Meet the Maker: Sara Ross, Jewellery Designer and Maker
Sara Ross is a jewellery designer and maker, DCCI member and a member of the Council of Irish Fashion Designers (CIFD). Sara, an ex-lawyer-turned-jeweller, set up her business FiorSó in County Kerry in 2021. Pronounced “fee-er-so”, the name FiorSo is a modern fusion of the Irish words Fior meaning “real/true” and Só meaning “luxury”. The name captures Sara's style + ethos. Sustainability is one of FiorSo's core values. The brand follows a Sustainability Policy from production through to packaging, pieces are created in small batches with very little wastage and packaged using sustainable materials. The FiorSo aesthetic is vibrant and confident, gold- and silver-tone pieces paired with colourful enamelling and coloured pearls. Whilst contemporary, designs often echo eras of the past. Discover more on fiorso.ie.
What's a typical day in the studio like for you?
It usually starts with admin; I check emails and orders that have come in through the night, pay any bills, plan, prepare and post my social media posts for the day. Then the fun stuff; I make to order so I finish any final pieces due to be posted that day, package and gift wrap them and arrange for postage. I then move on to pieces that are in progress to take them to the next stage. Finally, I start on the initial stages of any new pieces. I also try to make time to research and come up with designs for new collections. Much of my work is inspired by historical art and architecture so I do deep research on this which can take me down a rabbit hole of books - and I sketch ideas as I go. Eventually this morphs into something concrete from which I can develop new collections.
What do you like most about your work?
I love creating a physical piece from something that was an idea in my head, and that people want to own that piece!
What do you like least about your work?
The admin - paying the bills, dealing with supply issues etc.
What's your favourite craft item in your home?
My original prototypes for a collection. I love to be reminded of the metamorphosis from initial prototype to final refined design.
What other maker in your discipline do you most look up to?
I often look to makers in other disciplines, like clothes designers, artists and architects especially those who use colour and stylised design - for example Tamara de Lempicka, Sonia Delaunay, Wassily Kadinsky, Rene Macintosh, Lluís Domènech i Montaner
What advice would you give someone who is considering this craft career?
Don't feel like you need to fit a mold in terms of your designs. Make what you love to look at, customers will find you. And don't undersell your product, stand by it and the price you need to charge for it.
What's your favourite time of the day?
Late afternoon / evening, as my creative brain is most active at that time.
How do you switch off?
I'm not very good at that! I sketch a lot, which I find calming. But I don't think I've found a way to switch off as I love what I do - it doesn't feel like work.
How do you start your day?
Usually in a mad rush! Getting the kids lunches ready and getting them out the door, feeding the pets.
What's the first thing you do when you leave the studio?
Find my husband and kids, and have a chat with them.
There are so many! Midnight's Children (Salman Rushdie), The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood) - I've read a lot of their books but those are probably my favourite.
Best concert you have ever been to?
Oasis when I was a teen!
Music when you're working?
What do you listen to?
Eclectic mix of classical music and modern (I like M83, Temper Trap, U2)