In this Meet the Maker I caught up with Sara Wilson, in her fabulous back garden studio, which she lovingly refers to as the shed. We shared a virtual brew (oh the joys of technology), as is the new “normal” in these strange times we are living in. We both found this rather hilarious, since Sara is the Silk Purse Guild’s, self confessed tech virus, after infecting Alan Taylor Art’s shop with polishing instructions showing up on his Alpaca artwork!
Jewllery Designer & Gemstone Expert
Can you Introduce yourself and Describe what you do?
My Name is Sara and I’m from a little village called Great Wyrley in Staffordshire. My passion is gemstones, precious, and semi-precious metal wire to create different patterns and textures in my jewellery.
Where does your Inspiration come from?
I am really lucky, my back garden is like a mini nature reserve, I can sit with my workshop door open to see and hear the beautiful bird song, we have a small pool that is teaming with wildlife and insects, I love the form and shape of nature and try to create pieces that echo that.
What Draws you Towards Gemstones?
I am fascinated by the healing properties & vibrations of gemstones, whilst the outward appearance of gemstones are beautiful in their own right, it could be the vibration or the healing properties within the stone that will compel or inspire me. As you can imagine I have a few gemstones in my stash, but when I come to make a piece a particular strand or cabochon will jump out at me and give me the inspiration for my next piece.
What would you say to Someone thinking about Selling their Work?
Research, research, research, I can’t stress this enough, along with a proper pricing calculation, I remember when I started out, I didn’t charge for my time and I was convinced that no one would buy from me if I added that in. I’ve since learnt that it’s not about what you charge for you work, it’s getting it In front of the right pair of eyes that appreciates the time and effort you have put into your piece and are willing to pay for it. I can’t recommend the silk purse guild highly enough, the help and support I have received has been amazing.
Can you describe your workspace? Where is it and what is in it?
My workspace is a shed in the back garden, it has light, heat, power & the internet. It’s positioned between a large corkscrew hazel, a weeping silver birch and a garden pond. Its crammed full of crafting materials, not just for my business but also equipment to make my packaging, packaging materials etc, it’s also the doggos favourite place, he spends most of his time in here, he seems to enjoy the peace too. Since the pandemic I have also had to make room for my laptop & screens from my day job. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d like to work.
Do you have any favourite Colour Combinations?
there are too many to choose from, but if I have to narrow it down I think it’s the blues and greens I like best, particularly grandidierite, Jadeite, labradorite, I love the way the colours change with the light source, there is always something new to see in the stones. I think my favourite wire must be natural copper as that changes too as it ages.
Is there anything in your shed you couldn’t live without?
Apart from my dog Shakin Stevens (a long story lol), it would be my tools, my wire and my gemstones, my workspace is my happy space & after a stressful day job I like nothing more than sorting my gemstones again whilst listening to the birds singing and the squirrel dancing on the shed roof with his clogs on!
What is your Creative Process? How do you go about Designing and Making?
The gemstone tends to pick me. I was recently drawn to a beautiful Jadeite faceted pear-shaped stone and it shouted snake head to me. I then sit down and do some basic drawings, making a note of the stones I want to use and where they will be placed, what wire will work best and any techniques I will be using. From there I’ll start making the piece.