Using Fimo Polymer clay to create jewellery may seem a strange combination, but artist and jewellery designer Sophie Filomena uses the product to create unique handmade earrings and necklaces.
Standing out from the crowd, Sophie’s jewellery is contemporary, with bright graphic designs and prints. Her creations have an 80s aesthetic, with a nod to the ever-popular Memphis art that has been ruling the fashion and graphic design world in 2019.
Instead of keeping her design secrets to herself, Sophie, who started her business in 2017, is sharing her skills with keen Bristol creatives in her hands-on workshops at The Island, where her studio is also based.
“I’ve been at The Island for nearly three years, it’s a great space to work in, especially as a multi-disciplinary designer,” says Sophie, “I have a lot of stuff and make a lot of mess!
“When I heard the gallery space would be open for one-off events for its tenants, I arranged to run one of my necklace making workshops.”
For £25 each, creatives of all ages and expertise can use Fimo to create a bespoke necklace, which is ready to take home after ten minutes in Sophie’s mini, portable oven.
Holding her first workshop at The Island in August 2019, Sophie has enjoyed working with smaller, intimate groups.
“You can spend more time with each person and have a good old chat about things,” says Sophie.
“My workshops are generally laid back and people can come and go as they please, although they do always want to stay until the end!
“Working with a range of coloured clay, we rolled beads of various shapes and sizes, whilst adding textures and patterns to them. We made 80s bespoke necklaces, with a focus on the summer and adding that statement piece to your wardrobe.”
Sophie learns as much from her students as they do from her, saying: “Seeing how people create their own designs is so interesting. I love to see how they use colour, it makes me happy to see them leave the workshop happy with what they’ve made.”
Currently selling her artworks and jewellery from her Etsy shop and with local independent creative platforms The DIY Supermarket, That Thing and CO.LAB, Sophie hopes to expand to stockists outside of Bristol and the UK in the run up to Christmas.
With further workshops planned for autumn 2019, Sophie plans to make her future creative events bigger.
“There’s freedom for a large capacity of people within the space, it’s made me think of how I can benefit from this in the future,” she says. “The ladies from the August workshop were really pleased with what they had made and gave me some good ideas for the next one.
“Maybe a more advanced class, with a focus on Terrazzo design next time,” adds Sophie. “I’d like to do one workshop a month, keeping things fresh, so people can learn something new each time.”
Find out more about Sophie Filomena
Read more: A new artist drops at the Bzzaar art machine
Read our fashion editor Emma’s blog No Debutante