A Day In The Life Of A Jeweller With Basia From Stardust Mine Jewellery
We are so excited to share with you this interview and Day Of A Life video with the talented Basia from Stardust Mine Jewellery! You may have already heard of Basia as she is well known among the jewellery making community for sharing studio vlogs, process videos and sharing her knowledge on her YouTube Channel. We have been huge fans of Basia and her magical jewellery designs for years now and she even collaborated with us on a boulder opal video in 2020 which you can watch here.
When filming the day in the life video, Basia shares an insight into settling into her new studio space after moving from the UK to Poland, with some jewellery making and chat thrown in too of course! You can read more about Basia's jewellery making journey below as well as see her incredible and artistic designs.
Hi Basia! Thank you for joining us, firstly we’d love to find out how you discovered your love for jewellery making!
Hi! Thank you so much for having me! :) I think my story is very similar to many other makers. I enjoyed simple jewellery making as a kid and would meet my friends on "craft dates". We'd put our jewellery making supplies together (wires, beads and strings), put the music on and start making while sharing ideas and inspirations.
I'm pretty sure this little routine made me love doing crafts even more, because I would identify it as a relaxing and joyful time.
Describe your jewellery in 3 words
Magical, personal and feminine.
Thanks for taking the time to share a day in the life of a jeweller with us! What can people expect from the video?
I hope people will get to know me a little and see what I do! I broke my toe not long before it was filmed, so it's been a slow day in my studio, making jewellery, fixing my bench and chatting about studio and jewellery related things.
Watch Basia's Day In The Life Of A Jeweller Below
"I was curious to see vlogs from their life and more casual videos. But at that time I couldn't find anything like this, that's why I decided to start my own channel! To share my journey and knowledge as I go and connect with others..."
As a self-taught jeweller yourself, do you have any advice for those wanting to try this wonderful hobby but unsure where to start?
Don't be afraid to put your question in the Google search! And on YouTube. You'd be surprised how easy it is to find information these days. Even if you're not sure what you're looking for, chances are, Google will either correct you or you will find results that will include the words you used. Once you know what it is that you want to learn more about, like soldering for example, use that to search for content. There are many channels on YouTube, including mine, that will cover the basics for you and will give you the vocabulary to broaden your search.
There are also books, blogs and online courses, some are free and some are paid for and you can choose according to your needs. You can also check if there are any simple courses in your area.
Follow other makers on social media, many share tips and resources, or details about their own journey, how they started. I've learned a lot by observing how others make jewellery. There are also profiles that gather tips for jewellery makers, like Kernowcraft, Metalsmith Society, Rio Grande, Pepetools all do a lot for the makers' community by sharing knowledge and resources and offering books. You can always contact them and ask which book they will recommend for you. Nancy Hamilton shares tons of knowledge on her YouTube and her blog! Same with Soham Harrison, his videos will guide you through the making process. Check out Online Jewelry Academy and Jeweller's Academy too.
You share your daily life as a maker and small business owner through videos on your YouTube Channel. How did you get started?
I mentioned before that I used YouTube to find teachers and content creators that would help me get started. But I also searched for other makers that I could relate to, maybe other beginners. Just like in the drawing art community, I was curious to see vlogs from their life and more casual videos. But at that time I couldn't find anything like this, that's why I decided to start my own channel! To share my journey and knowledge as I go and connect with others.
You’ve recently moved, which means a brand new studio! Tell us your experience of starting afresh and finding your feet in a new space.
It was much harder than I expected, but that's probably because I'm quite spontaneous and sometimes I may not have the most realistic expectations! I thought the whole process would be much faster, but it took way more time - which is ok! Looking back I just wish I had allowed myself more time and set realistic milestones. This way I would've avoided a lot of unnecessary stress. That being said, starting fresh is very exciting, being able to make changes I wasn't able to do in the old place and having the space to experiment. Frankly, this won't be a long term space either, I know that I will move once more sometime next year. I don't mind it, I'm actually looking forward to it. I will be equipped with a good knowledge of what I want and need my space to look like - light, windows, the size of the room and many other aspects. It's all a learning experience that helps to improve on each stage.
