Here is an exclusive interview with Singapore-based jewelry artist, Stella Lim, as she shares with us the joys and challenges of working in the industry.
Why did you decide to become a jewelry artist?
I didn’t decide to be a jewelry artist. It kind of just happened over time when I found myself obsessed with making jewelry, buying nothing but jewelry supplies and of course thought of nothing but jewelry. The more I made, the more people saw my work, and it was because of the encouragements from friends and family to sell my work made it possible. At first it was just for fun, but as I started receiving more positive comments and started selling more pieces, I spent more time on my jewelry business and eventually made a career out of it.
What are some of the challenges that you often face as a jewelry artist?
Sometimes being creative might be a challenge. Because I make one-of-a-kind pieces, I am constantly thinking of new designs and that can be very difficult. Inspirations do not come very often, resulting in a slow process in production. It can become stressful when I am unable to make a single piece in days, and stress certainly does not make anything go better.
How long do you usually take to complete each project?
It really varies. Some projects take as little time as thirty minutes, while the longest project I took was about a month to complete.
Brass Necklaces by Stelliyah
Was there a project that took a particularly long time to complete?
The project that took the longest was actually a silver Cross pendant using ancient techniques I learnt in New York. It was a granulation technique where tiny balls were placed carefully on the piece and then it was fused portion by portion to prevent overheating. It was not exactly difficult, but because of the importance of the details, the process was tedious and a lot of care had to be put into it.
In your opinion, how do you think mass-produced jewelry differ from those that are handmade?
Ruby Drop Beaded Necklaces by Stelliyah
I think handmade jewelry is unique. It takes time and most of the time what you get aside from them being beautiful are quality, hard work, and passion. As for mass-produced jewelry, the designs are definitely more common, and in my opinion, though they can be more affordable, quality control may be a problem when dealing with so many pieces at once.