This week’s interview is with a UK-based jewellery maker called Caroline, from Pods & Plunder, who produces gorgeous jewellery from copper and silver. I particularly like that the pieces are mainly inspired by natural plants and other objects, and my favourites are the fern frond earrings (pictured above).
Now I will hand over to Caroline…..
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I have always been interested in the Arts and have always been making things . I did a degree in Fine Art and went on to teach Art and Design. Looking at beautiful paintings, sculpture and ceramics, or being involved in any making process – for practical or decorative purposes – simply makes me happy…… mostly (when it’s going right!)
What first made you want to become an artist/craftsperson?
Attracted to silver jewellery and constantly admiring and buying bits and pieces, I decided to learn to make something myself. I began building up books, tools and skills about 10 years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed the learning process and the world of silversmithing.
Whilst I was practising my joining and sawing skills, I used copper to experiment with and discovered I really liked the combination of copper and silver, so I have continued to use it with all of its colour surprises.
How did you get started in your handmade business?
After selling some of my jewellery at work and at a couple of craft fairs, I investigated interest in local crafts shops and was pleasantly surprised with positive feedback. I continue to have my work in a shop in Cardigan.
I decided to look at online selling too. I wasn’t at all sure, but I’ve had such good reactions from people.
I set up my Folksy shop in December 2016. It’s called Pods&Plunder because I seemed to be deriving a lot of inspiration from seed pods, and I was also incorporating bits of ‘plunder’ from the nearby beaches in West Wales; which is bits of worn sea glass.
In ten years, where would you like to be?
In ten years I would like to still be alive and have a dedicated workshop in the garden, which is warm, dry, has space for all my stuff and wall space to put up all my inspiration. At the moment I am still on the end of the kitchen table, which is ok, but isn’t that practical…although it is handy for taking a second to peel the spuds/check the oven/stir a pan; when jewellery making is higher on the agenda than dinner.
Have any pets?
We have two lovely dogs; an old black Lab called Meg and recently we gained a smaller dog, a cross Lurcher/Bedlington terrier, called Moss. We are lucky enough to live near the Preseli mountains and have a hill behind our house called the Frenni. We walk the dogs up there just about every day or we go to the coast; with loads of gorgeous spots to choose from. This allows me space in the day to collect thoughts (or bits off the beach) and be inspired, which is essential, as I also go to work in a College of Further Education for 4 days a week.
What is your favourite part of your handmade business?
The favourite part of making my jewellery is the bit where I have had an idea, have done a scribble and have a few free hours ahead of me to see how it’s going to work in practical terms. I love the creative process with all of its difficulties, surprises and joy; and when I am pleased with something, it is even more joyous when someone else likes it.