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How Sia Taylor Created Her Namesake Jewellery Brand

How do you translate the wonders of the natural world into beautifully minimal, multi-sensory pieces? The jewellery designer who knows best shares just how…
By: George Elliot

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How Sia Taylor Created Her Namesake Jewellery Brand

How Sia Taylor Created Her Namesake Jewellery Brand

How do you translate the wonders of the natural world into beautifully minimal, multi-sensory pieces? The jewellery designer who knows best shares just how…

By: George Elliot

Champions of the creative spirit, we've always spotlighted those who go above and beyond to deliver the unexpected – and now we’d like to help push them forward. Join us as we share the stories of the most courageous changemakers, experimental artisans and progressive innovators that make the Liberty community so extraordinary

Sculptor-turned-jewellery-designer Sia Taylor has one constant muse: the natural world around her. Charmed by its delicacy and boundless beauty which often goes unnoticed, from the gentle pitter-patter of rainfall on glass to the shimmer of long grass rustling in the wind, she has been translating nature’s sights and sounds into intricately crafted collections for over 15 years. Think: necklaces with clusters of minute wing-shaped plates, bracelets specked with dainty seed-like charms and drop earrings that cascade fluidly from the lobe like waterfalls. But when and where did she first become enamoured with the world around her? Why choose jewellery over every other medium to express herself? Here, the British designer shares her journey to becoming one of the most beloved designers within Liberty’s Jewellery Hall…

Read more: learn from a Liberty expert how to build a forever jewellery collection


How Did You First Get into Jewellery Design?

My background is in fine art and sculpture but I always felt that sculpture wasn't quite the right fit; the scale was wrong, it wasn't intimate enough and I wanted to make beautiful things that you can touch, hold and wear. Without formal training I made my first pieces when I was living in Africa in a research camp in the bush. Inspired by the vast landscape full of magnificent animals, I found myself attracted to the tiny things – the seeds and pods and insects. I began to work on small pieces in silver, trying to translate these tiny inspirations into jewellery. My path into jewellery was slightly unconventional, but it allowed me to approach jewellery making with a slightly different perspective, focusing on telling stories through my pieces as a form of art rather than simply creating adornments.

Describe Your Brand in an Elevator Pitch…

My brand is about telling stories – creating jewellery that is deeply inspired by the beauty and experience of nature, the feelings and sensations it evokes, whether that’s the joy of birdsong, the wonder of a sunset, or the calmness of fluttering leaves. Designed by me in my Somerset studio and handmade by a team of artisans, each piece is meticulously handcrafted and imbued with a sense of time and tradition.

When Are You at Your Most Creative?

I find it’s when I'm fully immersed in the natural world and in moments of stillness. Nature is a constant source of inspiration for me. It's during times when I'm surrounded by the beauty of the world around me that I get my best ideas. The wind, the rain, watching the sunset or walking through a meadow can be profoundly moving when you just stop and watch and absorb the moment.

I'm lucky to live in rural Somerset, and during the lockdowns in 2020 the quiet and peace of those weeks allowed me the time and space to really let my imagination wander. I spent a lot of time walking, watching, and listening, and I became acutely aware of the tiny details in nature. From the way a tiny insect walks across a leaf to the sound of a cricket in the grass, these moments of heightened awareness fuelled my creativity.

What Draws You to Nature’s Nuances and Smallest Details?

I love capturing the essence of nature and the intricate beauty found in the tiniest elements of the natural world. I've always been mesmerised by the intricate patterns and delicate forms that exist in minor components, whether it's the texture of a leaf, the shape of a seed, or the details of a tiny insect. These small details hold a world of wonder and beauty, and I want to bring that to life in my jewellery.

My designs are a reflection not only of who I am, but also a sense of place. My connection with Somerset, the place where I now live and create my jewellery, plays a significant role in shaping my designs. The natural beauty, the meadows, the grasses, and the overall environment, inspire many of my collections. The quiet and serene surroundings allow me to connect with nature and create pieces that convey the emotions and wonder that these landscapes evoke in me.

