She sells sea shells …
If you’ve walked along Crossgate in recent months, your eye may have been caught by a collection of jewellery that sits in the window of Couper Carpets. The works of art are the creations of co-owner, Sharon Maguire.
As with so many folk, the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns proved not only huge challenges but also offered up opportunities. Sharon explains: “I live on the East Neuk. When lockdowns first hit we were all confined to our homes. When we were allowed to head out – I chose the beach.”
Sharon has an eye for detail and on her walks, she started to spy sea glass and shells. She collected a few and, once home, started looking at how she might make some into items of jewellery. Her garden shed became her workshop.
Days and weeks went by and Sharon’s collection of ‘treasure’ started to build as she spent more and more time on the shoreline. “I love being outside. The sea air is wonderful and the beaches are so full of beauty.”
She began with earrings – bespoke pieces using sea glass. Then came bracelets and necklaces using shells.
As time has progressed, so has Sharon’s imagination – not only seeing her take on larger pieces but also looking at how she might incorporate other items from the world of nature.
“In the spring and summer, my garden is full of gorgeous flowers. I know they could be pressed, but I wanted to see if I might include them in jewellery, picture frames, paperweights and more.” And so she did. Her shed became a flower-drying haven – floral scents filling the air as she worked on increasingly elaborate pieces.
Each item is a one-off – and that is a real part of the joy at Sharon takes from her crafting. “No two pieces are the same – so when I start out, I am always looking at how it can be unique. What will set it apart. And that also means more people are now asking me to create bespoke gifts knowing there will never be another like it.”
That has led to Sharon using couples’ wedding flowers in resins to make jewellery and homeware items – often as ‘thank yous’ after their ‘big day’ or as anniversary gifts for themselves. She has done the same using children’s locks of hair and those of pets. She has also used funeral flowers – ensuring very precious memories can be captured for lasting mementos and keepsakes.
Some of her most recent items have been very much with Christmas gifts in mind – including a collection of bottle stoppers – some with flowers and others with pine cones set in resign.
Whatever she creates, Sharon says that it is “made with love“, adding: “I couldn’t make the items I do unless I loved the challenge as well as the stories behind each piece. This is a real labour of love – and hobby that has grown arms and legs.” She attends art and craft fairs but says she is fortunate to have their Cupar shop window as she is able to display her work to a whole new audience … and shoppers in Cupar have been very complimentary about her works that can be seen on display in the Couper Carpets window as well as more on show in the shop itself. Pop in the next time you are passing.
Sharon’s She Sells Sea Shells is on Facebook.Her page includes videos that show some of her pieces being made …
She is very happy to look at commissioned pieces. If you have an idea of a piece and would like to chat with Sharon about it, please use this link to email her or pop in to Couper Carpets on Crossgate.
Thanks for reading!