Meet The Maker - Amy Findlay

Posted on 1 Aug 10:17

To celebrate our latest New Designers Exhibition we will once again be running our 'Meet the Maker' series of blog posts. Each week, we get to learn a little bit more about the designers with our Q&A style posts and feature some of their sketchbooks designs and inspirations. The New Designers exhibition is always one of our favourites as we have the opportunity to showcase a handpicked selection of Graduate Designers with vivid and varied contemporary collections.

This week we are starting with Diana Porter Associate Prize Winner Amy Findlay and her 'Slugs' collection.

Amy Findlays jewelled Slug brooches worn on a suit

When did you start creating?

"I have always known I wanted to make jewellery since I was young. Being drawn to making objects and small sculptures that relate to people and can be worn as an expression is something that interested me."

What made you choose this course?

"The Silversmithing and Jewellery course at GSA is a four year course that specialises in jewellery through the 4 years. This course pushes you to think outside of the box while developing your skill set. There are only a few courses in Scotland that you can study contemporary jewellery and this course fit with me. I wanted to learn more about the processes and how to incorporate these into a design"

Development of collection, images from Amy Findlay

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I love trying new techniques and skills and experimenting with materials. I think it is very important to explore and understand different process in relation to the concepts in my designs.

What was the inspiration for this collection?

Everyday things that we see and often see but disregard. Highlighting these small occurrences by combining traditional jewellery techniques and contemporary concepts. I love changing the meaning of materials and their purpose, bejewelling a slug for example.

Amy Findlay: Sketchbook ideas to final slug brooch designs

Please can you tell us a bit about your creative process?

I usually start by coming up with a sketch or design that I would think fit into the collection. I then model it in clay. I try to sculpt the slug around the body to see how it best lays and to get the correct shape. Once I am ready to start carving into the wax, I measure out the dimensions and curves. Carving can be a lengthy process and to then set the stones can be up to a week on one piece depending on how many stones there are.
Once its finished, the piece gets cast and then I apply the surface finish based on the material.

What is your favourite piece that you’ve made?

My favourite piece in my collection would be the brooch Diana. This is an oxidised silver brooch with different shades of green and brown stones running through it. This was the first piece that I made were the stones stayed in the same place as I set them. I was unsure whether to include it in my collection due to the sentimental value, but I thought I belonged on show and for sale.

Amy Findlay Brass Slug Ring
How will you develop your work further for future collections?
For the future I would like to add a collection of slug intimacy. The forms produced when two slugs are mating are extremely intriguing. Similar to the symbol of health, the slugs wrap around each other connecting their bodies.
Something I would love to make in the future would be a necklace and in the centre there would be two slugs mating. Completely filled with gemstones and with the slime trail around the neck. I have many sketches and concepts in my sketchbooks that I would love to make in the future.
Amys Collection of Slugs will be available as part of the New Designers Exhibition from Friday 29th July, in-store and online. Featuring alongside the talented works of Chen Yihan, Itziar Olaberria, Liz Crow, Lorraine Murphy, Nina Letts and Rachel Adam.
Pop by to see these slugs in the flesh and even try them on!