Meet the Maker-My Bear Hands

Please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? Hello! My name is Sally Haysom, I run myBearHands from Garage Studios in Easton - it's a lovely, light space I share with 4 other creative people. This is important for me as it provides a positive working environment away from home (and all it's distractions!) with likeminded people. myBearHands is a design-led jewellery company with a focus on playful, bold designs. Based around original imagery, bright colours and varied textures, subject matters range from geometrics to colour popping patterns and the animal kingdom. myBearHands jewellery is created using a variety of creative technologies and handmade processes. Laser cut wood is embelished with archival prints, gold vinyl, glossy resin and soft velvety flock.

What inspires you to make what you do? I find inspiration is everywhere. I love going to creative events, or browsing through design shops and galleries, but equally inspiration can be in the everyday - you just have to keep your eyes open. If I'm feeling really uninspired I'll sit down with a cup of tea and design book, and just browse through all the amazing ideas and creations people come up with. It reminds me why I love Craft and Design, there's just so much imagination and variety out there.

What are you working on at the moment? I've just finished re-working an existing range I had - my watercolour studs and bracelets. They are a popular range, but I'd had the same colours out for a long time so decided to change them up. I've introduced 10 new colours, and the bracelets are made up of the new colours as well. I'm also hoping to start working on a new range using new materials soon, but need to put in some research time first!

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? I love the freedom I have to experiment. I've always loved making things and learning new skills. Growing up I moved from one phase to another (my parents now have an extensive collection of clay models, painted glass jars, bead jewellery, the list goes on), and whilst I have settled on jewellery for now, I'm always looking at new materials or techniques I could use. Running my own business means I'm completely in control of the companies direction - I don't have to answer to anyone else.

How would you describe your creative process? It's very organic. I spend a lot of time day dreaming in the shower, and my notebooks are filled with pages of doodled ideas jotted down during quiet spells at Craft Fairs. Most of these ideas never make it to production, but the chosen few are researched, designed and put together as prototypes. Once I have the final design, it's a case of sending off for image printouts, buying the base wood sheets and booking my slot at the laser cutter. The resulting cut out piece is brought back to my studio and hand finished. This is the fun bit. The reality, unfortunately, is that this is a very small part of running a business. Most of my time is spent on admin, promotion and PR, sales, events and production of existing products.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist or designer, who would it be? I'd love to see Felieke van der Leest at work. Her 'jewellery' - which are really more pieces of art - are so playful and fun, but still beautifully made. They are absolutely unique and so imaginative. It's so hard to stand out in the world of jewellery, but Felieke van der Leest has certainly managed it!