Earlier in the month, we caught up with Cardiff-based jewellery maker, Jodie Davies (a.k.a Crane Jewellery). We absolutely love Jodie's bold and creative work and were intrigued to know more about her process, inspiration and any words of wisdom for those starting out in jewellery making.
From her beautiful shipping container studio in Wales, meet Jodie...
How did you first get into jewellery making?
I had been running my own small wedding and events business for 6 years and was finding it incredibly stressful. I was having anxiety attacks for the first time in my life and I felt like I needed a positive distraction, so I enrolled in a jewellery making course at my local adult education centre.
I had always fancied metal work and I wanted to do something creative using my hands. I loved the sessions, I found the sawing, filing and finishing really therapeutic. When I was working on a piece I was completely engrossed and time seemed to fly by, it was a long time since I had felt like that!
Can you tell us how your first project went?
My first project that I designed was a ring shaped like a shield set with silver balls made using the granulation technique. It was very complicated! My teacher laughed and recommended I try something a little simpler but after lots of struggling I cobbled it together.
Then I immediately made exactly the same design again as I wanted to use everything I'd learned to make it better, and after that second version I went onto a third! The perfectionist in me had taken over!! Two years later looking back on it, it was a stupidly tricky design and full credit to my teacher for allowing me to attempt it in the first place!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am drawn to simple shapes, clean lines and geometry, I find inspiration in art, nature and other cultures. I love the Art Deco period, Mid Century Modern Architecture, and Vintage Mexican Jewellery.
What do you love most about the process?
I still love the moment when the solder runs and fills a joint, it flashes brightly just before it liquidates and it feels like a little bit of magic. There's something special about working with metal and fire.
What would be your best advice for those starting out?
I still feel very much at the start of my journey, but I would say make work that you love, and don't fall into the trap of trying to make what you think other people will buy. I think if you are true to yourself then it shines through in your work and then you will attract the right people who appreciate your style!
The beauty of the internet is that we now have access to billions of people online and there is pretty much a market for everything. Also I would say don't spend too much time agonising over how many followers you have on Instagram, we all do it! Something I tell myself all the time is that it’s about finding the right people to engage with who really appreciate your work, think quality not quantity!
What’s next for you, any projects you’re working on?
I have been working on my branding throughout lockdown and am nearly at a point when I'm happy with it. Once it's finally done I will have some nice new packaging for my jewellery. During lockdown we've been taking the children out cycling when home school gets too monotonous.
In Cardiff we are lucky to have the Taff River running through the centre of the city and I have found all sorts of bits of patterned pottery and nice smooth river stones. I have plans to experiment with these found treasures, as I think they would make really beautiful rings. I've always got so many ideas for me it's about finding the time to make them a reality!
Thank you so much Jodie for sharing your beautiful craft with us!
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