Who's Who: Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes

This month, we chat with the designer/Maker from Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes, who we saw when we went to Renegade last year and so we thought it would be great to find out a bit more about Sally and her work.

Who are you?
I'm Sally McAdam from Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes.  I live in Glasgow with my boyfriend and my cat Chi where I design and make jewellery. I also play a lot of roller derby, read a lot of comics, play too many video games, bake a million cakes, drink gallons of tea and sometime even find time to go to work at my full time job in a hospital. I'm not entirely sure how, I'm exhausted just reading that sentence. Well, I do most of these things in my pyjamas.

What do you do?
I make laser cut jewellery from acrylic and wood. I start by doodling my designs on a piece of paper, then I use a vector program to draw paths for the laser to cut and engrave. I send these to a company who run them through the laser cutter for me (I'm too poor to buy my own at the moment, but maybe I'll win the lottery or have a distant, incredibly rich, elderly relative die and leave me their fortune or something. I'll probably just save up.) The company send me the cut pieces and I peel the protective layer off each tiny piece and glue them together to make necklaces, brooches and earrings, hurrah.

I like to make fairly adventurous and sometimes complex designs in several layers of acrylic. I think this can make the laser cutting companies I use go a bit cross eyed. I feel sorry for them. Sorry guys. Sometimes my initial designs don't fit together/fall to bits/just look rubbish and I have to adjust them or start again, but it feels pretty awesome when I can eventually hold something in my hand that started out in my head.

How did you start?
I started out making jewellery with beads and things, mainly charm bracelets and ridiculous necklaces consisting mainly of paperclips. I started selling it, mainly to stop it all piling up in my living room and making it difficult to see the TV, but I was surprised when people actually wanted to BUY it. Soon I decided I wanted to make my own designs and after researching it, it seemed the best way to get what I wanted was laser cutting. I taught myself to draw vector paths (this sounds impressive but "self-taught" in this case means "googled-it-when-I-was-stuck"), started off with some simple designs and took it from there.

What's Next?
I LOVE designing new jewellery and I've got my first 2014 collection well underway. I've just made a prototype of our new Otter Spotter Necklace, I can't wait to release it. We've just sent an order to our first ever international stockist in Germany, I'm looking forward to trying for even further afield. 

What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to the beginning?
Be brave! If you want to make a certain thing, but it looks difficult, just try! If you want a particular shop to stock your stuff, just ask!

Get a decent, organised storage system for your products and loose acrylic parts, I am finally getting round to this several years too late and I wish I'd done it years ago, I'd have saved myself a lot of agonising foot injuries standing on tiny, tiny parts.

You are allowed to make jewellery and still have a proper job and you are allowed to love both of those things. So many people say they'd love to give up their day job to craft all day, but I love having both in my life!

We think that Sally has the right idea in enjoying all her passions in life, whether they be creative or not.  It is amazing what can influence you and what you see everyday can help with your work.  Always keep a notebook with you so that you can write or doodle when you are on the go, as you never know when you are going to get that inspiration moment!

These would also make great gifts for Valentine's Day, although you may be lucky to get it in time - a post Valentines gift would work!

H & Sammy