BAJ Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Diploma graduate Marbellys Bayne-Azcarate now runs her own jewellery brand ‘Dear Silver Stars’ from her workshop in Dorset. Marbellys has just launched a jewellery collection to help raise funds for UK charity Shine Cancer Support. Here, she tells us how she brought the collection to life and looks back on her time at BAJ.
Tell us about your new collection, what was the inspiration?
I designed two pendants and a pair of stud earrings in silver which together make a limited collection for my brand Dear Silver Stars (@dearsilverstars).
All of the pieces feature the logo of Shine Cancer Support, a charity close to my heart. On one of the pendants the motif is debossed and enamelled, on the other pendant and the earrings the motif is embossed. The pendants are also embossed on the reverse with the words “Friendship, hope, support” and “Shine”.
How did you come up with your designs?
I wanted to give back to the charity who have been a great support to me over the last seven years. I through my own experience knew what Shine meant for me, but I wanted the design to reflect what the charity means to the people it helps. When I asked people to describe what Shine meant for them, the overwhelming words used were friendship, hope and support and so this became the title of the collection. I consulted with the charity and they were very happy to approve my concept.
What techniques did you use to bring your designs to life?
I worked mostly with 2D and 3D CAD, trying out different layouts and iterations of the charity’s logo and finding ways in which their branding could be incorporated. I worked closely with a 3D printing and casting company to refine the designs, and I clean, finish, polish and enamel the pieces in my workshop in Dorset.
How did you choose which charity to support with your collection?
I was diagnosed with cancer in my early forties and soon found out that most of the support available was not aimed at younger adults except I discovered Shine and I am very grateful they exist. So after finishing my course at BAJ, I knew I wanted to use my newly acquired skills to give back in a meaningful way to an organisation that has been there for me.
What inspired you to start making jewellery?
I started making jewellery as a way to support my mental health during a very difficult time in my life. At first it was a hobby and it has now evolved into a passion.
Why did you decide to study at BAJ?
I found myself enjoying my “hobby” more than I had expected and I was spending more and more time thinking about designs and how to bring them to life but I felt my skills were limited. I wanted a course that was hands-on, practical and with enough elements of design to consolidate what I already knew and to challenge me to explore my creativity. I found all of that and more whilst studying at BAJ.
How was your experience studying at BAJ?
Studying at BAJ was challenging, emotionally, physically and creatively… and I would not have it any other way! I loved how excited I felt every week walking into the workshop and seeing my classmates. My tutors encouraged me to be bold, to push the boundaries and supported me in becoming confident about my own abilities. I gained an understanding of the trade that has been invaluable in carrying on with this passion of mine, and best of all made wonderful friends.
What are your tips for anyone interested in jewellery making and launching their own brand?
Know your why- why do you want to make jewellery? Once you know that, hold on to it, and make it your mission to reflect it in everything you do.