What’s Your Biggest Distraction?

Without a doubt I'm distracted most by the business demands of being a designer. I'm deeply passionate about creating and crafting each piece by hand, yet the administrative and business aspects can sometimes pull me away from the creative process. The constant juggling of tasks, attending to admin, and keeping up with the jewellery shows can be distracting and overwhelming at times. Finding that delicate equilibrium between the two has been an ongoing journey, but it's one that I've been working on, particularly during my recent break from the fast-paced jewellery show circuit. This break has allowed me to refocus and reclaim the time and space for exploring ideas and being in touch with my creative side, which I find immensely valuable.

What Advice Would You Give Someone Looking to Start Their Own Brand?

Always stay true to yourself and don't compare yourself to others. It's important to create from the heart and let your vision and values shine through in your work. Next, take the time to understand and define what makes your brand distinct and special. So for me, it’s the idea of capturing ephemeral moments in precious metals, telling these quiet little stories, combined with the commitment to slow craftsmanship that defines my jewellery. Identifying and emphasising what sets you apart from other designers will help you stand out. Also, be open to collaboration and teamwork and surround yourself with skilled and dedicated individuals who share your vision. A collaborative approach often leads to stronger and more interesting results. Finally, always stay open to learning and evolving. The creative journey is a constant process of exploration and refinement. Don't be afraid to adapt and grow as your brand develops and as you gain more experience. It's all part of the beautiful and rewarding path of building something meaningful and enduring.

What Does Success Look Like to You?

Success for me isn't solely defined by financial achievements or external recognition, although they certainly play a role in it. True success, in my eyes, is a multi-faceted concept. It encompasses the ability to continue doing what I love, creating jewellery that resonates with both myself and others, and maintaining the integrity of my craft. Success also involves having the freedom to explore and innovate, not being bound by rigid constraints. It's about finding a balance between the demands of the business and maintaining real creativity. This balance allows me to stay true to my artistic vision and values while continuing to evolve and grow. Moreover, success is linked to the impact my work has on people, the stories it tells, and the emotions it elicits. Knowing that my jewellery has the power to bring joy, wonder, or a sense of connection with nature to those who wear it is incredibly fulfilling.

What Are Your Three Best Tips for Creativity?

1. Embrace nature and stillness: nature has always been a profound source of inspiration for me. Spending time in the natural world, observing its intricate details, and experiencing moments of stillness can fuel creativity.

2. Trust your intuition: creativity often flows from a place of intuition and spontaneity. Trust your instincts and allow your ideas to evolve naturally. Don't overthink or over analyse at the outset. Instead, let your imagination wander, experiment, play. Sometimes, the most captivating ideas emerge when you let go.

3. Embrace the process: creativity is a journey, not a destination. It's important to embrace the creative process and understand that it may involve moments of uncertainty, experimentation and setbacks. Be patient with yourself and allow ideas to evolve. Each piece of art or jewellery I create results from a slow, organic, and meandering process. The ideas that inspire you may be fleeting, but by giving them the time and space to develop, you can transform abstract concepts into tangible forms of beauty.

How Important is Craftsmanship to Your Atelier?

Craftsmanship is absolutely integral to my brand. It's a core value that underpins everything I create. I firmly believe in the value of traditional skills, and I'm committed to keeping those skills alive and relevant.

Every piece involves an extensive handmade process. From cutting tiny shapes with a saw to shaping them with a file and assembling them with multiple miniature solder joints, the level of craftsmanship and attention to detail is extraordinary. This process is carried out by a small team of highly skilled and patient artisans in my studio. Their dedication to handcrafting every tiny element gives each piece its unique presence.

Craftsmanship is not just about creating beautiful jewellery; it's about creating art that tells a story. It's about the hand-brain-object relationship, which is so essential in handmade objects. The slow, traditional techniques we use to make the jewellery what it is: a reflection of the time, care, and expertise invested in its making. Being dedicated to craftsmanship also ensures that every piece I create is not just an accessory but a work of art, a testament to the beauty and uniqueness of handmade objects.

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