It’s a wonderful thing being an artist, not only because you have your own personal creative outlet, but because of the people it connects you to. One of the first people I came across when I joined twitter was Mick of Shpangle Jewellery. Being an inquisitive type I checked out his website Shpangle Jewellery. I instantly loved his style, it’s very funky and fresh, perfect for the summer. I also love the philosophy that seems to surrounds Mick’s work, leave anything on a side for too long & it will get encased in resin! I asked Mick if he would like to do a little interview that I could share with you thankfully he agreed 🙂
Firstly can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Mick Cluley and I am the man behind Shpangle Jewellery. I
am a self taught jewellery designer/maker and I design and make
my unique resin jewellery from my Leicestershire home.
After working for twenty years as a computer engineer, three years ago
I had a change of profession and become a full-time carer to my young
son (who was 6 months old at the time). I was having an extremely
stressful time with my job at the time and spent long periods of time
working away from home so the change was extremely positive for both
me and my family.
You work mainly in resin, how did you come to learn your craft?
I wanted to develop my creative side which had sat dormant for many
years and began by looking for a medium that would combine both my
artistic and scientific background. The properties of resin provided
this and I have been making resin jewellery for the last couple of
years. I am constantly evolving my techniques and experimenting with
new embedded objects and methods.
I was also looking for a method that would enable me to preserve and
enhance everyday objects and incorporate them into pieces of art.
Again, the use of resin gave this to me and I love the way that it
enhances the natural textures and colours of objects placed within it.
What inspires you?
I take inspiration from the world around me and in particular by
looking at everyday objects and the natural beauty they hold. I like
to take real flowers, pieces of fabric, confetti and even sweets and
incorporate them into my jewellery. It has made me look at the world
differently and see the beauty in everything.
Recently I have been preserving locks of hair within my resin
jewellery. I particularly enjoy this as I am using my skills so that
others may carry a memory of their loved ones with them. I take great
satisfaction in providing a valuable service to others, and making
something that is more than a piece of jewellery but something that is
very personal to its recipient.
What’s your favourite piece from your website and why?
My favourite item of jewellery is a resin pendant
containing recycled strips of newspaper. Each of the strips of paper
contains the word ‘love’ in different sizes and fonts. I like the
simplicity of it, the fact that it contains recycled newspaper and
also a little story that it originated from: I had an idea for a
pendant that contained recycled newspaper, and spent hours searching
through a local newspaper for suitable words. It wasn’t until I got to
the end of the paper and saw the ‘birthday announcements’ section when
I noticed (to some amusement) that the word ‘love’ was used quite often!
What new craft would you love to learn?
I have recently been learning the art of rice-writing, the ancient and
extremely skilful art of writing a name or message on a single grain
of rice. Although I have mastered this for small names and/or
messages, I would like to develop this further!
I would really like to get more involved with recycled objects and
turning everyday objects into pieces of art. I love the steam-punk
jewellery idea and would like to develop that into jewellery making
I also have a new idea that involves Lego. I have been playing with
far too much of the stuff over the last few years, but have a
(non-jewellery) idea that involves the use of it. It is a year or so
away from being put into practise so you will have to ‘watch this
Finally do you have any tips to offer new artists starting out?
To be commercially successful as an artist or crafter you need to be
aware that things take time, sometimes years before your hard work is
rewarded. If you keep promoting your work and believe in yourself,
things will happen. It can be a bit of a ‘rollercoaster’ ride
sometimes but if you ride the low points, and more importantly stay
happy with what you are doing, you will be successful.
I strongly believe though that you need to be happy and content with
yourself, and that will in turn shine through with your art.
Don’t copy other artists but seek inspiration and be yourself with
your art. If you are intending to make to sell, offer the consumer
something different that nobody else is selling.
Many thanks for taking the time to read a little bit about me!
My favourite Piece
It would be remiss of me not to tell you all what my favourite piece is from Mick’s site, so here it is, the colourful confetti heart necklace.
If you would like to be featured in a future artists spotlight send me an email telling me some more about yourself and why I should feature you 🙂