We have another talented jewellery designer-maker to meet today. Chanchala Ariyaratne proves that one person’s waste is anothers raw materials, and I’m sure you’ll agree that the results can be stunning.
Briefly describe the products you currently make
Mostly, I scrounge for old stuff and re-make into beautiful objects. It’s mainly jewellery I’m currently making but this is expanding!
How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin? Or is Craftaganza your first time?
I’ve been selling for a year now. I was working in Aberdeen, aka the Oil Capital of Europe, before I moved to Brighton, and with the long winters there and general lack of much to entertain myself with outside of work, I began to experiment with making jewellery. Several years later, when I moved to Brighton, I found I could sell my little creations!
Other crafty disciplines you like to practice?
Between hunting down interesting finds and designing, making and marketing my jewellery, I have little free time so not as many as I’d like to practise. I used to love to draw and make all sorts of other random things that my Mom got stuck with.
What inspires the things you make?
I love all the history in Britain. There are so many old pieces of metal and china and just an abundance of stories and objects that inspire me. I’m Sri Lankan so I also love South Asian design and its vibrant colours. Generally, I design for practicality and re-use. I’m also known to go through obsessive phases though. I’m currently on an antiqued copper phase and everything I make ends up being in patinated copper!
Other crafter/makers you admire?
There are so many wonderful crafters on Etsy and I really admire their supportiveness and helpfulness towards other crafters.
My Dad was always making something or another when I was growing up. He’d generally have something like a stick ship on the go for months and I used to watch him in the middle of the night. I think that’s where my urge to create things comes from. He was also an avid collector of what can only be termed junk. He used to make all sorts of things and heaven knows where his ideas came from because I wouldn’t say we lived in a culture that inspired the creative mind.
The best things in life are free, and generally thrown out by other people.