Victoria handcrafts beautiful ethical gold and silver jewellery. Her shop, VixJarmanJewellery, is our new CraftBritannia Shop of the Week. Read on for our interview…
Describe your “typical” working day or week
It took me a little while, but I have now settled into a routine where I spend a couple of hours on the computer in the morning – answering messages, updating stock, etc – while I drink a few cups of tea and generally wake up my brain! Then I walk the dog and get her settled in the garden with a chew, which leaves the rest of the day free for playing with shiny things!
Odin’s Ravens Cufflinks by VixJarmanJewellery
When you are not doing Etsy related things, what are you doing?
I live in a very arty little town and I’m currently involved in organising an arts trail in Corsham and the surrounding towns and villages (sneaky plug ~ http://www.peacockartstrail.co.uk). Other than that I’m usually meeting up with friends and family, pottering in the garden, or occasionally my husband and I make it out to climb some hills (it used to be mountains but we’re not so fit these days!)
What was the first piece you ever sold?
On Etsy it was some pink tourmaline earrings to a friend. She lives in Switzerland which made it doubly exciting as I was instantly an international seller!
What advice would you give someone taking up your craft for the first time?
Patience, practice and experiment! There will be days when you’re tearing your hair out, crying “why, why won’t the solder flow where I want?!” Everybody has days when they just need to down tools and walk away from the bench. But there will be many more days when you make something that you love and are immensely proud of. Don’t be afraid to try a new technique, style or design. Spend lots of time mastering the basics of soldering, piercing and filing – it’s not glamorous but it will allow you the freedom to concentrate on design without limitations. Generally just enjoy!
Moissanite Gold Engagement Ring by VixJarmanJewellery
What material do you most enjoy working with?
I’m a recent convert to yellow gold and am really enjoying the new designs and ideas that are flowing as a result. I only work with 100% recycled metals and the recycled yellow gold I work with has a wonderful reddish tint, it’s very subtle and looks amazing with a satin finish!
If you could try a new craft, what would it be?
I dabble in a bit of stained glass which I really enjoy. I’d love to have a go at woodturning, perhaps make some smooth wooden bowls inlaid with fine silver … ooh, lovely!
Which piece of equipment would you be helpless without?
My hand clamp – it’s just a small wooden tool for holding pieces of jewellery while I file, polish or set stones. It’s saved my fingers from being filed/polished on many occasions!
Tell us about what inspires and motivates you
Hmm, I never know how to answer questions like this! I’m motivated by my love of making, simple as that really. I absolutely love the feeling of sitting down and creating something from scratch, it’s just very, very satisfying. I love working on custom orders and developing an idea with a customer to create something unique for them. I’ve had some truly lovely customers who are a joy to work with and come up with some fantastic ideas! Inspiration for me comes from everywhere and everything. It might be a shape or texture I’ve seen and want to replicate somehow, or it might just be something that pops into my head in the middle of the night! I’ve never been one to sit down and plan things out, I like to just get stuck in and my pieces often evolve as I’m making them.
Moissanite Geometric Pendant by VixJarmanJewellery
Tell us about one handmade item that you own and love
I have a gorgeous treasure chest that has been decoupaged by my sister and I use to store my photography equipment. She’s very talented and also does dressmaking and textiles – she should have an Etsy shop!
What plans do you have for your shop in the future?
I’m pretty happy with the way things are going at the moment – balancing working on my steadily increasing orders and also finding time for new designs. I’m starting to develop some collections, for example the ‘Brushed Silver & Gold’ pieces I’ve made recently. I’ve got a few more pieces to add to that collection before I start working on the next one…so many ideas, not enough time!
Thank you Victoria for really interesting insight into your beautiful work!
Please check out Victoria’s links: Blog: victoriajarman.com, Facebook: @VixJarmanJewellery, Pinterest: victoriajarman, & Twitter @VixJarman
Victoria was talking to Nadine of imyinda and MuntjacVintage. Article published by Erika of ErikaPrice and Blucha jewellery