Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do
I am a graphic designer with 30 years of experience, specialising in branding and packaging. I have been running my own company for many years. Mother of a fabulous 11 yr old boy. I am a Northern Soul dancer, a terrible cook, music and fashion lover who swears too much.
What’s been your general career path?
I applied to art college-aged 15. I was determined to be a silversmith but could not get onto the course – I was too young! So I got a Diploma place at college to study ‘General design’ then found myself guided into Graphics. After 35 years working as a graphic designer, I decided to go for it and study jewellery…LJS has been my route into jewellery as a career.
Sea change ring by Sally Costen
When did your interest in jewellery making start?
As a kid; I’d cobble together pieces of jewellery from anything I could find. Anyone who’d show the slightest interest would have a piece foisted upon them. My real interest in jewellery was first and foremost as a consumer. Liberty’s of London showcased new jeweller talent and I spent a worrying amount of my lunch breaks there. The first 3 pieces of jewellery I saved up for; affording to buy an item from their collection every few months, was in Liberty. It was a Wouters & Hendrix ring, bracelet and necklace. I have the original packaging with the tissue, card and receipts! And still love it all, 30 years on. And that’s why I want to be a Jeweller. If you get it right, design with heart and hone your skills; you’ll have people wearing your creations with pride, for decades. I would love to think a 20-year-old, in their first job, would save up for some of my work – How good is that?
Which class/es did you take at the London Jewellery School and why did you choose that class?
I first chose to do the Diploma in Creative Jewellery – 1 day a week for a year. Being a freelance designer, I could shuffle my time to accommodate. I needed a comprehensive introduction to jewellery making – across a broad spectrum of disciplines, discovering techniques and materials new to me which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I then went on to do the Advanced Diploma at the London Jewellery School – An intense and challenging course, over a couple of weeks.
This pushed me – in terms of skill and deadline! I loved it…
I was awarded a distinction in both diplomas.
I’m also signed up for the chain making one day course in October!
What are your goals for the future?
To make my online jewellery business my primary focus, with view to working with other designers/jewellers. Ideally, I would also like to sell at ECOne and Liberty’s – of course!
What is your favourite piece you ever made and why?
The Pill Pendant. It derived from an award-winning concept I’m very proud of – ‘Unfinished Business’. It was awarded silver in this year’s Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards, Fashion Illustration category.
The pendant translated well and resulted in a clean, contemporary piece. I also had to push myself, technically.