Hi and Welcome to all my Fabulous Followers, for those of you who have not yet been exposed to the charms of Sarah Bratley from Ruby Rouge you are in for a huge sweet sticky ice-cream sundae, everything on it, all the toppings you could ever wish for treat!! Her jewellery, takes inspiration from mythical and fairy tale sources such as Alice in Wonderland and Pirates and has a vintage feel. She revels in making jewellery that truly reflects the imagination and wonder of children (with the use of colourful buttons and fantasy images), whilst providing us jewellery starved ladies with a healthy dose of escapism! The quality of her pieces are superb. Hooray for Sarah for giving us an opportunity to be playful with our Style! I hope you enjoy my interview with her as much as I did. Sx
Q1.How did you become a jewellery designer?
A-This is a bit of a long story! Ready? I finished University last September after completing an MA in American Literature and Culture. At the time I thought I’d fall into editing or journalism but the recession had just hit and there were no jobs - ANYWHERE! I started volunteering at a couple of museums – I love history - to try and get a bit of experience and see if I liked the world of Curating. I soon realised that it wasn’t really quenching my creative thirst. One day after I’d finished volunteering I was walking through town and walked past a bead shop. I walked in and got a few bits to make some jewellery with. I’ve always had a need to make things, but had never really properly tried making jewellery before. I’d strung beads on a string, but I had never really progressed any further than that. I started making necklaces as soon as I got home and was really pleased with the results. I gave them to my best friends who seemed equally happy with them and it suddenly dawned on me that jewellery designing was what I should be doing. By November I had started buying supplies and making pieces I wanted to wear but could never find in shops. Then I set up an etsy shop and went to as many craft fairs as possible and Ruby Rouge Jewellery was born. If someone had told me a year ago that I would be a self-employed jewellery designer I wouldn’t have believed them, but I am so glad I am! The recession has actually benefited me in a positive way and allowed me to do something I love.
Q2.How would you describe your collection?
A-My collection is really varied and there’s not really one word that can be used to sum it up as a whole. My pieces range from the romantic and elegant to the cute and kitsch. Some are whimsical, some contain elements of fantasy or nostalgia, some are more modern and others are vintage in style. It’s such a mix, there’s definitely something for everyone!
Q3 Who or what do you draw your inspiration from?
A-I’m inspired by Alice in Wonderland, afternoon tea, the past, France, pirates, literature, children’s stories, all things nautical, nature and fantasy. One of the most amazing sources of inspiration for me was Sophia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette. The pastel colour palate she used was stunning and I fell in love with the romance and extravagance of everything. I often try to make my jewellery reflect the aesthetics of Marie Antoinette and when it does it makes me smile.
4.How does the designing process usually start for you?
I find this a really hard question to answer because it happens in so many different ways. Sometimes I’ll be thinking about jewellery designs and something will come to me and I’ll make it. Other times I’ll start with one thing I know I’d like to use and add components until I feel it works as a piece.