A bit about me...

Growing up

My siblings and I were born and raised in Jerez de la Frontera, but were raised bilingual as our mother was american.  I went to Cincinnati (USA) to study Biology, but once I tried sculpting and jewellery, I was hooked!  I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (cum laude) with concentration on sculpture from the College of Mount Saint Joseph, now called the University of Mout St. Joseph, where my mother had previously studied.  After University, I worked building harpsichords (family business), building small ultra light craft (also a family business), and ended up assisting my father (a lawyer) working on real state on the Mediterranean coast for a few years.  I met my husband, moved to Jersey, got married and had 4 children.  For many years I was a very busy mum but my workshop was always packed on the side; so I was always fixing things, sketching, restoring antiques, gilding frames…

Recently

I have always enjoyed working with my hands.  I started playing around with jewellery again a few years ago, as it doesn’t require a lot of room, and I had collected quite a few tools over the years.    On January 2016, I decided to set up as a sole trader, and here I am.  But I still carry on exploring painting and sculpting.  I don’t believe one has to stick to one thing, it’s good to experiment and play with different ideas and mediums and expand one’s self. 

How I work

I work mainly on silver, sometimes adding gemstones or pearls.  One thing I am known for is making pendants, and other items using the bits pottery found around Jersey beaches.  

My designs are inspired both on things I see, mostly out and about Jersey, and images that just pop in my mind.   Nature, animals and specially insects and sea creatures are my great inspiration and love; I love the countryside and beaches over here, they are amaizingly beautiful.  If you haven't been to Jersey or the Channel Islands, they are definitely worth the visit.  

 

Sometimes I come up with an idea, and as soon as I get into my workshop I just get on with it.  I have a large tin where I store my sketches and I like looking through it and find a design I feel like doing.

 

I only use traditional tools and techniques, and every item I make is from my own design and inspiration.  Once I chose a design to make, I make further sketches and studies of the steps to take, the materials and so on. I then get a piece of silver sheet, or wire, or whatever I think is required, and start sawing, filing, soldering, forging, hammering… whatever technique I need to use to get it done. 

These pictures are of my old workshop... A bit messy,  not very big but it had what I needed then.   I have hit my head on that slanted ceiling so many times!  

On January 2016, I decided to go for it and I set up my little business as a sole trader and became a Genuine Jersey on March 2016.

 

I love what Genuine Jersey stands for and their values, specially in this modern world of cheap multi production and throw-away society.  I am obviously not from Jersey but I adore this island, its beauty, history and people. Being a member of Genuine Jersey, a platform that protects good quality and craftsmanship in Jersey, is an honour to me.

After doing summer markets at St. Aubin's and the Royal Square, Christmas Markets and a couple of other venues, production increased and I had to move to bigger premises.  Renting out in town is out of the question due to costs.  So I fixed the garage a bit and built myself a new studio:

This is my studio now.  It was our garage.  Doors off, second hand glazing, a bit of paint and a few sockets here and there, and... voila! Best studio ever!  I love it, its my special space and I love spending all the hours I can in there.

This is my workbench now.  I built it using B&Q beech countertop for kitchens.  most of my tools are within easy reach.  The Ikea wheeled sets of drawers have more tools and all my stones in them.  On the right is my designing table by the window; on my left is the soldering station and a sink area. 

The rest of the studio is now dedicated to other projects, sculpting or woodwork.

I would like to thank each and everyone of you for your support and comments about my work.  It is your support what makes it possible for me and many other local artists be able to do what we love, and love what we do!

All the best,

 

Aida.

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