Good morning you lovely lot!
Thank you for all the love on our Christmas Gift Guide last week – I had a fab time putting it all together, and I hope it helped you with some ideas!
But now it is back to those Creative Q&As, and this week is our chat with fabulous Faye, of Kosmic Sun Designs!
Bright, fun, individual statement polymer jewellery with no shortage on colour, and a few tassels thrown in for good measure – what more could you need?
JANEY: Hello Faye! So let’s get stuck in – who, what, why??
FAYE: Hi! I’m Faye, the Yorkshire based designer/ maker behind the one-woman-business that is ‘Kosmic Sun.’
I’ve loved creating and crafting since I was young and have distinct childhood memories of being captivated by my mum sewing handmade clothes, and being taught to finger crochet by my grandma. I studied Textile Design at Huddersfield University and though I didn’t pursue a creative career after graduating, I’ve always had a craft project (or ten) on the go ever since. I’m a sucker for new experiences and trying to master new things, which is why I think I’ve never stuck with one craft over the years and have flirted with knitting, crochet, quilting, embroidery and weaving in the past.
My love for polymer clay and subsequent creation of the brand ‘Kosmic Sun’ though, is a fairly recent occurrence and something which I have to thank lockdown for. Having had my Primary Teacher training end suddenly in March due to Covid, I was left with a lot of time on my hands and a pile of clay, which had originally been designated for making cake toppers for a friend’s now postponed wedding. I’d also made myself a promise at the start of the year that I’d boycott fast fashion, not buying any new clothing or accessories unless they were from handmade or indie sellers.
So, as a self confessed statement earring addict with no-where to go, I decided to while away the lockdown days making myself some snazzy dangles inspired by other indie jewellery makers using polymer clay. I watched a few YouTube videos to get some tips, ordered some basic sculpting tools and gave it a bash. When I’d made more than enough to facilitate several earring changes for everyday of the week my fella suggested I should think about setting some of them free in the world and Kosmic Sun was born.
J: Multiple projects on the go at one time is something I can absolutely relate to… I’m constantly flitting between kitting, embroidery, upcycling…(the list goes on) but I do enjoy having the choice!
Also I must say, is there a club we can join to celebrate this year’s statement jewellery that has rarely been seen by the outside world?? Talk about all dressed up and nowhere to go…
So where exactly does the inspiration for your fab earrings come from?
F: Oooh that’s quite a difficult one. I’m still fairly new to both the medium and the making process and in the beginning I definitely looked to other established jewellery makers and what was popular in order to find inspiration (yes, I made an obligatory pair of cactus earrings.) I honestly don’t put a lot of conscious thought into my inspiration as I’m making now. However, over time I think that I’ve become increasingly inspired by my own personal likes and interests. I’m a fan of folk art and bohemian design, as well as bright colours, bold prints and nature and I’m finding that my earrings seem to be subconsciously inspired by a melting pot of all the things I love.
I recently made a pair of ‘Super Kosmic dangles’ and realised afterward that I’d clearly been unconsciously influenced by all the gorgeous, vintage, Navajo jewellery I’d been admiring earlier that day on Instagram.
J: Those influences absolutely do come through in your work, and that mix of nature and bold prints as inspiration is SO effective as an outcome.
Please can you talk us through your design process?
F: Hmm well, I don’t really have a refined design process and I’m not sure that I ever would. I’ve only once ever started out with a fully formed earring in my minds eye – and that design didn’t work out! Some of my designs have started as a doodled pattern I’ve created on my tablet, others have begun simply as a colour combination I wanted to try out, but most have come about purely through experimentation.
Experimenting was pretty much a necessity when I initially began making with polymer clay, in order to figure out the limitations and possibilities presented by the medium, but I’d say it’s still pretty much the integral and only part of my design process. I think because polymer clay is such a versatile and accessible medium, and there aren’t really any of the founding rules that you have learn to adopt craft like knitting, It’s given me the means to really explore my own creativity. So, the majority of my designs have come about by sitting down at my fold-away making table, getting out all of my clay, cutters and tools and just having a good old play.
J: That is brill, that you have no idea what a certain piece will look like in the end, and that you can just play with the materials until you’ve got an outcome you are happy with! That is a skill to be admired for sure.
I’m totally in love with your ‘Super Kosmic Tassels’, how on earth do you choose what kind of elements will go onto each pair as you are making?
F: Thankyou! Again, for each pair it’s largely an experimental process. There are 15 components that make up each earring and the arrangement and shape of these is largely already set. But, each pair I make is entirely unique so there’s still a lot of play. I usually begin with a colour combo for the studs and arches, and then work organically from there, intuitively picking other colours as I go. Experimenting with little motifs and complementary design features for each of the individual pieces of the earrings, swapping out and re-arranging components, until they all just feel ‘RIGHT’ together. It’s almost like discover the earring as I go along. I love that so many of my pieces are created this way. By allowing myself to have a playful attitude and not setting myself any constraints. It means I can really feel free within the creative process.
J: That sounds like a LOT of fun. But, if you absolutely had to choose, what is your favourite colour combination?
F: Aaaarrgh! That’s such a hard one! But I think if I absolutely had to choose I’d say a bright aqua blue and orange marigold colour are my my most fav combo at the moment.
J: Lushhhh. And what do you reckon might be on the cards for the future of your business?
F: Oooh well, I’ve had a lot of people who’ve said they love my style but that earrings just aren’t their bag. So, I have plans to start expanding my jewellery and accessories offer starting with some statement necklaces and broches. At the end of summer I sold at my first ever – socially distanced- makers market, and it was such a thrill getting to meet customers in person, that I’ve applied to attend a couple more over the Christmas period, so hopefully I’ll get to meet more customers and amazing handmade crafters face to face before the year is out. I’ve also started to think about creating a website, but I think that might have to be project for the new year. As I’m currently trying to land my first ever teaching gig in a bit of a stagnant job market, as well as keeping my new side hustle alive.
J: I would say everyone needs a side hustle right?
So finally Faye – where can we get our hands on your wonderful work?
F: You can visit my Etsy shop for all my ready made creations. I also do sporadic sales of super limited batches through my Instagram page (@kosmicsundesigns), where you can also inbox me to create any custom orders. I’ve had few commissions lately and I’ve absolutely loved working collaboratively to make something totally unique to the customer. So, if you like my style and have a dream item of jewellery in mind, get in touch and we can make it happen together!
SO get yourself over to Etsy (just search ‘KosmicSun’), and keep those eyes peeled on Instagram for lovey newness! As you now know, all of Faye’s pieces are handmade and therefore individual, but if you do spot anything that take your fancy but is no longer available, just get in touch in Instagram!
BIG love to Faye for finding the time to answer our nosey questions this time of year, and what perfect timing: her new collection launches tomorrow (Sat 28th November)!!
See you there!
Check back in next week for our Christmas decoration overview – where we will be discussing all of the the beautiful decs, cards and wrap that we have seen this year, ready to adorn our safe spaces with sparkle and magic!