Sally is a silversmith and her pieces reflect how she sees life. Australian Opals play a large part in her creative side. Sally hand cuts all her stones in her home studio. This is a technique that is time consuming and incredibly rewarding. Sally’s inspiration for jewellery started from a simple bracelet of a floating diamond. That spurred on a passion that she has nurtured and expounded on to create what is now a driving force in her life. As a self taught silversmith, Sally has created some very unique pieces that incorporate her love of Australian Opal, Chrysoprase and Turquoise to name but a few.
We asked Sally about her acting career, what she enjoys most about creating her jewellery and what she enjoys about being creative.
Tell us a little about your background and what made you start your craft.
I came late into the world of jewellery, my beginnings are humble and quiet. My background is in the arts. I’ve been an actor for 43 years and could not live without being creative. My acting career spans stage, film and screen. A few nominations for Logies, AFI and green room awards. I can honestly say I didn’t work a single day it was pure joy and love. Being artistic is a wonderful way to express what words often cannot. My jewellery career started when I started beading silk necklaces and bracelets with sapphires, pearls and semi-precious stones about 7 years ago then one day 3 years ago, I knew I was ready for the next stage of my journey and quietly transitioned into silversmithing and I haven’t looked back. It is just so exciting to be able to express yourself in silver and gold and gems stones that inspire you and are always challenging you to be better. I found that buying my stones was not challenging enough so I joined my local lapidary club and started cutting my own stones. Only problem was there wasn’t anyone who could teach me how to cut Opal. So I trolled YouTube hungrily watching every opal cutter I could find, bought my own cabbing machine and now combine both skills to make my unique pieces. I love the process from beginning to end. I’m always very attached to each piece as they’ve all been part of my heart to the bench. This will be ‘forever’ my meditation and my peace xxx
What do you create?
I create individually handcrafted pieces of Australian jewellery in gold and silver incorporating hand cut semi precious stones and Opal.
Why did you choose in.cube8r? What do you hope to accomplish as a cuber?
I was contacted by Elle-May on my Etsy web site and asked if I’d like to showcase my pieces in her new shop in PRAHRAN. I’ve only done two markets in the last year and that was pretty disappointing so I thought trying a different exposure would be fun. It’s such a great shop and so supportive of local artists so of course I jumped at the chance to be a part of Elle-May’s vision.
Is your small business a hobby? a side hustle? Or your full time gig?
This is my small part time / full time hobby. It is perfect for now as I’m a one woman band and I like to take my time making each piece. No back room sweat shops here! I’m happy keeping it small…
How many hour a week do you spend doing your craft?
I’m guessing anywhere between 14 and 26 hours. My studio is in my home so most weekends I just roll out of bed sans slippers and into the studio. Turn on my pickle pot and see where the day takes me.
What is your favourite thing about being a maker?
Great question! Being able to be creative is like a drug. Having an outlet is so important. For me it centers my soul. My focus is total when I’m at my bench. There is no drama in my head when I’m working on stuff, hours go by before I realise I forgot to eat! It’s who I am so it’s very important to stay true to who you are.
What do you find is the hardest thing about being a maker?
The hardest thing?… we’ll that would be that little voice that sits on my left shoulder saying “ you’re not good enough”… or a difficult client that makes you jump through hoops. You gotta grow brass balls and wear them with style. And “Don’t take criticism from people you would never go to for advice”…
What are you working on? What are your future plans for your craft?
My Etsy orders keep me busy so I have to get them done before I start on my other projects. I’ve got so many ideas in my head there’s just not enough time in the day. At the moment I’m working on some more boulder opal earrings and re cutting some of my earlier opals now that I have more experience. My future plans are to get my own website finished and up and running. Diversify diversify diversify 🙂
What inspires you? Who & what are your influences?
Inspiration is such a personal thing isn’t it. I’ve always appreciated art having been taken to the National Gallery of Victoria from a very young age to run my hands over the water window. I grew up in different countries. Did kindergarten in Kentucky, grade 1 in Edinburgh. Traveled the world with my family then with my kids. I believe that all of these experiences have influenced and inspired my outlook on life and choices. Working as an actor in an industry that encourages expression would be my main influence.
As a child, what did you want to be “when you grew up”
Oh that’s easy… An actor. Never wavered from that. I started young in the industry and it wasn’t until some 40 years later that I even contemplated doing other things.
What are you listening to and/or reading at the moment?
I have been listening to Queen – We will rock you and SBS on demand…! Just watched ‘The guilty” loved it!
Have you won any awards?
Well, I’m the proud owner of being runner up 3 times. I was nominated for a logie award as ‘best new talent’ and came second! Then nominated for a green room award for “Away” by Michael Gow…..came second… Then….nominated for an AFI award for ‘Best supporting Actress’….and guess what….came second. Bring on second I say :). I’ve never exhibited my jewellery anywhere apart from Incube8r.