Name: FALLEN STAR DESIGNS
Mission: TO MAKE THE PICTURES IN MY HEAD INTO REAL SOLID THINGS AND LEARN ALL THE CRAFTING SKILLS THAT EXIST TO BE LEARNT
It was working at Secret Garden Party in 2009 with Green Stewards that I met Sharia, the creative force behind Fallen Star Designs. We have worked at many festivals together but are both now pursuing other projects. We have kept in touch over Facebook for the last couple of years and she has been a strong supporter of The Spiralling since it began.
Sharia started making jewellery when her mum bought her some beading equipment about 10 years ago. “I have tried my hand at macrame, making things from precious metal clay, crocheting with wire and beads and now mainly focus on wire weaving and resin work. It’s a bit of an obsession and I still want to learn so much more.”
Having recently given birth to a gorgeous little girl, Sharia spends a lot of time juggling her creative and maternal talents. “I often work on the sofa late at night after my daughter is asleep. Or on the bus, wherever I can really. Between midnight and 4am is an especially creative time for me. I’ve just moved into a place where I have a separate room to make stuff in which is exciting.”
Most of Sharia’s work is freeform. “I don’t draw things beforehand, I just start and see where it finishes. I used to be so impatient but it’s the only thing that can make me sit and be still, it’s really calming. It’s like meditation! I love seeing how each piece is going to turn out.” A lot of her work is inspired by nature and her surroundings, “for example the shape of a shell, the head of a dandelion clock, stars in the sky, stained glass windows and stormy seas.”
Despite creating beautiful, unique pieces Sharia battles with her fear of putting her work out there. “I remember making things that I’ve been really proud of, then not getting a very good reaction, and that’s really hard. I only started considering myself an artist recently when a couple of people called me that and I was like ‘I’m not an artist, I just make jewellery’ but I guess it’s a confidence thing. Calling myself an artist felt strange. Not sure why!”
Sharia would love to make a living from her art but dosn’t feel she is a very good salesperson. “I make things because I love making them. It makes me so proud when I see people pick up a piece and look at again and again, and knowing that they maybe can’t afford to buy it, but then being able to say ‘you can have it, just donate what you can, if you can’, I love being able to do that! But I probably tend to give stuff away bit too much.”
One my favourite stories that Sharia told me was about a little girl who came to her stall. “She really liked a pendant and kept on picking it up, it was an ammonite fossil. She really loved fossils and we talked about them for a bit but her dad said she didn’t have enough money. They came back later and I told her she could have it, but then her dad gave me the cash. I said I didn’t expect it, and he said that was why he was giving it to me.”
As each piece can take many hours to make she feels she needs to learn “how to communicate the time spent on each piece a bit better. I tend to feel uncomfortable asking for enough to make that into a fair hourly wage. I think a lot of artists struggle with feeling confident enough to value their time properly. It may be hard to make a living from art for sure but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It just means finding the time to create, getting over the fear, expecting to work really hard, and not listening when parents tell you that it’s an unachievable pipe dream.”
In the near future Sharia hopes to learn some new skills such as form folding, and learning to weld in order for he to start making metal sculptures. “I would like to make some new collections including a Resin collection which will capture beautiful parts of the natural world in wearable form. It’s a neverending process and I hope that I’ll continue for many years to come. With jewellery techniques you can constantly expand on your knowledge, it literally never stops.”
Sharia will be displaying a selection of her jewellery at The Spiralling Exhibition from the 19th – 24th of October in Bristol. For more information about the event please click here.