Introducing Skye Bragg â€“ we had a chance to catch up with her at the recent silversmith workshops and she agreed to be our third face in our new Creative Faces section!
Hello, what is your name and how old are you?
Skye Bragg, 43 years old.
Your business Skye Bragg Designs is based at home near Bourke, but you tour around the region delivering workshops…tell us about that!
My business is based on a property where I live between Brewarrina and Bourke in Western NSW. I have set up a studio in the old shearers quarters. Late last year I began to teach one-day workshops in my studio. I also travel around the region teaching two day workshops through Outback Arts. I give people instructions on how to create unique jewellery pieces. They all start with the same sized piece of sterling silver and it is basically up to them to design their own piece. It has truly been amazing the unique and different pieces that have been created in the workshops so far held in Louth, Cobar, Walgett and recently Coonamble. I love the fact that everyone takes home a piece of jewellery with their own personal touch. The workshops have been full of laughter and fun; I really enjoy the opportunity of working with such a great lot of creative people in our region.
What do you wish you knew about being a business owner before you got started?
Not to be too scared of giving new things a go. And out of what you think may have been mistakes, can develop into something really unique. Donâ€™t be afraid to give things a go and donâ€™t let negative people hold you back.
What else have you been up to?
I have been renovating another room in my studio where I have held the one-day workshops and also plan to display my work and to open this by appointment for tourists and people in the area. I was part of an exhibition with a mixture of pottery, glass, jewellery and art in Canberra last December. I also held a pop-up shop in the clothing shop Kendal in Orange, something I would like to do again.
How would you describe your style and what inspires your creations?
I would describe my style as unique handcrafted jewellery inspired by the Australian Landscape. Â I use predominately sterling silver and also incorporate gold and semi-precious gem stone beads. My style of jewellery appeals to a wide range of people and age groups.Â Nature and my surroundings, including the Darling River inspire me. My inspiration comes from the beauty of nature, the texture of a red gum, the ripples in the sand, the form of a gumnut or seedpod.Â I also have endless support and encouragement from my husband and twin 18 year old daughters and 15 year old daughter.
Why do you think it’s important to provide creative outlets and opportunities for people, especially in regional areas?
I think it is so important to provide these creative outlets as most importantly it brings people together. A lot of areas in our region have suffered the effects of drought whether they live in town or out on properties, it affects everyone. By providing these opportunities it gives people a little bit of time out of their everyday lives where they can network with other like-minded people and also express their creativity.
What have you got coming up?
In March I have the Marra Creek Field day, Glennie Fair and Grammar Art Show both in Toowoomba and of course the Bourke Easter Market which is always a great day. In April and May I am touring again with the two-day workshops within the region.
What other artistic developments would you like to see occur in our region?Â
Maybe the chance for other artistic people, ceramics, art, jewellery and sculpture to get together and hold a group exhibition in the area.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a silversmith?Â
Thatâ€™s a tricky question, maybe photography or working with animals. Both have also been passions, Iâ€™m lucky to be surrounded by animals and love taking photos of where we live.
Where can we see more of your stuff?
I have a website www.skyebraggdesigns.com.au and also a Facebook page. Items can be purchased online through my website and I also welcome commissions and custom orders. I have a collection in Little Birdy in Bourke. I travel the region and interstate to attend art shows and fairs and hopefully soon people can make an appointment to drop in at my home studio.
Lastly, Beatles or the Stones?
Iâ€™d have to say the Beatles, more my sort of music!!!