Sue Gregor ‘Face to face’

What first inspired you to become a jewellery designer?

I started making jewellery because I liked the idea of making a work of art that you could wear. Something that you could carry with you and would be beautiful. I did not want to make work that hung on a wall, I wanted to make something which has a more intimate interaction with people.

How did you learn how to do what you do?

I developed my work during my MA at UWE. It evolved out of a process of playing and researching materials. It took me 4 years to develop properly. So I guess I am sort of self taught.

What items do you mainly make?

I make cuffs, earrings and necklaces. But mainly cuffs.

What kind of materials do you use?

I use glass quality acrylic, sterling silver and silk,

Where does your inspiration come from?

Living in a city as I do, people might think I’d be hard-pressed to find inspiration for my leaf and floral jewellery – far from it. The plants and weeds which grow in the front gardens and wastelands, in hedges and along paths are a rich source of material. I see beauty all around me and the plants which have struggled to succeed in an urban environment give me inspiration on a personal level and for my jewellery.

What is your design process?

I start by going for a walk. Collecting leaves. I come back to the studio and press them. Then I mix colours and arrange the leaves in designs. They are then applied to the acrylic.

What have been some of your favourite jewellery pieces you’ve created and why?

My favourite is usually the last one I made. I don’t really have an all time favourite. This is because there are so many and every leaf is beautiful in its own way so I could not possibly choose.

Could you describe the woman who wears your jewellery? Who is your ideal customer?

My customers come in all ages. From young to old. I want to sell to everyone who likes my work. So I don’t have an ideal. I think they are all lovely.

Is there one piece in your collection that you think every woman should have?

I think if they like my work they should have a piece, But people are so individual I would not recommend the same item to everyone. The most popular items are my cuffs.

What are you working on now? Do you have any new projects?

I am working on a my totally tropical 1970’s range. Pieces with 3 or 4 colours and multiple plants layered up to make a celebration of colour and pattern. I am also working on some new necklaces.

As well as this I am developing a range of gorgeous exclusive silk scarves. They are taking the designs from the jewellery and putting them onto textiles. This has also lead onto framed prints.

How do you think contemporary jewellery is going to develop?

The trends I would say at the moment are for recycled or found objects being included in jewellery. It is all about putting together surprising objects and mixing the found with valuable materials.

3D Printing is another big development technically which will have huge impacts on what is possible to achieve. I am looking forward to seeing the new outcomes which are achievable with it. There is also a trend for colourful work which is producing splendid results.

I think contemporary jewellery is always surprising innovative and individual jewellers will surprise us with new work, processes and innovations that can not be predicted. I can’t wait to see it!

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