top of page
13620102_1762166910729969_83297039810558

The Designer

Susan but also known as Suz"... seriously fell in love with designing jewellery about 11 years ago. As a child she was always mesmerised by her mum's jewellery box and as soon as she started to receive pocket money started building her own "mini" collection of jewellery.

Although she had always been "arty/crafty" from a very young age, loving to paint, draw and make things, she took the traditional root which most of us are forced to do and ended up in a "traditional" job in IT.  The majority of the time she enjoyed her career in the corporate world but her creativity took a back seat for many years.

However, as most of us do at some point in our lives she became unsettled, unfulfilled.  She needed something else... a new outlet, not only to help her get through some hard times in her life, but to also allow her to release the creativity she had been holding back for so long "her true passion". 

 

For her whole career she had, and still does, work in the corporate world. As a Infrastructure Manager within the Finance Sector, but there wasn't much chance of being creative... "there is only so much creativity you can put into a PowerPoint presentation or building the right Infrastructure for her customers". She needed more and felt their was something missing in her life.

She had surpressed the creative part for too many years, due to everyday life and other commitments 

She tried painting, drawing but it wasn't enough. So having always been a lover and collector of jewellery, the decision was to start making jewellery for herself, it was the perfect outlet for her creativity and her love of "all things that sparkle"! 

 

Susan said "I love all styles of jewellery from the flamboyant, over the top pieces to the delicate.  The problem she had was that she wanted to use "the real thing" and they had to be ethically sourced.  She came across a few businesses which sold high quality gemstones which fitted the bill perfectly and that is where it all began.

Since the early days, when she was learning and perfecting her skills and spending all her salary (she laughs), she decided that one day she would like to start selling her pieces. BUT was she good enough?

She has been making pieces for friends and family, and people complemented her on her designs all the time, so she decided to go for it!

 

Her aim was to design jewellery for people, who like herself, loved jewellery but didn't necessarily want to pay the price tags of the high street jewellers and boutiques.

Susan said "I have gone from being a puritist and only wanting to use geniune gemstones to now using many mediums, for example Seed Beading and crystal elements.  This allows me to create extravagant designs which just would not be possible or affordable to customers if I were using the genuine gemstones.  It has allowed me to diversify and hopefully reach more people. It also doesn't restrict me when designing, in particular with the more flamboyant pieces".

Q - Where do you get your inspiration?

"I take inspiration from everywhere really.  I am in contact with many other fantastic designers who provide inspiration and of course the best inspiration comes from mother nature herself. Home decor and looking through the history of jewellery also provide me with continual inspiration.  I don't always get it right and probably a lot of designs never make it out of my head but I want to do the best design I can".

Q - So what are your favourite mediums.....

Gemstones

"My first love is genuine gemstones and I have always loved collecting jewellery from a very young age... I got this from my mum. I now collect gemstones and I'm really interested in Gemology and try to find out a little history on each of them.  When I started making jewellery I started with Agate and Jasper as these were less expensive and I could make simple pieces.  Now I have access to diamonds, rubies, topaz, pearls and a whole myriad of different gems from all over the world".

 

Q - what are your top 5 gemstones?
 

That is difficult but off the top of my head it has to be...

Labradorate, its probably the one I go to first because is has such an amazing effect and I can't resist it;

Tiffany Stone has to be up there because it's so beautiful and I love purple;

All the Jaspers (is that cheating) because they come in the most amazing natural patterns and no two stones are the same

Spinel, this was a new one to me but in my opinion, black spinel beats black diamonds everyday of the week and Red Spinel out performs a ruby and doesn't cost nearly as much ... win/win in my book

Amethyst simply because it was my mum's birthstone and when I make jewellery I always think "would mum love this"and lastly but by no means leastly

Opal and in particular Ethiopian Opal. What I like to call the "show off" of the Opal world. A great quality Ethiopian Opal in the sunshine or candle light with all the pin fire sparkling is breath taking.

Basically, if a gemstone has a unique effect/look, I'm there! 

Oh , can I add another one "Pearls", although it isn't really a gemstone, how could I forget Pearls? ... any shape, size, natural or shell. This is probably the one organic I have the most off and the new pearls available are extraordinary.

Fine Silver Clay

Using fine silver (this is silver which comes in a clay form) allows me to be really creative and I can almost make anything, within reason.  This is such a versatile medium.  I was given a kiln to fire my pieces about 5 years ago and I simply love the process of taking the .999 silver clay and designing a very unique piece for myself or the customer.  

Wirework

After, gemstones this was my first medium.  I couldn't believe what could be accomplished with wire and had never seen wire being used within jewellery.  I was hooked right way and it is still part of what I do now and I get withdrawal symptoms when I haven't made a piece for a while.  My favourite Wirework piece (this was probably the hardest, so had to pick two)

​​

Seed Bead Embroidery

I'm one of these people who hates to be restricted so I needed to find other options to use for my designs, especially the statement pieces. This is when I came across Seed Beads. The scope of design options opened up, due to the amazing colours... I am now addicted.  They can be used with geniune gemstones, crystal elements or just on their own to make a wonderful statement piece.  Seed beads allow me to make a real impact piece without the cost of the genuine gemstones.  It can be extremely time consuming to make the pieces, usually between 20-60 hours depending on the design but I think it is well worth the effort. I don't sell many pieces at the moment but hope to start doing this in the future.

I do other mediums but these are my favourites but to be honest, I love them all. Probably one of my biggest challenges is, at some point I will need to specialise but until I have to make a decision I will just enjoy them all  The joy is the design and the creativity to create something beautiful and the need to keep growing as a jewellery designer.   For me I love taking the raw materials and making them into something beautiful, it is my passion, some may say my obsession.

Q - You have some items on your site which are not made entirely by you. Why is this?

That is quite simple and I will be honest... from idea, to design to the finished piece of jewellery takes time. Time I just don't have, so I source items which I think my customers will like, at the best prices and I put them together. A lot of jewellery designers do this and don't necessarily make everything themselves from start to finish. This gives me time and the finances to create the "one off" designer pieces. I hope no-one holds this against me because I still have to source the items and select what is a good fit.

Q - So what does the future hold?

"I would love to design and make jewellery full-time but being a small business this just isn't possible. So my plan is to continue what I'm doing and hopefully go part-time "in the day-job" so I can concentrate on doing what I love "designing jewellery". Who knows I might even earn enough to go full-time. As I mature, although I never think I will, I think its important in life to do what you love to do! I only wish I had learned this earlier on in my life but I am very mindful that it is 'never to late'. 

bottom of page