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Interview with Sharna Flowers

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

Tell us a little bit about your background?

I studied at the Sir John Cass School of Jewellery in London where I did a Post Graduate Certificate in jewellery and silver smithing after finishing a degree in theatre design at Nottingham University in England.

How did you come to your jewellery practice?

I became really interested in making silver jewellery after attending a workshop near where I lived in England. Looking back, as a teenager I was always making some sort of body adornment from beautiful beads my aunt collected for me from local flea markets. I then dabbled in making FIMO jewellery which I sold at craft markets before embarking on formal study in jewellery making.

What is it about jewellery that drew you to this art form?

A few things spring to mind, I love sculptural forms of all kinds. I also love the idea that a three dimensional piece can hold significant meaning for the wearer, which is why I’m drawn to the idea of talismans. I get lost in the precision and technique that is required to work with metals and somehow this fills me with a sense of joy!!

What other creative pursuits do you enjoy?

For many years I worked as a scenic artist in theatres across England and here in Australia, culminating in working as the head set painter at Opera Australia in Sydney. I still love painting, particularly portrait painting, but get very little time to do much nowadays.

What inspires you to create?

Recent events on the bush fires inspired me to make a piece of jewellery that reflected the importance of having a sense of place, and the great loss that can come from losing connection to one’s home and community. I was outraged by the lack of empathy shown by some politicians towards people who had lost their homes. Having a home, to me, is a sanctuary, a connection to my identity and with those I love. I tried to imagine what it would be like to feel displaced like so many people globally, forced to leave their homes in order to flee from violence, such as those currently in Syria.

Who inspires you to create?

I am inspired by my clients who often want to create a piece of jewellery that represents something meaningful to them. Some want a piece that represents their family members, for others representing a loss of someone close to them is important. Some have wanted a commemorative piece for a birth, baptism or 21st birthday keepsake. I love working collaboratively with clients, coming up with a design that is unique to their needs.

Describe your jewellery in one sentence:

The jewellery I love to make combines silver, copper, gold and semi-precious stones to create a meaningful object for a contemporary twist on the idea of a talisman.

What is your proudest jewellery achievement to date?

Recently I made 70 sterling silver commemorative apple badges for an oncology social work conference in Hobart. The apple was a reminder for self-care, as social workers often give to others and forget to recharge themselves, particularly in the field of palliative care. The image of the apple also represented Tasmania as the 'Apple Isle', as many delegates came from all over Australia and it was their first time visiting Hobart. There are many wonderful craftspeople in Tasmania that I wanted the delegates to leave with something that was hand crafted and carefully made, as a nod to the creative hub Tasmania is.

Where can people find you? (eg Facebook page, website, upcoming market).


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