Diane Sutherland graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1998, where she studied silversmithing and jewellery. She now lives in Belfast and has 2 teenage girls and 2 Golden Retrievers.
She loves encouraging people to be creative and enjoys delivering workshops. She loves to see the joy on peoples faces when they have been able to make a piece of jewellery they can wear. Especially when they were not confident of their own abilities when they started the class!
Diane’s father was a coachbuilder and then a fitter at the local cheese factory. Diane used to help him fix cars and hold things when he completed DIY projects. She wanted to be a furniture designer when she was younger, but a visit to Glasgow School of Art changed this for good when she walked into the silversmithing department and immediately fell in love!
She fondly remembers her Dad’s workshop always being messy because of his old saying…. “I’ll keep that just in case” and now that she has an even messier workshop of her own she finds herself saying the same thing!
What do you do? Tell us about your craft
I design and make silver jewellery - I create my pieces to be simple, elegant with a hint of pattern and as a result, they are very wearable.
What did you do before?
I’ve been very lucky to have always been a maker and stay at home mum.
How did you get the idea for this product? Or how did it come about?
I took apart an old clock for my school higher art and made some very basic jewellery.
My interest in filigree started on a family visit to Indonesia when visiting the silver villages, so in my final year of art school, I went to Porto to be taught the skill.
Being told that told a Scottish girl couldn't make Filigree made me all the more determined to master the skill as no one at art school ever had the patience to stick with it.
I then did a modern style for my degree show. I now use it as a print but occasionally use it in my pieces. I love simple designs with a hint of pattern.
What is the most challenging part of your craft?
Working out whether a new design will work and making the filigree from 0.2mm fine silver.
What do you love about this craft?
That I can make things that people love and wear every day. I love to see people wear my work.
How would you describe your style to someone who didn't know you?
Simple and elegant
What is a product you want to spotlight?
Filigree Print / Filigree
What makes this particular product so special?
It reminds me of my filigree range I did for my degree show but in a more affordable and wearable style.
Who is your target market?
Historically it’s been middle-aged ladies, but now more and more younger customers are finding my jewellery which is lovely.
How can people order/buy your product?
Through The Designerie, Two Sisters In Belfast or directly through Instagram and Facebook.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting out?
Find your own style and don’t be afraid to experiment - it’s how you learn.
What do you love about The Designerie?
The staff who work there are brilliant and I love the range of other products on offer. It’s a shop I like to buy from myself and that it’s near the North Coast.
How would you describe The Designerie to someone who didn't know about it?
Quality designer maker products, well laid out and a pleasure to shop in.