Liudmila is taking part in our coming Home is a Feeling show in Faversham on 13th and 14th November.
Describe what you do as a creative.
I make jewellery using metal sheets and wire (mostly sterling silver and copper), and I also love using natural stones.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and grew up in the Soviet Union in a military family; originally Ukrainian, I moved to Lithuania when I was 2 years old as my father was relocated to serve there. I moved to the UK with my husband and son in 2005.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
For quite a while I wanted to be a military pilot, as I grew up in an army base, and then a veterinary surgeon. However, with the collapse of the USSR neither was possible for me, so I finished Kaunas University of Technology with a Master of Science degree in Industrial Polymers Technology.
How did you begin doing what you do?
In the UK, I built a successful career in the hospitality industry, but felt that something was missing in my life. So in 2016 I decided to take a career break and went to Bromley College of Adult Education for a short 16 hour course on contemporary jewellery making, having no idea what it would entail. At the course I learnt the basics of metalsmithing, and made my first silver chain bracelet. I liked the fact that metalsmithing requires technical skill and scientific knowledge, and allows you to express your creativity. And so I had found my missing piece. After the course, I started to make jewellery in my kitchen, and last year I expanded to an external workshop (in my garden), which I proudly call my studio.
What turns on your creativity?
I make jewellery, which I describe as being ‘modest statement’: simple and modest, but making enough of a statement to be visible and get noticed. My jewellery is eclectic, and I like to mix folklore, tribal, and contemporary elements. I never do sketches, and don’t know what I’ll make until I have a chunk of metal in my hands. So every piece is a complete adventure.
What do you like best about your work?
I love the magical process of turning lifeless metal into something that is alive and wearable.
When were you most satisfied in your work?
The best moments are when I see people wearing my jewellery and coming back to me to get something for their loved ones. It is also so satisfying when I make something unique and unusual and it finds a proud owner.
What is the most exciting part of your work at the moment?
As I am mostly self taught, it is always exciting to try new techniques or new products. Of course it is often through mistakes and failures, but when successful it all pays off.
Your idea of happiness
Sunshine, a blooming garden, the seaside, a purring cat and a lazy dog, and a healthy family.
Tell us a lesson life has taught you.
I wish I had started to create earlier; so if you ever feel that something is missing, just don’t be afraid to try new things.