Sugar & Vice: All Things Nice

Things&Ink met up with Sarah, owner of jewellery brand Sugar & Vice to talk tattoos, inspiration and pizza…

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How did you get into jewellery making? Making jewellery was actually something I fell into completely by accident. I was working in an office and was terribly unhappy, so I started making jewellery as a hobby and a means of getting some extra income. Before long it become a bit all-consuming. So as soon as I was earning enough, I left my job to concentrate on it full time and it’s gone from strength to strength since then.

What inspires you? There’s no short answer to that, really. Everything inspires me. Animals, fashion, food, patterns, nature, weather, places, people, art, tattoos, the list goes on. I love nothing more than taking inspiration from something pretty mundane and turning it into something fun and colourful.

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What draws you to jewellery? Jewellery can come in so many different forms and I think the sheer variety of what’s available is a large part of why I love it. Not only can you make jewellery from just about anything, it can come in so many forms that it’s just endlessly fascinating to me. Ironically, I wear very little jewellery on a day-to-day basis, but I’ve accrued some amazing pieces for special occasions, some that I’ve made myself and some that I’ve acquired from friends and industry peers. I just don’t think an outfit is complete without jewellery, be it subtle or statement!

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Is your work inspired by tattoos? Some of it is, definitely. I’ve been collecting tattoos for more than a decade, as have most of my friends, so it’s difficult not to let that filter into other aspects of my life, including my working life. With tattoos, as with jewellery, the possibilities are endless. It’s a pretty odd parallel when you really think about it, but jewellery and tattoos have a lot in common. Both are a form of decoration and they can both be for show, in memorium, for religious purposes, a reminder of something – or just fun, colourful and frivolous.

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What is your favourite piece you have created? That’s a tough question to answer as it changes so frequently. I like to think that with experience, the pieces have got better, so my favourite is almost always the most recent. I think a constant favourite will be always be the Gemstone Necklace, though. It’s what I consider to be a signature Sugar & Vice piece and in an industry where it’s so difficult to stay original, it’s the one I’m most proud of in terms of uniqueness.

Can you tell me a bit about your tattoos? My tattoos are a bit all over the place, literally and figuratively! Most are pretty meaningful, some are just silly things, but they all make me smile. I have three Sugar & Vice tattoos, and counting, so I like to think that shows just how closely linked my ink and my work are.

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Who are your favourite tattoo artists? There are so many! Leah Moule’s style just blows my mind, I’d love to get tattooed by her someday. Suzi Q as well, I love her stuff, and one of my earlier pieces actually came about after seeing a nautical pinup girl tattoo of hers and getting inspired around seven years ago. I think Dan Henk is pretty special too, his horror tattoos are like nothing else I’ve seen.

Do you think there is a relationship between tattoos and fashion? Absolutely. I think tattoos can influence fashion and vice versa. I’ve been, infrequently, reading tattoo magazines for around 12 years now and you can definitely see changing trends – although there will always be certain styles that remain popular. The troubling thing is when fashion influences tattoos and people start getting them for the wrong reasons, it’s the quickest road to regret in my experience.

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What’s next for Sugar & Vice? Global domination with any luck! In reality though, I’m just so grateful that I get to make a living doing something I love so much, and if things continue along the same path, then hopefully there’ll be bigger things in store. For now, I’ll just keep making jewellery that brings a smile to peoples faces.

First published in Issue 4 The Art Issue of Things&Ink magazine

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