If you’re joining us on for the last weekend of the Emsworth Arts Trail then a visit to the studio of jewellery designer Lydia Foster is a must.  We met up with her this week to hear about her latest collection influenced by her recent travels and by the sea.

Who are you?

I’m Lydia Foster.

What type of artist are you?  

I’m a studio jeweller/designer/maker.

Do you have a background in art/design – when did you first start your creative journey?  

I have always loved art and always wanted to work in a creative capacity but ended up doing a business degree (!!)  Business was never my first love, and I became disillusioned with my office job and gave it up to go back to college where I studied 3D Design and Jewellery. After graduation I worked as part of a co-operative in Worthing before setting up my own studio in 2009. 

Can you describe your creative process?

Organic!  I work from sketches or photographs, but often have ideas in my head, so I play in the studio and just see what happens.  My designs are often different to my initial ideas, but this leads to interesting and unusual outcomes, which makes it more exciting.  This is why so many of my designs are one-offs.

What or who inspires you?

Lots of things!  Everything!  Nature, whatever I’m surrounded by.  I travelled a lot last year, and different landscapes and architectures influenced my designs greatly.

What do you enjoy most about the process? 

I like to use different techniques such as etching or patination, and these can have unpredictable outcomes, which I love.  I also love polishing and finishing each piece of jewellery as it really brings it to life.  It’s also always fantastic seeing someone wearing a piece of my jewellery! 

Can you describe your studio/workspace? 

A converted garage.  I’ve put in water, electricity and heating.  It’s now a lovely space, where I have ample room for my work and for teaching workshops. 

What keeps you going whilst you work – soundtrack? Snacks? A fluffy assistant? 

I always have the radio on, so there’s a mix of chat and music, otherwise it can get lonely!   My studio can get messy so not a good place for my golden retriever Bee as she tries to eat everything!  

What can we expect to see from you on this years’ art trail? – How does this vary from previous years 

I’m been using some unusual stones which I’ve sourced from Arizona, which are all one of a kind and I have lots of new designs which I’m excited to show this year. 

Where are you exhibiting? – What can people expect from the location

From my studio in Hollybank Lane.  I’ll be exhibiting my new work, which has been influenced by my recent travels and by the sea.  I’ll be joined by my lovely friend Andrea Martin, who is a fabulous painter and illustrative artist and has exhibited with me for the last 3 years of the trail.  This year we will be joined by the wonderful Karen Ongley-Snook who is a multi media artist specialising in glass sculpture.   I’m really excited to be sharing my studio with such talented artists, who are also great fun to hang out with.

Why did you want to take part in the trail?

The trail is a great way of meeting other artists and having the opportunity for our work to be seen by a wider audience.  I love that people can see how I work and what tools I use to create handmade jewellery.

What are your artistic ambitions?

To develop my craft and to further experimentation!

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