Meet Guest Designer Nadja Shieds
Hi Nadja, can you tell us a little bit about you and your history in jewellery making?
Growing up, I was always involved in crafts in one way or other as both, my Mum and Gran were very creative people and we spent many blissful hours together making things such as painted plaster-cast masks, Christmas decorations, paper art among other things.
My jewellery making journey started in 2010 when discovered micro macrame. It slowly evolved from there as I discovered other mediums such as metal clay, wire work and more recently, silversmithing.
What’s your speciality when it comes to jewellery making?
I started out with Micro-macrame and Macrame and have tried seed beading, silver clay, chain maille but more recently I have specialised in wire work and have taken up metal smithing.
How long have you been in the jewellery industry?
I have been creating jewellery as a hobby since 2013 but started to teach and create jewellery for sale in 2014. I began teaching and writing micro-macrame tutorials in 2015 which is when JewelleryMaker contacted me to ask if I would be interested to become a Guest designer on their channel.
Do you have a day job?
This is my day job! I write/film tutorials in various mediums, sell my jewellery and teach workshops. It certainly is the best job in the world!
Tell us about your favourite moment on JewelleryMaker?
My favourite memory with JewelleryMaker is when Allison Tarry and I were brining the micro-macrame/wire dragon to air. It was such an exciting project and show and working in collaboration with Alison was great fun!
What first piqued your interest in jewellery making?
When I was due to marry in 2006 I needed something ‘blue’, and I had a broken blue necklace my Gran had given me some time back. I fixed it and the process made me curious about creating jewellery from scratch. My Mum always had beads and findings in her stash so it was a familiar concept for me but up until then I had only ever created display pieces and not jewellery.
What is your favourite piece of jewellery in your personal collection? (Pics please!!)
It’s two pieces actually: a ring I inherited from my Mum and another I inherited from my Gran. Both are really simple but irreplaceable to me.
What is your favourite piece of jewellery you’ve ever made? (Pics please!!)
That’s a difficult question as it changes all the time as I progress in my creative journey, If I had to choose, it’s probably my tanzanite bracelet and a multi-stone, pave-set pendant. Both were milestone pieces in my wrapping journey and I have kept them in my possession.
What do you enjoy the most about being on JM?
I absolutely love the creative process and sharing the knowledge. One of my favourite things about my job is teaching people how to create things and watch them flurish. JM has such a diversity of beautiful gemstones, materials, tools and other relevant products, it’s a privilege to be able to inspire our viewership with them as no piece would be complete without the right materials.
If you were an animal, which would you be and why?
My favourite animals are parrots. They are incredibly smart and beautiful creatures. I used to ‘be owned’ by an African grey parrot called Mango. When we left Africa to live in the UK he went to live in an aviary with a mate. Having him as a pet changed my perception of parrots forever as his intelligence was truly incredible but also that they should be in the wild where they truly belong.
Where can we follow your future adventures? (IG/ FB Page etc)
I mainly post to my Instagram and facebook but you can also find me on youtube where I post tutorial videos on a regular basis.
Finally, what advice would you give to someone starting out in jewellery making?
We all get frustrated along the way whether we are beginners or more seasoned creators, so don’t give up! We all start at the beginning it’s easy to compare your chapter 2 to someone else’s chapter 56 and get discouraged. Remember that your creative journey is unique and not comparable to anyone else’s. Lastly, practice doesn’t really guarantee perfection, but it does make progress!