First off, what got you started in your jewellery designing career?
I have always been creative and loved anything to do with art at school but, as my work as a lawyer became more hectic, I felt that my creativity was increasingly becoming buried due to the stresses and strains of my life in the corporate world. My interest in jewellery designing was really born of a need to escape from those strains and stop me becoming 100% absorbed in my day job!
I am self-taught and enjoy exploring new techniques and processes without any preconceptions about what is or isn't possible. In my mind there is never any right or wrong way to create a piece so I feel complete freedom when designing. I love every moment that I am creating my pieces because it is a purely self-indulgent process as far as I am concerned and creating makes me feel totally absorbed and filled with creative energy which leaves no room for stress or strain. Simply put, when I am creating my jewellery I feel truly happy :)
Starting up Sakura Jewellery has allowed me to channel my creative energy into a tangible form. I also wanted to offer an alternative to the mass-produced jewellery abundant in the high street stores these days. I felt sure that it was possible to offer beautiful, hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces at affordable prices and that is my mission for Sakura Jewellery now and in the future :D
What are the things that inspire you?
I am definitely inspired by the materials that I use and, in particular, the array of colours I find in the gemstones I use. I think colour affects us all hugely perhaps without us ever noticing and I really love to use harmonizing combinations in my work. I must admit that I don't follow fashion trends at all and generally make what pleases me and puts a smile on my face lol
Many of my recent pieces have been heavily influenced by the gorgeous Karen silver I have used. For example, when I look at a Karen silver Sakura (cherry blossom) the rest of the piece just builds itself around that focal in my mind.
How would you describe the creative process you go through when making a piece?
My designs either come to me in my dreams or just pop into my head when I least expect it. It is an almost magical process which I don't really understand myself. I must say it can also be rather worrying at times because there is always the possibility that the flow of design inspiration could stop at any time (fingers crossed that it won't :S).
I generally only ever make one of each design because I believe that jewellery should be as unique as the person who wears it.
I always start off by sketching what is in my head before I start to make anything tangible. This way I can get a feel for the balance and harmony of the design and also a sense of whether the finished piece will work in its entirety.
Once I have the design sketched out I start making the piece and make adjustments to the design as I feel necessary. I think because I sketch my designs first it is very rare that I finish a piece and then feel like I need to start again from scratch.Throughout my employment in Law, I always had the nagging sense that I may have been following the wrong path. It's difficult to explain but I had never really thought about what I particularly wanted from life or my career but rather focused on what others wanted me to do or my perceptions of what was expected of me.
My work as a lawyer was interesting in that it provided a technical challenge, but the environment didn't nurture me spiritually and left me very little time to pursue anything creative outside of work. So, I decided it was time for a complete overhaul of not only my career but my life!
I think the biggest challenge for me was not really leaving my old life but battling the perceptions of others that I was somehow wasting all my education by leaving the Law. Luckily I had strong support from my family and partner who really believed in me and my designs.
To be honest, I have found it much easier and much more rewarding being self-employed lol Now I know that every minute I spend creating my jewellery is for me and my baby "Sakura Jewellery" :)
What is next in for Sakura Jewellery? What are your hopes and plans?
I have enrolled on a silver-smithing course from this November so I can continue to expand my skills and hopefully bring a fresh new twist to Sakura Jewellery come 2008 ;0)
There is also a new Sakura Jewellery website in the pipeline which I am excited about so the future looks bright :)
My hope is that my designs continue to be well received and that I can continue to indulge my passion for the foreseeable future ♥
You can find out more about Anna and Sakura Jewellery at her website and Etsy store. She also runs a blog: