This is the first of a series of interviews with our stallholders. Helen from goodcrafternoon is a regular stallholder with us so we decided to find out a bit about her background.
What made you decide to get into crafting ?
I had always loved crafting from a very early age, thanks to Blue Peter on TV in the 1970’s, (and also Tony Hart but I wasn’t great at art) then when I had my first daughter in 1986 I was really able to indulge, and she encouraged me further once she reached her teens.
Why did you pick jewellery making?
Again, back to the 1970’s – one of my friends had a stone tumbling machine which I thought was absolutely wonderful. He also made and sold semi precious gemstone jewellery and the first piece I bought was an Amethyst necklace. The stone was simply glued in due to the fact that findings were extremely hard to come by then. Fast forward to 2008 and I got a part time job in a jewellery shop that only sold semi precious gemstone jewellery – best job ever!. I was able to examine the pieces in great detail and very soon realised I could make these things myself. I looked on the internet for instructions and then took a class!
Tell us a bit about your jewellery, what makes you decide on certain styles, what makes your jewellery different?
My jewellery is made using only semi precious gemstones and silver. I never use man made stones. The styles I make are always inspired by the Seasons. I go to Bead Fairs twice a year and select the stones I want to use in the forthcoming months. I have a particular love of Freshwater cultured Pearls – there are so many shapes and sizes, and now colours. Other jewellery makers all have their own favourites, and luckily for me there are not that many Freshwater Pearl lovers out there!
What should we look out for from you at future events?
In future I will be making items with much lighter colours than last season – so look out for white and cream with silver findings, pale grey and pale blue. All the styles will be much more delicate and suitable to wear with light flowing dresses and general summer attire.
Is this your full time business?
This is not my full time business, although I would love it to be. It’s just a hobby that I try and make pay for itself. I started up a very small Steam Ironing Company back in October, 2008 and unfortunately it snowballed!
What do you like to do when you aren’t crafting?
When I’m not crafting, I still like to browse designs online and in the shops, I like to attend Bead Fairs and browse stones for sale online. I also like to read a lot and I have started painting pebbles for fun. I also make Soy wax candles at home and I keep chickens. I have just treated myself to some Calligraphy pens and an instruction book ….
What would be the best tip you could give someone looking to get into jewellery making? Literally “Youtube it!” If you look up beginners jewellery making online you will find everything you need to know. There are also magazines out there but they tend to be very expensive for what you get out of them.
Tip two – Ebay! You can get a whole set of tools for £10. I used to sell “Starter Kits” for £12 which included everything you needed to make two necklaces – and they had a whole set of tools in there – so that gives you a starting price.
Tip number three: Don’t get too excited and over buy one product. You may love it yourself, but that does not mean it will sell.
Thank you Helen for taking the time to talk to us. We look forward to seeing your future creations!