"I used to work all the time, I guess that's a common problem among artists, makers, and small business owners. But now I'm focused on finding the balance and routine helps a lot with that..."
"Sometimes the idea just comes to me out of thin air and I have to write it down or make a doodle..."
Is routine important for you in running a small business and how do you make time for yourself?
Oh, absolutely! I prefer to have a clear routine, it doesn't have to be identical for each day, but having certain points helps me to have a structure. And structure, in my case, helps with the creative flow. And that includes being able to set aside the time I need for myself. I used to work all the time, I guess that's a common problem among artists, makers, and small business owners. But now I'm focused on finding the balance and routine helps a lot with that.
We love seeing your creative process starting with your beautiful illustrations, can you tell us more about the design process behind your pieces?
Music in my headphones, pencil in my hand, stones laid out in front of me and I browse artworks on the computer or flip through art albums. I really enjoy these moments, it's like I'm in the zone, entering another world. I doodle, experiment, try different combinations. However, sometimes the idea just comes to me out of thin air and I have to write it down or make a doodle. Then I come back to it and transform it into something I love and feel is special.
You have such a signature style and we’re so in love with your attention to detail and intricate designs. How do you think your style and skills adapted over time?
First of all, I'm so happy and grateful that you think I have a signature style! It was my dream to have one and now hearing you refer to my style in such a way is just a dream come true! Thank you so much. I think that my love for multiple little elements and for sawing technique were essential here. I think that this is what might be standing out in my work, apart from my regular choice of purple and pink gems . I also like to challenge myself, "would I be able to make that in silver"? Like the Great Wave by Hokusai. It was my personal challenge, to try and see if I'd be able to recreate his artwork in metal, if my sawing skills would be sufficient.
I'm very drawn to intricate designs and I love to play with elements. And because these are often more challenging, I feel very excited to prove myself that I'm able to complete them. And if I'm not able to do it - then I know where I need to improve.
Tell us about your love for gemstones and your upcoming collection!
The upcoming collection will be focused on the beautiful Baltic Amber that I purchased in Gdańsk this summer. I've never worked with this material and I'm very excited to finally try it! I also have some dreamy moon rings in the works, can't wait to finish them all. Gemstones have a special place in my heart, because they're natural artworks on nature themselves. I feel like each time I use them in my jewellery, it's like an art collaboration with Earth. I don't want to exclude lapidary artists, who cut and shape these gems! Knowing that my final jewellery piece is a combined effort of a few people makes it more special to me. And in the future, I'd love to start cutting my own gems too.
Tell us where you find inspiration for upcoming designs.
In music, in nature, illustrations, tattoo art and artworks. I love Japanese art, especially wood printing. And I love Studio Ghibli animations! There are many elements that I love to combine and see what is born.
"The best part is connecting with people, sharing ideas, learning from each other..."
Do you ever experience a creative block? If so do you have any tips on how to break through it!
Of course! Sometimes it's triggered by a big change, like a move, sometimes it's the weather, sickness or simply being overworked. When that happens, I try to take it slow, be mindful and aware of what's going on and that it's not me who's bad at what I do - I'm just tired or unwell and need to recharge. And that's exactly what I try to do, take time to rest, focus on other tasks, like cleaning, sorting and organising things and just allowing time. Eventually, when I can feel that the energy and ideas come back to me, I start doodling and planning designs again. This process makes me excited and helps me get back on track.
What’s your favourite gemstone combo?
Oh dear! Really, that's a hard question! :) Hmm, I LOVE amethyst combined with lighter pink or green gems. And shades of purple in general. And I love pink tourmaline with Ethiopian opal.
What are the best and most challenging parts of sharing parts of your life online?
The best part is connecting with people, sharing ideas, learning from each other. I love reading comments where others express their thoughts and feedback about my content and tell their own experiences. It often helps me improve and gives me new ideas! Challenging parts are also being connected with people, because some are not so kind and are set on trolling. Fortunately, I've only had a few encounters like that.
