Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I am a designer, editor and book author and have been in the creative industry for about 30 years (yikes!). I did a BA (hons) in 3-D design where I specialised in jewellery design with a minor study in ceramics. Throughout my career I've designed in many different disciplines from greeting cards to wedding dresses. From the start though my passion has always been jewellery so whether it was making things to wear myself or selling my jewellery as a business I've always kept my hand in the jewellery pot. For the last 6 years I've been the freelance Editor of Making Jewellery magazine and also write books for the same company (GMC Publications) on jewellery making. I love this combination as I get to make stuff and write about it! plus I really like the publishing industry.
Tell us a bit about the book?
This book is aimed at anyone who wants to make jewellery suitable for a wedding. It's not aimed at the complete beginner so a little experience of basic jewellery making skills would be good, though I do have a section of techniques covering most of the basic skills needed. The book is divided into 5 different styles (collections) of jewellery with 6 pieces in each style, so there are 30 pieces to make in total. I'm hoping that with all the information I give that the reader will be able to build off my designs and push the style they choose further than the projects shown in the book to create unique pieces.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I remember when I started my own jewellery business I found that the wedding sector was really strong. There were so many women wanting handmade tiaras and hair accessories that I decided to make a wedding range and started to look into how to make a tiara. What I found was there seemed to be a lack of information out there in either book format or online about making pieces for the head! So my idea for the book was born, it's actually about 3 years later now as I was so busy with other things that this idea sat around for a while. I've written a lot of books about jewellery making already but this book is really close to my heart and I wanted to make it perfect! so it took a while to put together.
Which is your favourite project?
To pick one project is very hard! as I love all wedding jewellery, I think it's the bling (though strangely I'm not a sparkly bling wearer!). If I had to pick a collection it would be the Nature Collection. Rose Gold is such a wonderful warm colour and when we dressed Circe (the model) up in all the pieces for the book photoshoot it looked so magical that I think it's my all time favourite set of jewellery!
What is your craft space like?
I'm very lucky and have a room in my house that has all my making equipment and my office set up too. I have a big L shape desk, one side has my computer on it and the other space is usually covered with half made pieces of jewellery. Currently it's polymer clay. I take a lot of photos too so I have a big photo tent in the room. It's pretty perfect! my husband built book shelves on two walls so I have access to everything I need.
Have you always been creative?
Yes as my parents would tell you I started to model things when I was very young. In my teens I made a lot of my clothes and thought I wanted to be a fashion designer but then I went to art college and fell in love with ceramics and 3D art. At uni I was introduced to Sterling silver and it all continued from there.
When did you first start crafting?
I remember my dad having a row of plasticine animals that I had made when I was about 8 or 9. They sat on a shelf in his study that stayed there for years until they became so covered in dust that didn't wash off that mum made him throw them away!
Who are your crafty heroes?
As I'm immersed in the jewellery industry most of the authors I like are jewellers. It's hard to pick single authors but I can tell you what books I'm currently reading - on my book shelf are Metal Clay Fusion by Gordon Uyehara, Polymer Clay Color Inspirations by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio, The Jeweller's directory of shape & Form by Elizabeth Olver, The Art of Polymer Clay Millefiori Techniques by Donna Kato and The Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight. I'm a big fan of metal clay and polymer clay!
Craft heroes, well they would have to be all the lovely jewellery designers who write projects for Making Jewellery magazine!
Where do you find inspiration?
Pinterest is the first place I browse if I have a few moments! though it can suck time away from you very quickly. I'm also in a lot of Facebook groups for different things like polymer clay and metal clay. In general though I keep my eyes open to ideas all the time, it's fairly easy to do when you work in the creative industry as I've trained my subconscious eye to look out for things all the time. My sister walked into her lounge a few weeks ago to find me taking a photo of her TV screen. Someone on a program had a really interesting necklace on and I had paused the program to take a picture, which my sister thought was really funny! but hey that's what you do.
What's next for you?
My job as Editor of Making Jewellery is ongoing and I'm now the Editor of a food magazine for GMC too, so those two magazines take up a lot of my time. I've taken a break from writing books for a little while as I've now done 8. I'm sure I'll be writing another book by the end of the year though it's addictive and I really like to be busy!
This exciting new title from the editor of Making Jewellery magazine is the ideal book for jewery makers eager to learn the intricacies of creating wedding jewelry. Packed with 30 designs, Wedding Jewelry is broken down into six different collections with five different pieces in each collection. The collections are themed as follows: Vintage, Nature, Classic, Lace, Floral and Celtic. Although the book assumes some jewelry making knowledge, the techniques will cover most of the basics that the reader will need to know. In addition to a techniques section, tools and materials will also be discussed in detail. As part of each project there will also be tips on how to incorporate colors to match wedding themes and outfits, etc.
Projects include: headpieces, tiara, hairpins, brooches, necklaces, bracelets and earrings.