• Tell us a bit about you:
• I was born and raised in North London and now live at the foot of
the peak district in the beautiful Derbyshire dales.
I have a love of the outdoors and nature
and spend many hours walking in the spectacular British countryside.
In my spare time I garden and grow my own veggies,
turning any glut of a crop into yummy jams and chutneys.
I also enjoy reading and listening to music,
dancing my way through the housework!
• How long has your shop been open and why did you start?
• Jewellery making has always been my hobby.
You know the saying that "every problem is an opportunity in disguise",
well in 2009, we were due to move to Greece to work full time on a conservation project.
Unfortunately, 5 days before leaving the U.K., having both left our full time jobs
and selling most of our belongings,
the Greek economy collapsed, taking the project with it.
Although we were very distraught at the time,
I knew that this left me free to pursue a dream I had harboured for many years,
to start my own jewellery business!
So that is exactly what I did. I love what I do,
it is not just a job to me - it is my life!
• What is your favourite item in your shop?
• Late last year I launched a range of Penannular brooches.
I was inspired to make these by the beautiful Celtic and Viking brooches.
The simple mechanics of this style of fastening makes them suitable to use as a
brooch, scarf, kilt or hat pin.
I felt a level of creative freedom whilst designing and making the range,
which I have not had for a long time,
as they allowed me to combine all of my favourite techniques
whilst also pushing me out of my comfort zone.
Penannular brooch woven copper and Labradorite
• The project I am most proud of is my book, Wire Jewelry Masterclass
, The idea for writing this booked seemed to me like a natural progression
from the writing of individual tutorials.
It allows me to place the variousskill levels in order,
offering a starting platform for the complete novice
through to the more advanced levels, as well as giving ideas for more
experienced wireworkers to develop their existing abilities.
The book offersa step-by-step guide to getting started.
There are 24 full projects, explained in detail, with LOTS of close up colour photography for each step.
The designs range from easy right through to a very advanced 3D orchid design.
Also included in the book are 11 findings, ranging from ear wires and clasps
to brooch pins.
• What made you start crafting?
• I grew up surrounded by artistic people.
Living in a very close community with a diverse mix of characters,
I was able to try my hand at a whole array of crafts,
from sewing to polymer clay modelling.
I am self-taught and have been making jewellery since I was a child,
starting with beadweaving, simple strung necklaces and pendants.
I then moved on to rosary chains and discovered my love of wire.
I decided to focus on this medium, developing my
style and have never looked back!
I now have over 40 on-line tutorials,
which allow me to share my love of wirework with others.
These have very detailed step-by-step instructions,
covering both design and technique, with clear, crisp, close up colour photography for each
and every step, leaving no room for guesswork.
It is almost like having me there with you!
• Where do you get your inspiration from?
• I am inspired by all sorts of things, for example, music,
film and architecture, but my main motivation is nature.
The natural world provides me with an endless source of
ideas, from pretty cloud formations, to the skeletal remains
of the previous year's leaves you can find in the Springtime!
Wire Jewelry Masterclass book frontcover
Celtic Bridal Circlet, Sterling silver and peridot
Torcesque collection, necklace, bracelet and earrings, Copper and Rose Quartz
Dragonfly brooch, Gold and Amethyst, Rose Quartz and Garnet
Summer Butterfly Necklace, Sterling silver with Labradorite, Citrine and Amazonite
The Water carrier Tassel pendant, Sterling silver and Turquoise
• What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?
• Decide what type of jewellery you would like to make
and what sort of materials you would like to use
and learn as much as you can about these.
Perfect and practice each technique before moving onto the next one.
Don't expect to get things right first time, jewellery making takes practice and determination!
Learn from your mistakes,
work out what went wrong
and why and put that lesson into practice the next time you make it.
Above all else - ENJOY IT!
Thank you ever so much Abby!
Your work is amazing!
Your story is a beautiful success out of an awful situation.
I hope you'll all join me in thanking Abby and visit her sites
to see more of her wonderful work.