Craft Britannia Shop of The Week #28, MinistryOfShiny
Abbie of MinistryOfShiny creates beautiful handmade fine silver and gemstone jewellery. She will be closing her shop soon, so don’t miss this chance to buy from this week’s CraftBritannia Shop of the Week !
When you are not doing Etsy related things, what are you doing?
I’m an English teacher, teaching English to foreign students, which is great fun. I’m also studying for a Masters in the same area, and working on my dissertation at the moment which is difficult! I’m also a Brownie and Guide Guider and that keeps me out of trouble.
What was the first piece you ever sold?
It was a turquoise and silver wrap ring, to a friend in Australia. I was so paranoid it wouldn’t fit and she was too far away to try it on. But she loves it!
What advice would you give someone taking up your craft for the first time?
Try everything, there are so many ways to make jewellery that you need to find the one for you. Try and find some taster classes and explore what you can do.
What material do you most enjoy working with?
Silver metal clay, it’s absolutely magical stuff. You take a boring piece of grey clay, shape it and texture it. Leave it to dry and then fire it. When you come to polish it, suddenly the grey disappears and there is a piece of real silver in your hand. Fantastic. You also get to use a blow torch which is fun!
If you could try a new craft, what would it be?
I’d love to have a proper go at pottery, which I haven’t done since school. I like getting my hands dirty! And it would be interesting to see if any techniques from pottery could be used with metal clay. I’d also like to take up knitting so I have something to do on train or plane journeys. Unfortunately jewellery making is not a very portable craft.
Which piece of equipment would you be helpless without?
Pliers! They are so essential for a jeweller, you can create something lovely with just a few twists of a wire. I also couldn’t live without my blow torch, but don’t tell my landlord that!
Tell us about what inspires and motivates you
I love travelling and seeing the variety of crafts in other countries is great. I have a brightly stripped blanket from Mexico, and sequinned bags from India, candlestick in black, red and yellow from Ethiopia, and a satin bedspread from Pakistan, even a hand carved wooden peg from Switzerland, all this inspires me.
My colleagues in the Craft Britannia team on Etsy are also motivating, they make such lovely products, and are top-notch friendly people as well 🙂
What plans do you have for your shop in the future?
Well my little shop will be closing soon, so this is the last chance to buy! I’m going to work in Japan but as Japan is the home of metal clay, this is probably not the end of the Ministry!
Thank you Abbie! Keep in touch, we wish you a wonderful journey! Follow Abbie here: