Tell me more about your craft? What is it? When did you find out you were good at it?
I am handcrafting sterling silver and mixed metal jewellery using traditional silversmithing techniques.
I wanted to train like gold or silversmith when I was about 17 years old but my family did not really approve of it. Instead, I trained as a commercial banker first and later studied languages at university becoming a professional translator.
A few decades later I decided to finally learn silversmithing as a hobby now turning it slowly into a small business.
Why did you decide to turn into a business?
I have been smithing for the last 3-4 years for myself, family and friends.
They encouraged me to sell especially after taking on a couple of commissions from a friend. I felt 2019 was the right time to start getting out there introducing my pieces to a wider audience.
Tell us more about the process, the step by step process of your craft-From the concept to the final product.
I do not follow a strict master plan as such – I do what feels right at that moment in time when sitting at my bench, often creating a piece spontaneously.
I am still experimenting a lot. I love playing with molten metal and also fusing metals. Please note, I do not use metal clays. I only work with wire or sheet and recycle all my scrap creating new unique pieces.
My current favourite shape is the heart. I call my hearts ” heart of life”. I get inspired by life in general.
I believe everyone should have a heart-shaped piece of jewellery in their jewellery box.
My hearts come mainly in sterling silver some also in copper or brass.
They express life: “everything that life throws at us”.
My hearts represent love, joy, fun, happiness, pain, fear, loss, illness, ups and downs, good and bad times, etc.
Some are smooth near perfect, others are battered and bruised with scratches and imperfections – just like life, which isn’t perfect all the time. We all have been through ups and downs at some point.
I hope that my hearts are seen as some sort of encouragement and support that life isn’t always perfect but we still love life and the people who surround us.
The majority of my pieces are unique and one-offs. I have a few hearts that I replicate ever so often but due to the crafting process, they will still be unique and never look exactly the same.
I am also in the process of introducing other shapes and forms, such as circles (circles of life), crosses and teardrops etc. to appeal to a wider audience.
Where do you sell your product?
I have only started selling my pieces in April 2019. I have a wee shop on Etsy that will grow over time. Some of my jewellery can be found at the Creative Artist Studios in Northumberland at Vallum Farm.
I also sell through my facebook page and my Instagram where I post my work in progress and it is best to contact me directly through my social media.
I have recently attended a few craft fairs and I am filling my calendar with more fairs in the North East. Events are announced on my Facebook page: Saynie
Have you noticed a rise in crafters and people buying creations?
Yes, over the last 3 years since I have started learning silversmithing I have definitely noticed more arts & craft fairs emerging and subsequently more artists attending them.
Also, the course where I have learned silversmithing is always full and highly sought after.
What is the crafting industry like?
Since I have only recently started I cannot speak from much experience.
However, the people I have learned silversmithing with and other crafters who I have met at different events are all very friendly, collegial, happy to help and support with advice and their knowledge. It feels like a happy community with like-minded people.
Do you recommend people starting up their own crafting creations and turning it into a business?
Absolutely! But don’t wait 3 years like I did. Personally, it gives me a sense of freedom and worth and is great for one’s mental health. 🙂
I do recommend to have another source of income while starting up though.
I work part-time at a local school and I like the combination of working with pupils during the day while bashing metal during my spare time.