Another challenging part is a schedule, I try to stick to regular uploads and posting, but sometimes it can be very difficult and makes me feel guilty or like I'm letting people down. I'm glad and relieved that people are very understanding when something happens and don't mind waiting for me. I wish social media's algorithm would be as understanding! haha.
"I know not everyone is comfortable with showing themselves in photos or talking to the camera. You may not believe me, having a channel myself, but I'm like that too..."
Do you think it’s important to show the face behind your business and what tips would you give to those wanting to but are a little nervous to get started!
Yes, I do. But hear me out. I know not everyone is comfortable with showing themselves in photos or talking to the camera. You may not believe me, having a channel myself, but I'm like that too! People and interactions stress me out a lot. The amount of anxiety and cringe I felt when I started filming myself was huge. But I was dead set on my goal, I knew YouTube is what I want to do and I kept pushing. Eventually, I got used to talking to the camera and my viewers made me feel like I'm talking to a friend. So now it feels very natural when I film indoors. Practice always helps! Record or take photos just for yourself, get used to it. You don't have to post the content you're not happy with. Don't push yourself. Do what feels right to you. And if you don't want to talk to the camera and show yourself directly? That's ok! Have you seen all of these successful Korean and Japanese vlogs and social media? These ladies never talk nor show their faces completely and they still have a very engaged, loving audience. People feel them through their narrative and visuals. I personally prefer seeing the person and hearing them talk, but that doesn't stop me from enjoying these "faceless" or "headless" videos and photos!
In photos, you can always look the other way or cover your face with a book, tool or a flower. You can add a voiceover to your video or go for subtitles if you don't feel comfortable recording yourself talk. You can completely exclude your head from the footage too.
Rings or pendants?
What are your favourite types of videos to share and why?
Creative Process videos, where I show how I make things and Studio Vlogs, which are more casual and personal. I also enjoy Tips & Hacks videos, they're fun to make, because I get to try all of these tips myself! And I know my viewers love them too, often sharing even more tips in the comments.
We worked on a collaboration together in 2020, where you showed the process of creating a pendant using a boulder opal! Tell us more about this design and your experience of using a boulder opal
Yes! I loved the experience and it felt amazing to be able to work with such a special stone. At that time I wouldn't be able to get a boulder opal myself, so I was very excited for the opportunity to work with it. The stone is simply breathtaking, it's very hard to capture all of the flashes and colours it offers on the video, let alone a photo! Anyone that had a chance to hold opals in their hands will know what I mean. It's pure magic created by nature. One of the most precious and special gemstones you could choose to work with in my opinion! And a very popular one too.
"It's pure magic created by nature..."
"I feel great to be a part of this community, where everyone seems to be engaged and active, makers and brands alike..."
Tell us a creative you’re loving right now and why?
Oh dear, there's so many! Each one inspires me in a different way. Gabi, from The Sylvan Smith is a great friend and she's super talented, I love how she's using art and her inspirations and creating original designs. Karolien, from Kornelia Jewelry, is a very sweet person and a talented jeweller. She also moved recently to France and is renovating the space to create a workshop there. I feel like these two always have my back and we can discuss any craft and small business related issues. Karolien also has a YouTube channel, Kornelia Jewelry! I also love Helen and Tavo from the Ritual Remains, their incredible work inspires me to keep learning, experiment and push my skills further. I admire the work of Hieu, he's an amazing illustrator (kelogsloops on IG) and his art style just hits differently. It always makes me want to start designing, so I often go to his profiles and look at his work whenever I'm getting out of a creative slump.
How would you describe the jewellery making community?
It's a very kind and generous one, that is happy to help, promote fellow makers, share tips and knowledge. It has its own share of drama of course, because we are all people! But I think it's just a tiny percentage. I feel great to be a part of this community, where everyone seems to be engaged and active, makers and brands alike.
Tell us something we can expect to see from you very soon!
Jewellery-wise it will be some lovely, magical pieces including rings and pendants! We're talking moons, soft shades, opals... On the YouTube channel you can expect more tutorials, tips & hacks videos and regular studio vlogs. And on my Instagram I'm going to share sneak peeks of my work in progress and finished designs! You're more than welcome to check them out :) Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!
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