasn’t been a fair yet where I didn’t make something new for a customer.

Where can we buy your work?
My own web site is http://www.boo-jewellery.co.uk/ and I also have shops on Etsy and Folksy; http://www.boojewels.etsy.com/ and http://www.boojewels.folksy.com/ I also attend craft fairs and markets periodically.