So here’s our next post for #meetthemaker month with jeweller Fi Mehra. Fi has been working with us here at iapetus for over 10 years and we have built a fantastic and collaborative relationship. Many pieces of Fi’s jewellery are exclusively sold by us including her amazing and varied silver charm collection – read on for our interview!
1. Could you tell us a little bit about you, and how you came to start your business?
I started a jewellery evening class when I was 16 and loved it so much that I enrolled in the Birmingham School of Jewellery, and spent 3 years training as a diamond mounter. My first job in the business was in a very small trade workshop where I developed my skills alongside designing and making in my spare time for friends and family. I took quite a long career break when I started my family, and started making again full time about 15 years ago, I haven’t looked back since and I absolutely love what I do.
2. How long have you been living in East Sussex? How does where you work inspire you?
I have been living back in East Sussex for nearly 4 years now, after living in Wiltshire for over 20! I have always lived with lots of family close by and they are good at helping me develop designs, lots of opinions can be a good thing … sometimes!
3. Where does your inspiration come from?
My work is inspired by all sorts. Living by the sea and holidaying in Cornwall for a lot of my life has heavily inspired my designs. But, I have also taken ideas for my designs from wildlife all over the country, historical points of interest such as Stonehenge and the textures of the stones, and landscapes such as Salisbury plain.
4. When you are not creating, what do you do?
I have a Cocker Spaniel puppy called Erik, so I spend a lot of time walking him and trying to stop him stealing socks – he’ll have anything he can get his paws on. I love to spend time with my family, including my 2 grand daughters that like to try and ”help” me in the workshop.
5. What’s your favourite current piece?
My favourite pieces of my recent work, are the capsule lockets, I really enjoy making them and wearing them. I also love finding out what people want to have inside them.
6. What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
When it’s Sunday and my gas cylinder runs out.
7. If you had one piece of advice to give other makers, what would it be?
Invest in good tools and someone that likes paperwork.
8. Are there any particular artists or sculptors that inspire you?
Hamish Bowie’s work is amazing and Jim Miller is a wonderful goldsmith. Their technical abilities in all aspects of their designs are so inspiring.
9. Describe your work in 3 words!
Organic, tactile and quirky.
10. Without giving away any state secrets, what’s next on your design agenda?
Ooh, penguins… we are intrigued!
… let us know what you think of Fi’s jewellery by leaving a comment below, and stay tuned for future posts on more of our wonderful artists.