My Story

Established in 2013

My name is Emma and I am the person behind She Shed Gems.
I’ve been making and selling my handmade jewellery and crafts for the past 7ish years. It’s mainly wirework, but I’ve dabbled in silver-smithing too. All of my creations are made in – you’ve guessed it – the ‘she shed’, using genuine gemstones. I attend craft fairs, have a FB and Instagram accounts, along with my online shop.
Welcome to my gem filled world and I hope you find something a little bit different.

The Story So Far…

It all began back in 2013 when I was visiting family in Liverpool. My cousin, who had begun to learn the technique of beaded jewellery, introduced me to the basics over that (what is now seen as a fateful) weekend.
During my stay, as well as catching the jewellery making bug, I came up with my first jewellery making name: Emaz Beadz. A simple name, stating “my name is Em(m)a and I use beads in my work.” It was a good name to start with, but check out my evolution blog to discover the reasons behind I am now known as She Shed Gems.

So I caught the jewellery making bug. I needed to purchase supplies and other materials. I love being creative, if painting is involved I tend to get more on me that what I am supposed to be painting!
Since starting, I have done my best to purchase my tools/supplies/materials from UK based businesses either online, from craft shops and specialised fairs. An example of a specialised fair, is Beads Up North. They showcase suppliers at Haydock Park Racecourse. A great location, as it’s only down the M6 from Lancaster and the venue itself is only 5 mins from the motorway junction.

Not satisfied with having one jewellery making technique and with the idea planted in my head by an ex-colleague, I began to attend a silver-smithing class. After attending for at least 5 years, it became more of a workshop than a course/class.

Silver-smithing

I made bangles, rings, earrings and pendants. I also attended extra courses to expand my silver-smithing knowledge. These courses were silver-clay and etching. The moment I realised that my attendance went from a class to a workshop, was when I began to help other students/classmates when out actual tutor was helping/demonstrating at another part of the barn (where the workshop took place).
The reason why I was asked by others, was due to me being there longer than them, therefore in their eyes I knew what I was doing!
Sadly, in 2019 The Jewellery Maker (NOT to be confused with the Gemporia Partner, Jewellery Maker) closed, with my tutor moving to Portugal. She has hopes to open a workshop there and offer silver-smithing workshops/holidays. Sun, sea and silver! A holiday I would certainly enjoy.

Where I am now…

I began making jewellery on my bedroom floor. It wasn’t the best place, as my room is quite small. To the point I couldn’t have a desk to work at. Since then, I now have a desk but it is for more of the admin side.
After that, I moved to the kitchen table. I familiar place for most crafters. This wasn’t ideal either, having to keep moving unfinished items so me and the rest of family could sit and eat.
My third move was to the bay window in the living room. We moved some furniture and my brother was replacing his desk, so I took it. There was great natural light and I was able to leave unfinished creations. I did get some complaints though, as I was ‘spreading out’ into the living room. It was becoming harder to contain everything!

COVID-19

During lockdown, May 2020, I bought a shed. I had been thinking about it for a while; where to put it, how big can it be, etc. I bit the bullet. 7Ftx5ft. Big enough for me and the biggest we could get for where it is placed.
This is where I now create. I love it! So much so, I have realised how settled I am when I am in there. It feels like a proper creative space. Especially now, as after a year of first purchasing the shed, I have insulated it and decorated it. Using insulation bought from ALDI (who doesn’t love a middle isle sale!) and thin hardboard boards. Followed by searing the house for spare rolls of wallpaper. The flooring needs something doing, but with the ever changing UK weather, I know I will be warm in winter. Roasting in the summer!

My Creative Purpose

I love using gemstones. My preference is chip beads as I can make the same design, but the end result will have a different look. Yet, I do enjoy using round beads and other shaped beads to create my designs.
I’ve tried and tested various styles and techniques over the years and the inspiration for my designs are varied. They can come from the media, surrounding environment to what I have in my stash. To be honest, it’s usually what I have in my stash that instructs me to what I will create.
I’m not afraid to take apart existing pieces and re-creating, something that I have been doing during the pandemic/lockdown.