A bit about me...
My name is Aida, I design and make silver jewellery by hand using traditional jewellery making techniques at my studio in St. Saviour, Jersey (Channel Islands).
I am a member of Genuine Jersey, a local association which promotes the quality of local handmade products.
All sold items can be made again. You are welcome to come to my studio and discuss any commission work.
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. These are pictures of my first studio in the lean-to by the garage. My customers and I used to knock our heads on the ceiling... so I had to do something about it.
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 choose 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.
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, meanss a great deal to me.
After doing summer markets at St. Aubin's, Simply Spring and Simply Christmas at the Royal Square, and a couple of other events, I decided to move to bigger premises. Renting out in town is out of the question for artists 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.