Sheffield Based Artist Janet Wass
Our second fellow creative of 2021, is Sheffield Jewellery designer, Janet Wass. Janet creates some stunning jewellery and we just love her work. Find out more about Janet below.
Volta: Who or what inspired you to do what you do?
Janet: When I was in Delhi I saw someone making jewellery. Although it was a million miles from my current style I wanted to try working in silver – the process absolutely fascinated me!
Volta: Were you self-taught or have you had formal training?
Janet: I started making jewellery as an evening class in Cleveland College of Art and Design and quickly realised I loved it. From there it seemed the natural thing for me to apply for an MA in Metalwork and Jewellery at Sheffield Hallam – and that’s how I moved here!
Volta: How did your current style develop and how do you see it developing in the future?
Janet: I’ve always loved photography and particularly enjoyed darkroom printing. Seeing the range of tones gradually develop into an image is so exciting! And, after seeing how metal can be manipulated and teased into elegant shapes and forms, I developed a passion for metalwork and jewellery.
To me it seemed natural progression to combine the two areas. My style evolved using imagery created from my photograms of everyday objects to decorate silver through photo-etching. Combining silver with acrylic is a way of achieving dramatic pieces yet maintaining a lightness to ensure jewellery is comfortable to wear. Recently, my work has focused on positive and negative space using patterns that originate from photograms pierced into silver and layered over acrylic.
Volta: What influence has living in Sheffield had on your creativity and how you approach your work?
Janet: Sheffield is undoubtedly one of the most creative places I have ever been. It is a city filled not only with creative culture but somewhere which has its own special history of manufacture and production. I love the fact that I am creating work in a place with such a history of making.
Volta: How would you describe what you do?
Janet: I design and create jewellery laced with pattern that combines and contrasts silver with acrylic.
Volta: Have you ever made a mistake while creating a piece that you learned a lesson from?
Janet: Of course!! Lots of times, but I think the biggest thing I’ve learnt is not to rush the creative process – taking things slowly is generally better all round!
Volta: Can you remember the first piece of work you ever sold?
Janet: The first piece of jewellery I made and sold was at New Designers after my MA. It was to the TV chef, Nancy Lam, although at the time I had no idea who I was talking to!
Volta: What piece of your own work gives you the most satisfaction and why?
Janet: This actually changes all the time – sometimes it’s pieces I find most challenging to make because I’ve persevered and accomplished something; sometimes it’s pieces that are popular; but unsurprisingly sometimes it’s my most recent pieces because they’ve been at the forefront in my mind.
Volta: What is your favourite thing about Sheffield?
Janet: Definitely being so close to both the activity and interests of town and the freedom and nature of the peak district.
Volta: What advice would you give an aspiring fellow creative who was wanting to break through to the next level?
Janet: Never underestimate how much you learn from experimenting! It’s such a valuable tool for any creative process.
Sheffield based Artist Janet Wass
Want to find out a little more about Sheffield based Artist Janet Wass and her work?
Here are links to her Website and Instagram account – enjoy!