20 Feb 2017

Meet the Maker Monday - Introducing Andrea Johnson of Kipple Traders

At Hand Made Yorkshire, we want to introduced to you our artists, crafters 
and designer makers, their wonderful work and where you can find them.

This weeks Meet the Maker is brought to you by the lovely Andrea Johnson owner and designer maker at Kipple Traders based in Darlington

Andrea designs and makes naturally inspired fine silver jewellery.
Here's what she told me.

How long have you been a designer maker?

18 months

How did you become a designer/maker?

I taught science in a secondary school for 17 years and felt my life was passing me by and my children were growing up without me.  I used to design and make all my own jewellery when I was a teenager and still had all my old tools and beads. During a bout of depression my partner suggested I take up jewellery making again.  At the time I had been going to pottery workshops as part of the Durham Exchange so we looked into working with PMC, bought a kiln and some moulds to get started, my partner has become a dab hand at casting leaves in silver.   I mostly have enjoyed working with silver wire and glass beads, and hope someday to use the kiln to make my own beads.  Who’d have thought that something that I used to enjoy 20 years ago, still brings me so much joy today.

How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?

KippleTraders was supposed to be the name for our start-up business, the one that we make all the mistakes with and then, when we have learnt what to do (and more importantly, what not to do!) we would change over to our proper name! 
I’m still making mistakes!

The word ‘kipple’ comes from a Philip K. Dick book called ‘Do androids dream of electric sheep?’  It is a term for the collection of useless objects one collects during life.  According to the book, when no-one’s around, kipple reproduces itself so eventually the entire universe will reach a state of total kipplestation!

Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?

I still tutor privately in client’s homes and I mark GCSE papers for AQA but mostly I’m a Mum which is exactly the way I wanted it.  I no longer say to my kids “I’ll be in in a minute, after I’ve marked these books”.  We haven’t got two pennies to rub together but we are happy – phew!

How do you make time for it all?

I have a loving a supporting long-term partner of 17 years – that makes me sound really old!  We never did get married, maybe we can find the time now though!

What’s your favourite thing about running your business?

Keeping my own hours and meeting new people.  Woops, that’s two things I’ll merge them seamlessly into one – meeting new people in my own time!

Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?

I love my spiral rings as they look so elegant, they go with everything and I’ve never seen them anywhere else.

Describe your business in three words?
Inspired Silver Jewellery

I have a love hate relationship with?

I love?
My life!

I ignore?
People who say ‘don’t you think it is time to get a proper job!

What inspires you?
Working with the metal itself – what shape do you want to be today?!

Where can you be found
Tel: 07886869641

Maybe I should write something in there!



A big thanks you to Andrea for your detailed and informative interview.
 I love your nature inspired jewellery.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent write up. Love reading other people's stories/quest.