Interview: Josie Makes

  1. When do you think you started being really interested in crafting and specifically jewellery making?

    I really enjoyed textiles at school but I wasn't very good at it! I wanted to become a fashion or costume designer but they cut the textiles course at GCSE level so I never went into it in education. I took art instead and in my A-levels began to use stitching and fabric in my own pieces so that's where it started. I have always loved interesting jewellery especially long necklaces with interesting pendants and started to buy cameos to make as a hobby while at uni, but only recently thought to make my own pendants.

  2. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

    It really started with a love of vintage cameo style necklaces, which have beautiful designs, traditionally a woman's face, but other things too. I just one day thought there must be a way to combine stitching with jewellery making and thought that putting stitches somehow into cameo settings would be great, so I just started trying to make it work. As for designs I started off simply with flowers because I knew it was fairly easy to make small stitches look like flowers. My inspiration often comes from observing things around me, I have to carry a small sketchbook with me as I often get ideas at work or on the train.

  3. What other crafts do you like to do?

    My favourite is probably cross stitch. Its the first thing I really got into. I like that there's order in it, which makes it good for beginners. I'm not great at drawing so I find embroidery harder. Cross stitch is very controlled, you draw in the squares and you stitch in the squares. I started designing my own patterns just using graph paper, and love the way that even just using cross stitches, you can create some complex shapes, with curves, not just squares and straight lines. In terms of shape, I'm probably most proud of the dire wolf on my Game of Thrones cross stitch.


  4. Do you have plans to make other kinds of jewellery like bracelets and brooches?

    Yes! I have bought some different settings, including earrings, rings and broaches that would fit my current designs. I have also been requested to make cufflinks, for the guys, so watch this space!

  1. How do you decide what to put in a necklace?

    I generally started thinking of what I would want if it were for me, which makes it hard for me to give any of them up! I look at things that people like to have on clothes/accessories such as flowers or cute animals, butterflies etc, and also popular culture and fashion, currently working on a moustache pendant as they are very 'in' at the moment.
  1. I see that your jewellery is very customisable. Have you got any requests that have been strange or hard to do?

    I had a request to do a kingfisher which was great, although in a way that was fairly easy as a kingfisher is very specific. Another request was for a cupcake which I found harder as I had to choose the colours, the background, the way the icing would look. I worried that the end product won't be what was expected. On the other hand it is nice that someone trusts me enough to just let me choose!

  2. Where do you see your business in the next 5-10 years?

    I would like to think I'll still be going! I work currently in an office so I imagine I will still be working full time and doing this on the side in which case it won't be too crazy. If it became a viable business, I like to think I'd be brave enough to try it!
  1. If you could make a piece for a famous person, who would it be and why?

    The first thing I made (in the early stages of experimentation!) was a black cat and at the time I did think of Katy Perry. Maybe I would make her one with a tiger on it, for her song 'Roar'.

  2. Would you charge them lots of money or just give it to them?

    LOADS of money! No, I mean I know why people just give celebrities things as its a great advertisement if they wear it, but I think it depends. If they found me and wanted to buy it then I would sell it to them, for the price I would charge anyone else. If I wanted them to have it I would have to send it to them for free and hope they come back for more!

  3. If you saw a random person on the street wearing your jewellery what would you do?

    Possibly try to take a sly photo! I probably wouldn't approach them, but might do a bit of an excited dance once I had walked past.

    Visit Josie's tumblr for lots of nice craft pics, and also her website where you'll find links to her Flickr, Folksy and blog!

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