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Interview with Kirsty Sharp

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

Our second emerging jeweller for 2019, Kirsty Sharp, hasn’t been making jewellery for very long, but has always lived a very creative life. After following her curiosity for jewellery design, Kirsty has been working diligently at her craft and won the FIND Student Bursary in December last year. We are delighted to announce that Kirsty will be exhibiting her work at FIND Collective throughout May and June this year and we can’t wait to share her passion with you.

Tell us about your background.

I’ve always been making things, with a definite preference for tactile, 3D objects. My background includes working in vocational education, online learning and an early business designing and making children’s wear. Outside of work I love being in nature, whether it’s our permaculture inspired home garden or further afield. Frequent travel inspires me with new perspectives. How long have you been making jewellery?

I started making jewellery in 2014 as a new direction for my persistent urge to make. What started as an interesting night class rapidly escalated into a passion. I love the learning that is ongoing with my jewellery practice, learning new ways to form metal and stones to create 3D objects.

What is it that sparked your interest in contemporary jewellery?

I’ve always liked jewellery to wear and I am drawn to the modern, organic and asymmetrical side of things. When I started making jewellery I was most inspired and interested in contemporary approaches to design, drawing on the traditions of metal smithing to bring my ideas into reality. Learning to use complex techniques and skills keeps my mind engaged and imagination firing.

Describe your practice in 3 words:

Organic, quirky and delightful

Can you give us some insight into your creative process?

Often a new piece will start from a spark of an idea - it might be a new gemstone, a texture or pattern from the world around me. I like to collect objects like pebbles, leaves and pods when walking, or to snap a texture or pattern for surface design. Quite often the idea will evolve as it comes into being, and I do let the materials guide the evolution.

Can you tell us about the piece you're most proud of?

I’m going to sound soppy here! Last year my son and now daughter-in-law asked me to make their wedding rings. They had some ideas of style and I worked through a few samples before we decided on the final design. There was so much love invested in the making and I was honoured they asked!

Do you have a favourite jeweller's tool?

My torch! It’s always fun to play with fire.

What is the most frustrating and most rewarding thing about making jewellery?

Some days it is easier to walk away from the bench and come back fresh. The combination of physical skill and mental clarity isn't always there, which is frustrating when you just want to get things done. The most rewarding thing about making jewellery is when I finish a piece and it sings to me.

Is there a skill you'd like to develop or a material you'd like to work with in the future?

I’m working on expanding my stone setting skills as a way of bringing colour into my pieces. Also I’m continuing to learn more about carving and forming Mokume-gane.


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