Today we catch up with Glitter and Gem. They first joined us at Patcham this Spring and they will be back with us this Sunday November 13th at Brighton Open Market then also Saturday 19th at Patcham and finally December 4th at Worthing Charmandean. Find out more in our interview below…
Hello from Glitter and Gem, we make unique, one off pieces of handmade jewellery and seasonal wire decorations. We are a husband & wife team, with help from our daughter. John is our lapadarist, electroformer and a metal/silversmith. Sarah is a metal/silversmith, wire worker and designer. Bryony set up Glitter and Gem, turning our hobbies into a small business and continues to help us with designs and marketing. We specialise in our own individually hand cut and hand finished gemstones and crystals, so if your looking for real originality take a look through our website or Etsy shop. Where we can’t incorporate our own gemstones into our designs, we carefully select the most interesting and quality gemstones to compliment each piece. Our designs use a variety of techniques from traditional silver/metal smithing methods and free form wire work to electroforming in recycled copper and fine silver! We can do bespoke orders where you can choose your own gemstone from our range of finished stones or supply your own….just get in touch.
How would you describe your style and your creations?
Our style is free form, unique with original gemstones focusing on contemporary, on trend designs. This starts at the very beginning with cutting the stones, where we carefully follow the best and most interesting part of the gems so they can speak for themselves. Our designs are then made to show each gemstone off to its best using one of our techniques, for many pieces simple, uncomplicated, contemporary designs work well. We have recently been very excited to learn a new technique, electroforming. This started with recycled copper and we now also use fine silver. It is a lengthy process and the results can be temperamental but it does give a very interesting, unique finish which is proving very popular with our customers.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Experimenting and seeing our designs come to life. There is also a big sense of satisfaction when you see a piece of jewellery, that you have spent a lot of blood, sweat and sometimes tears over, make a customer excited and very happy. Each piece has a story. John has a real passion for Opals, so we try to incorporate as many as possible in our jewellery.
When the rough Opal arrives it looks nothing more than a few small rocks, add some water, light and a few hours in the workshop it’s transformed into a stunning precious gemstone, continuing the process with a design, and making each step by hand into a finished piece is enjoyment.
Expect at the stall?
We are very excited to be at 3 Fairytale events this Christmas-So This Is Christmas in Worthing, Patcham and The Open Market in November. We will have a full range of jewellery, suiting all budgets, from very reasonably priced semi precious gemstones in silver/gold plate designs(great for stocking fillers) to precious gems in silver and gold for that someone special in your life ;). We will also have some funky wire Christmas decorations and Christmas Earrings, all made by hand.
We have 3 best sellers in each technique. From our silver/gold range, our best sellers, by far, are our own hand cut Opals. We are told that our simple, contemporary designs compliment them so well. As they are also cut by hand they offer uniqueness and a free form shape, that a machine will never offer. From our wire work range, our hand knitted wire and gemstone bracelets are always a best seller. They are unique, very pretty and comfortable too and made with colour coated copper wires that are anti tarnish they will look good for ages! Finally from our electroformed range, are our rough cut gemstone rings, many who purchase are looking for something different and these certainly are! Everyone is unique (we couldn’t recreate if we tried!) and its a great way to set a rough cut gemstone, because sometimes a gemstone doesn’t need polishing and finishing, its beautiful already.
This year we had our first ever Pop Up Shop, within The Warren, Brighton Fringe Festival. It was for a whole month and a really great opportunity to be able to showcase our whole range and receive some very positive feedback, we would love to do more events like this where we can reach out to new customers. We have recently been contacted by a couple of large events companies/fashion magazines but do not feel we are quite at the stage to exhibit on such a prominent large scale- our ambition is that one day we will be.
I would tell anybody to believe in themselves, if anyone had told me a few years back we would be making jewellery that people wanted to actually wear I would have probably laughed. After years of working in an office, bringing up family, and a few darker life moments with depression and anxiety, I lost my way slightly, my identity as a person and what I actually like doing. Ive always had an creative side but never had the confidence to explore it until recently. I remember my first stall, I was petrified, could I cover the cost? Would anyone like what I did? Would people even stop and look? But they did and they bought it, it was a great feeling.