All About Sue – Founder of Susie Bond Jewellery, Designer and Maker
My journey into the designing and making of jewellery is quite a surprising one, even to me!
My working life has been up this point, solely in education. I enjoyed an eventful career as an English teacher, moving into various leadership positions and ending up as headteacher in a lovely rural secondary school. Although such a career certainly had its challenges, it also had its rewards and oftentimes, there was much fun. Young people, their energy, their wit and, at times, their wisdom, never ceased to amaze and inspire me.
When I left teaching, I decided that I wanted to do something completely different, to try new things and explore new vistas. I stumbled across a jewellery making taster course, using the medium of silver clay and I was immediately engaged in the way I could make something unique and beautiful from this material.
Within weeks of leaving teaching, I knew that jewellery making was to be my future career and, as well as developing my design and making skills, I have also worked on learning how to set up and grow a business. It has certainly been exciting and rewarding to have come so far in such a few months. I am fortunate to be married to Andrew whose career has always been in the sales industry and he is now my mentor for the business side of my new venture. And, I have the additional support of my two children: Rachel supports my design work, offering ideas and critically evaluating my efforts and Ollie is my social media expert (both give much needed and heeded advice!).
My design focus is pure, clean, bright and beautiful.
I adore working with silver clay which is precious metal clay. It was first developed in the early 1990’s in Japan by a metallurgist, Masak Morika. The material consists of microscopic particles of pure silver and a water soluble, non-toxic binder that burns off when the piece is fired in a kiln. After the firing the jewellery pieces are 99.9% pure silver.
It really is a fantastic product with which to design and make beautiful jewellery and I never cease to be enthralled by the creative possibilities of such a flexible medium.
Since completing the Jewellers Academy Diploma in Silver Jewellery, I developed my designs to incorporate gold accents and precious gems.