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Meet The Jeweller Behind The Messy Creative

Today we chat to the wonderful Elise from The Messy Creative! We absolutely love how Elise combines elements of print work with her jewellery, really making her designs stand out. We chat all about discovering jewellery making, being creative in childhood, working with brass, creating a brand to how life in Cornwall fills her with inspiration. We hope you enjoy getting to know Elise and her creative business - check out our Meet The Jeweller series for more interviews!

"I love organic shapes inspired by my coral prints and have a range of earrings based on the four elements - Earth, Water, Fire, Air..."

Hi Elise, tell us about The Messy Creative and the inspiration behind your handmade business

Hi! Well, I initially set up The Messy Creative as an anonymous Instagram page in late 2016, I wanted a place to share my creativity alongside my full time job, without people knowing it was me… that seems a bit silly now but I think I just wanted a pressure-free place to share.

Then in mid-2017 I decided to open an Etsy shop and I revealed my face for the first time. My shop initially just sold my handmade lino and screen prints, I now incorporate my jewellery in too.

Tell us more about the range of products you create

For my jewellery range, I make with a mix of brass, silver and polymer clay. I love organic shapes inspired by my coral prints and have a range of earrings based on the four elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air).

I think earrings are my favourite thing to make and wear, you can do so many things and they can jazz up any outfit (especially if you live in monochrome like me!). I also do a range of prints, both lino and screen print, which range from coral pattern, to ice lollies, to Cornish harbours!

"I love creating so I see it as an escape or my downtime..."

We love your use of brass - what is it about this metal you like using?

Again, thank you! I love the colour and how easy it is to cut out and shape. When I made the initial pair of earrings I wanted something gold coloured but more accessibly priced so I was able to play around with design ideas without being too precious. It also means I can price designs affordably for the ‘statement’ pieces.

How do you juggle working full time and running The Messy Creative?

I spend a few evenings a week on The Messy Creative as well as all day on Saturdays. I love creating so I see it as an escape or my downtime. There are also a lot of lists, sketchbooks and ideas that go unchecked for a long time, as I just don’t have all the time I’d like to put into it, but it is about balance. I can’t go full time with it yet, but one day I’d love to!

When did you first try your hand at jewellery making?

I used to play around with beading when I was in my early teens, I then took a beginners class in silver jewellery making whilst I was in college (I think 12 years ago now?!). I then went on and did my City & Guilds qualification straight afterwards, I was hooked almost immediately with silver and loved the processes involved in making something from a piece of metal. I had a 5/6 year sabbatical before digging my tools out again and starting my coral earring collection last August!

We love your branding! Tell us more about the process behind it

Thank you! My logo is by a local graphic designer Lisa Claire Stewart Design, we actually met on Instagram through her other business, Studio Lowen and discovered we only lived 10 minutes apart, we’re now really good friends! I’d really recommend Lisa for any branding or illustration project, she completely ‘got me’ when I was explaining what I wanted and I really struggled picking a favourite design from the ones she sent across, I absolutely love my logo now and it’s really inspired the rest of my brand image.

"just getting outside and near the sea can be all I need to gather my thoughts and get inspired with new ideas..."

brass & polymer clay earrings

What was your first creative hobby growing up?

I was always a fan of crafts, my mum is a great seamstress, so I did a lot of sewing, but 'gluing & sticking' was my favourite. Then it moved back to textiles, then to jewellery and then to printing and now a mix... I think I am a craft-a-holic!

How does living in Cornwall inspire your designs?

Oh endlessly! I am constantly inspired by my surroundings; the buildings, the beaches and the shapes of the sea... like many people that live here, just getting outside and near the sea can be all I need to gather my thoughts and get inspired with new ideas.

"I still had my jewellery making kit and I really wanted a pair of earrings in a shape I'd recently printed. So I decided to order some brass and give it a go..."

How did you decide to start incorporating jewellery techniques into your shop?

It was a really happy accident, I still had my jewellery making kit and I really wanted a pair of earrings in a shape I'd recently printed. So I decided to order some brass and give it a go using brass as the coral shape and polymer clay for the ear piece with stainless steel ear posts. I shared them on Instagram and so many people got in touch wanting some, so I thought 'why the heck not?!'.

Tell us about your workspace and how you make it your own!

My workspace is our little spare bedroom, I had a waist height desk fitted by my dad (when my husband was at work…) so I can print easily and it is perfect height for jewellery too! I like to have a lot of art on the walls and I am forever sticking ideas, notes and reminders up. I think I really make it my own by living by my business name… it is very messy.

Are there any further jewellery making techniques you'd like to explore?

I’d love to give resin casting a go. I have so many ideas of what I’d like to incorporate… think beachy/coral vibes. I also want to practice my stone setting skills, which I haven’t done for quite a few years now!

Who is one creative you're loving right now and why?

Oh this is a tough question, there are so many amazing makers out there! I think I will keep it jewellery/printing related – someone I have been following for a while and does a great mix of new and vintage jewellery, ceramics and printing, @Lois.gunn!

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Watch Elise In Action...

Make Your Own Jewellery With Kernowcraft

Shop jewellery making tools and supplies

Shop Metal Sheet

Elise uses brass metal sheet in her handmade jewellery designs but you can choose from copper, bronze, sterling silver and gold sheet available from our range of sheet.

Shop Saw Frame

If you want to create shapes from metal sheet, you'll need a saw frame and blades! Top tip - use bees wax to keep those blades lubricated. Read more about sawing for jewellery making.

Shop Jump Rings

Jump rings are essential for joining jewellery components together. Choose from our wide range, available in a variety of sizes and metals to choose from.

Shop Sterling Silver Earstuds With Flat Plate

When using polymer clay to create earrings, you will usually need to glue earstuds with flat plates to the back of them. They can be used with sterling silver, metal clay creations, glass pieces, cabochons and more.

Available in a range of sizes

Surgical Steel Earstuds With 5mm Flat Pad

You will need to attach your designs to the earstuds with glue - we recommend gently scratch both the flat pad and (if possible) the item to be glued on, to provide a good 'key' for the glue to adhere to.

These surgical steel earstuds are sold as a pack of 10

Devcon 5 Minute Epoxy Glue

Our recommended glue for jewellery making is the Devcon 5 minute epoxy glue, it's a reliable glue which is fast drying, high strength and creates high quality bonds to metalgemstones, glass, ceramic, concrete and wood. Great for all kinds of crafts as well as household repairs.

Read our guide on how to use this glue for jewellery making