Eco-friendly jewellery from Susanencapsulates

This week we talk with jewellery maker Susan Webster, whose handmade, up-cycled Encapsulate jewellery is lovingly made from used aluminium coffee capsules and mixed materials contained within gleaming silver plated settings. Susan is based in the Scottish Highland town of Nairn.

  1. What first led you in the direction of making jewellery?

I studied for a degree in Design and became an Art and Design teacher for many years. During that time, I became very adept at utilising pre-used materials in creative work. Although I love drawing, painting and other areas of Art and Design, I developed a strong interest in jewellery making while helping my students design pieces for their SQA units. When I finished teaching, I relished the opportunity to make my own pieces.

 

  1. Your jewellery is upcycled, can you tell us why this is so important to you?

Another passion of mine is caring for the environment. I am pretty rigorous about reducing waste, re-using things and recycling, so if I can find another use for things before disposing of them, I will. The coffee capsules I had collected had a very attractive variety of colours, so I experimented to develop my own style of working with them.

 

  1. What are your favourite materials to use?

I enjoy using all sorts of materials, but with this particular product, the base material is aluminium, which is quite soft and malleable, shiny and lightweight. For decorating the capsules, I use an array of pre-used, often broken, bits of jewellery; sometimes my own, some contributed by others, and some I buy in charity shops. Single earrings which have lost their partners make really good feature points. My favourite searches are on the beach where I seek out tiny pieces of sea-glass, shells, corals and pebbles and often the beach-themed pieces include a sprinkle of local sand.

  1. How long does it take to make a piece?

The process of producing each piece involves first of all, drinking the coffee (well, somebody has to do it!), then opening the capsules to clean out the coffee grounds (which I compost), then wash and dry them. I then crush them and fill the backs with clay to give them a little more weight and keep them firm. Once they’re baked, I add a little paint and a few bits and pieces I think will fit and enhance the individual shapes of each one. After a final selection, I stick it all with a non-toxic adhesive. Lastly, I attach the silver bail, brooch pin or bangle. This is all quite time-consuming, so it takes me over 4 hours to make each piece. That’s not counting the sourcing of materials, packaging, photography and marketing.

  1. What inspires your creativity when making a new piece of jewellery?

My inspirations are very varied, but can be summarised as: nature, culture and fashion- I’ve made pieces inspired by landscapes, beaches, seasons flowers, insects, themes like music, art, sailing, tartan etc. I especially enjoy matching up jewellery to particular outfits, as some people commission me to do for special occasions.

 

  1. What’s your favourite piece of jewellery that you’ve made before and why?

My favourite is difficult to pinpoint, but I made a set for myself for my daughter’s wedding in September, (as well as hair-vines for the bride and bridesmaids, and a kilt pin for the groom) and wearing them brings back happy memories of that lovely day. You can see it on my Facebook page- peachy coloured.

 

  1. What challenges do you face in your work?

There are quite a few challenges in my work- like living with my ‘studio’ being my dining room table! Keeping up with marketing when I’d really rather be making jewellery, sourcing eco-friendly packaging etc, and finding time to set up an Etsy shop or website, which I haven’t managed to do yet.  It’s also too easy to hide away and make jewellery instead of taking time out to socialise- I should do more of that. My health imposes a few limitations on how much I can do, as I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis with all its complications since I was 29, but  I’m very lucky to be doing something I enjoy-  I am loving being my own boss, sharing my creations with others, receiving positive feedback and making people happy in my own minor way, while minimising my impact on the environment.

 

 

 

💫 MOTHER’S DAY COMPETITION 💫

Mums deserve to be spoilt rotten and when better to do that than Mother’s Day. If you’re struggling to find the perfect gift, fear not as we are giving one lucky person the chance to win this incredible prize.

We’ve teamed up with the fabulous   @susanencapsulates to give one lucky winner a chance to win this beautiful, unique upcycled jewellery set, inspired by nature culture and fashion. Eco friendly fashion.
The winner will also receive our Rose Whisper Hand and Body Collection, created using up to 99% ingredients from natural origins & up to 73% from organic farming, chosen for sensitive skin.


For your chance to #win simply head over to our Facebook page.
 
  

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