Alejandra Salvini - bespoke glass designs from Stockton Heath with an Argentinian twist
PUBLISHED: 10:47 10 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:50 20 February 2013
An Argentinian jewellery designer from Stockton Heath is making waves with her bespoke glassÂ designs. WORDS BY TUI BENJAMIN PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMSPON
Self-taught Argentinian jewellery designer Alejandra Salvini creates beautiful handcrafted glass pieces from her home and workshop in Stockton Heath. The fused glass pendants, earrings and cufflinks come in a variety of colours and designs.
My romantic side definitely comes out in my jewellery, says Alejandra. The pieces, many of which feature delicate flower, heart, fairy and angel motifs, have a romantic and feminine feel. A love of colour also informs her designs.
A little touch of colour just makes an outfit. It doesnt matter if its not sunny outside, if you can wear something bright it just cheers you up. Ilike warm vibrant colours, but also stock a more classic range in muted and sophisticated tones so there really is something for everyone.
Alejandra was working in PR when shemet her husband, Thomas, who runs an IT business, during his holiday to her homeland. Love led her across the ocean and she came to England with him in2006.
I thought it was the perfect opportunity to start my own business. Icome from a creative family and have always had this love for jewellery. Being in a new country meant I was able to start thinking seriously about working for myself. It was a scary step but I have really enjoyed it. After having two children, Emma, three, and Nicholas, one, working from home fitted perfectly into Alejandras new role as a busy mum.
When I first came to Cheshire it was only intended to be short term, says Alejandra. But obviously when youve got your family and business in one place its more difficult to move away. It was hard at first. I missed my friends and family and I had to learn so many things - including the language. But having the children has offered me a completely different experience; being a mother is so rewarding. I feel very lucky to be able to work doing something I enjoy and have the freedom of working from home.
She was drawn to the versatility of glassafter a friend introduced her to glassworking. It was love at first sight. Itssuch an adaptable material and I was instantly attracted to the beautiful colours and effects you can create. I knew that the jewellery industry was really competitive so I researched new techniques and tested things out in my kiln.
Her pieces are made by fusing hand-drawn designs directly onto her glass pendants, ensuring that customers can customise the design and colour of the pendant and are even able to add a personal message on its reverse. My designs are more than just jewellery she says. Yes they are something to wear, but also something to be treasured. When I describe what I do, Idont say I design and make jewellery. Isay I design and make personalised gifts.
Because of this, brides-to-be are huge fans of Alejandras range. Ihave a colour-matching service which has been perfect for customers looking for something to accompany their wedding theme, she says. The great thing about the pendants is that they are not just for wearing on the actual day. The personalised messages ensure that they can be kept as a memento of the occasion.
The jewellery is sold through galleries and gift shops, as well as online. These bespoke items are affordable, with the most expensive priced at 35. For Alejandra, the Stockton Heath vibe fits perfectly with her designs and she hopes to stock her items in more local boutiques. Ienjoy working in Stockton Heath. Its a lovely area with a real arty feel; it has nice little independent shops, good restaurants. Everyone is so friendly.
Along with developing her wedding collection further, Alejandra plans a mens line to accompany her glass cufflinks. And her new childrens collection, featuring light-hearted and whimsical designs, has already proved popular with mums and little girls.
To see more of Alejandras designs go to www.alejandrasalvini.com