I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting gift ideas. Having a thorough dig around craft site Folksy, I stumbled upon a rather aptly named shop going by the name of “Washed and Found”. Each piece of jewelry seems very unique and unlike anything much you’d see elsewhere, unlike anything I’d seen before.
What makes the items on Washed and Found that extra special is the fact that they are all handmade, here in the UK by craftswoman Suzanne Francis, it’s clear to see a huge amount of care and attention goes into each piece. So I was keen to find out more about the lady behind Washed and Found, where she gets her inspiration and what’s in store for Washed & Found in the future..
Giftshuffle: Each piece seems very unique and unlike anything I have seen before. Where do you get the inspiration for your items?
Suzanne: I have a particular liking for all things coastal. I started collecting sea glass many years ago but never actually made anything from it. As my collection grew I felt inclined to teach myself how to drill it so I could actually wear it!! there is something very special about seaglass - it can take up to 100 years to acquire that lovely crystalline quality that is so sought after.
Giftshuffle: What’s your aim with Washed and Found? Who would most likely buy your jewellery?
Suzanne: My aim really is to keep experimenting and developing my range, using different materials and skills while keeping a strong coastal theme. Hopefully it will evolve naturally while continuing to attract interest and sales.
It’s aimed at anyone that loves coastal themes and alternative styles of jewellery - mostly women, but some of the keyrings would make great presents for men.
Giftshuffle:You are clearly extremely talented and very good at what you do, how long have you been creating your own jewellery?
Suzanne: Thank You! I have been making jewellery for over 8 years, sea glass jewellery for about 3 years. Im completely self taught up until recently when completed a short course in jewellery metal working a couple of months ago.
Giftshuffle: What’s the process like In creating one of your gorgeous pieces? Where do you get the materials and how long does it generally take you?
Suzanne: It’s generally a three stage process. First I carefully select pieces of sea glass for various designs I have in mind. Then I will drill the sea glass in batches and make a selection of components, then start putting them together. Sometimes I will have rough drawings of designs I want to complete, others kind of evolve.
I love holidays around the UK coast, so I’ll collect as much sea glass as I can whilst visiting the beaches. I live in London so occasionally go mud larking along the Thames picking up anything of interest but mostly pottery shards and clay pipes.
Giftshuffle: Do you have a favourite piece? I really happen to love the copper and sea glass bracelet
Suzanne: Great choice! I particularly love the combination of copper and sea glass be that a bracelet, pendant or some earrings.
Giftshuffle: So many people have the talent and the desire to go out and sell their handmade creations, but for many it remains a distant dream. What spurred you on?
Suzanne: I needed an outlet - quite literally for selling my jewellery, too many pieces to keep! I also needed to target the right audience. Making a fairly niche product was to my advantage as there is less competition which spurred me on even more.
Giftshuffle: You’re clearly very popular with a good number of sales on Folksy, what keeps you going?
Suzanne: I have always loved to make things, so it kind of comes naturally to keep doing it. Folky is an outlet for my creative side, but also nice feedback and a genuine interest in my products feeds my natural inclination to create especially if you’re creative juices aren’t flowing as well.
Giftshuffle: Do you have any further plans to introduce new products or take Washed & Found further?
I plan to gradually introduce more copper/brass possibly silver style jewellery, made from scratch to hone my new found skills from the course I completed. I will still be making sea glass jewellery as that is the foundation of my Folksy shop.
Giftshuffle: Where can people take a look at your products?
Suzanne: You can see all of my current pieces on my Folksy shop, or like my Facebook page for updates.