Sheila Westera: unique, one-of-a-kind jewellery
While I was studying Art and Architecture History in Amsterdam, I worked in the jewellery industry for many years. I'm a true stone lover, and working with jewellery was utterly amazing, the things I've learned.. My overall personal interest was mostly towards innovative design and unique artists. Any kind of original, individual or characterful jewellery would feed my passion for jewels even more, within the usually repetitive designs. Many years later when I started making my own jewellery, it started differently, and sustainablility was on my mind, I made jewels from all sorts of finds.
I started working with raw stones. I came up with my own ways to set the stones that I had collected. By using sterling silver and much later 14k gold-filled or 18 krt gold, I started creating one-of-a-kind cocktail rings by hand. Every piece now revolves around a specific stone and its setting in wire, ranging from a Tahiti pearl to a raw chunk of pyrite. First of all, I create jewels that fit me and luckily it attracts amazing people that understand my individual style. My work got picked up, by strangers as how my first clients told me.. and before I knew it, my rings sparked a conversation, and that’s how my Conversation Pieces collection was born.
With my background in Art History, wearable art and contemporary jewellery have always piqued my interest: I was mostly inspired by the strong messages in wearable art, and felt the need to use jewellery as a way to express myself. Living in London and spending many of my holidays in the Alps, I got inspired from every angle, from being in a peaceful nature that surrounded my holiday house, and where I started my Arty Scenes collection to the busy cosmopolitan city that London is and where my interest in culture was being fed. My first works were true statements, necklaces that were made of vintage finds or anything found in nature, which was not always that beautiful.. My pieces were already quite activist, as I'm passionate in protecting nature, mostly. Many of the sculpted pieces in my Arty Scenes collection reflect my social criticism, while others are inspired by memories from the past, the mysteries of the universe, nature or our planet.
As someone who loves to explore, and travel, packing jewellery can be a real fuss.. That’s why I came up with my Purely Wired collection. It started with creating easy-to-wear, quirky minimal earrings and the collection has grown into many one-of-a-kind jewellery designs. Take a look at the collection on the Purely Wired collection page.
Soon after I started my first more contemporary work, I was asked to join a few jewellery exhibitions. In the past few years, I was approached by the contemporary jewellery exhibition Artistar that took place during Milan Fashion Week where I exhibited twice. My rings have been featured in several magazines and appeared on multiple jewellery blogs. My jewellery is now available on various online platforms, as well as an exclusive concept store in Amsterdam.
Do you want to know more about my patented techniques and the inspiration behind them? Read my blog about "The Story behind my Techniques". If you want to know more about the inspirations behind my collections and the differences between them, read my blog about the differences between my collections.
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