Firstly can you introduce us to your work-space what are you surrounded by when you start a project?
My whole house is my workspace! I punch the leather circles in my kitchen while looking out over our lovely garden and construct the necklaces at my desk in our spare bedroom or in the lounge in front of the telly after my daughter has gone to bed. I love most things vintage and my studio desk is surrounded with a collection of vintage tins, bundles of fabric and leather skins and scrap bits.
So, do you remember where and how the idea came about?
The idea for the necklaces came as I was surrounding myself with the remnants of a new purse design. I had started making purses with hand-punched holes with a fabric backing and as the leather circles started to pile up I decided that I needed to make something lovely from them.
Can you give a brief description of how you started the project?
Once I'd drawn up a few designs it was time to start swinging the hammer!
What were the 5 essential tools for this project?
Tools of the trade: metal hole punches, lump hammer, leather needle, pliers and a leather thimble to stop my fingers falling off!
Can you take us through the stages of development from start to finish?
It's quite a simple process but very labour intensive. I start by punching the leather circles in various colours and string them on to beading wire. Once I reach the desired length, I finish the necklaces off with some carefully chosen beads and a clasp.
Within the whole process of the project what stages did you look forward too?
Choosing from the enormous variety of coloured skins in my stash and working out how to blend the colours into each other is the most enjoyable part of the process.
How did it come out?
As the leather is a relatively light material to use it took a bit of trial and error to get the weight balance of the clasps and beads just right.
Where there any stages you found particularly challenging?
My next challenge is to make a necklace with several strands as a real statement piece of jewellery. I have also started playing around with large chunky stripes and blocks of colour.
Are there any future plans in the pipeline for new designs? Can you tell us about them?
The rewards for each necklace are relatively simple. A large cup of Assam tea, a cuddle with my fat cat Stanley and a biscuit...or two, maybe three.
Thank you Kay! The Made in Britain shop is open from TODAY!, Friday 28th March, with it's official launch party on Wednesday 2nd April - pop down and see them for yourself!
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