Sometimes, to write down feeling and thoughts help us to give voice to the unknown.
This is the story of Sarah Bratley, indie designer for Penny Masquerade.
Sarah describes herself as a smiler, a geek, an historicist, an avid reader, a lover of everything antique and vintage and a drinker of tea. Incongruity and sunshine make me smile.
This is her story of creativity.
"I live in a tiny village in the county of Yorkshire in England.
The county is a wonderful mix of the industrial and the quaint and there are both rural and urban areas within it.
The village I live in is very quaint and I look out of my window everyday when I'm creating my pieces and see cows in the fields below. It's a beautiful and serene environment in which to work and I love it.
I'm inspired by all sorts of things, but my jewelry is primarily inspired by the past.
I love to imbue my designs with vintage and retro style.
I'm also inspired by fairytales, Alice in Wonderland, the sea, afternoon tea, pirates, nature, romance and writing. They are all things that are dear to me and I love to see the things I love popping up in my pieces.
Whimsy, romance and nostalgia. This is what I try to communicate with my jewelry designs. I prize these things very highly and it makes me very happy to be able to transfer these things to the wearer.
I love to recycle and re-use pieces and I often source a lot of vintage filigrees, chain and pendants.
I love the charm of vintage pieces.
It's lovely to hold things in your hand and think about the other people who've done the same in the past, they really get the imagination going.
Alongside these recycled vintage pieces I use as the vintage jewelry component market can be limited. So, my pieces are a mixture of old and new.
I have a special set of tiny drawers and on the front of each drawer I stick one of the jewelry components that sit within it.
When I sit down at my desk and look at these drawers, I see all the charms and chain and beads and filigrees and cameos and pins and lockets I have.
This allows me to quickly scan and look for pieces that would compliment each other well.
I mess around for quite a while with different combinations before I happen upon something that just works.
I look at a lot of vintage designs from the 20's and 50's specifically and I love to scan magazines for color combinations that work really well together. Sometimes the desire to create comes from seeing something on TV, or in a film or a book.
I love to try and capture the mood of something I really like in a piece of jewelry.
For example, Sofia Coppola's film Marie Antoinette was the inspiration behind my "Let Them Eat Cake Necklace":
I love this piece because it uses a similar color palette to Coppola's film and also reflects the allusions to frivolity and carefree excess seen in the first half. At the moment I'm a little obsessed with magicians and the circus, so watch this space for designs relating to those!
Creativity to me is satisfying and exciting.
What's more, creating something unusual and visually pleasing out of different components in turn initiates a lovely feeling - a commingling of pride and self-confidence which leads on to self-worth. I have suffered from low self-esteem in the past and it's wonderful to have found something which makes me feel so much happier. I urge anyone to be creative if they can!".