When Siân Padgett planned her wedding five years ago she hit a stumbling block with jewellery… she knew exactly what she wanted but just couldn’t find it.
That’s no longer a problem for the 54-year-old who lives in Wellington, as she now makes and sells necklaces, bracelets and earrings… so instead of being the bride in search of the perfect necklace to match her outfit, she now finds friends and relatives come to her and ask her to design pieces for their special days.
“I had been looking for a very, very simple little ruby necklace and earrings, I eventually found some but they weren’t really what I wanted. If only I’d been making my jewellery then, it would have been something I’d have much preferred.”
Siân, who sells her jewellery directly and via The Sporting Duchess in Wellington High St, began by taking a silversmithing course at Court Fields Community School in Mantle Street.
“I work part-time as a cartographer in the Hydrographic Office in Taunton, having worked in drawing offices since I left school. There used to be quite a creative element to it which now has been digitally removed in a way.
“I was interested in doing something that I could do from home, something that was quite therapeutic,” she says. “It was just the creative side of it that appealed.
“I let my interest in jewellery lapse a bit after the silversmithing course – it’s quite expensive to set up, the kiln and expensive instruments – then suddenly the idea came into my head of trying beadsmithing.”
Her experience drawing charts for the Hydrographic Office and previously maps for Ordnance Survey stood her in good stead. “You need a huge amount of patience, good attention to detail and an artistic flair to put the shapes and scale of the beads together.
“I was very keen to work with semi-precious stones, they are so beautiful. Labradorite and turquoise are my favourites and lot of the agates are quite useful. You can get them in a range of colours and they tend to be really good value for money.”
Joanna Sandow, who sells Siân’s designs at The Sporting Duchess, says: “It’s nice to sell something that’s sold locally and these are very well made. A lot of thought has gone into them. They have a slightly chameleon quality which means they go with everything.”
Siân’s jewellery is on sale at The Sporting Duchess in High Street, Wellington or contact her on 07929 437325
Story & Images: Anne Horner