Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Kew Gardens

My parents came to visit today and we went by boat along the Thames to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. There is so much to see, it was vegetation and texture overload! Note-taking is not my strong point however and I have no idea what either of these plants is called.
The slightly decomposing fruit may not be conventionally beautiful but I love all the texture and the little juicy nodules. Almost jewel like? Actually it makes me want to start making something with the smoooth ruby beads sitting on my work bench.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Hello Taiwan

A few months ago I was contacted by dpi, a Taiwanese design magazine, and asked to do an interview. Well, it's out now! I got my copy of the magazine yesterday. The online version looks good, but it's so lovely in the flesh. All that flowing hair on the cover illustration by Margot Mace (there's an accent on that last e but I can't work out how to put on in) is embossed, luvvly. I'll post a scan on my website as soon as I get one done. Meanwhile, here's a transcription of the interview, which I am posting despite feeling slightly bashful about it.

Please introduce yourself to our readers. (background, story of growing up, personality…etc).

I grew up in a small down in South West England with my two brothers. I was always drawing and making things as a child, and I read a lot and loved dancing – so not too different to how I am now. I didn’t really consider art and design as a career when I left school, I think I had the idea that it wouldn’t be possible to make a living at it, so I went on to study French at university in London, and lived in France for a year. After university I drifted into a few different jobs and ended up working as a museum curator, but it never really felt like the career for me. I made jewellery in my spare time, and as I developed my ideas and skills I became more and more interested in trying to make a living at it, which I’m now lucky enough to do. I live in Dalston in North East London with my boyfriend (who is studying acupuncture) and I work from home designing and making my Glint range of jewellery.

Why do you like design? And why did you choose to become a jewelry designer?

I’m quite a visual person in that I’m interested in the aesthetics of my environment and things that I use and wear on a day-to-day basis. Like most people, I started out by designing and making things that I wanted to wear myself. I like working with my hands, too, and I find it really satisfying to give shape to something concrete that has started out as an abstract idea. I didn’t really ‘decide’ to become a jewellery designer, I just gradually realized that it would be possible for me to make living at doing something that I loved. It started with me wanting to make jewellery that I enjoyed wearing and was interesting to make, friends asked me to make things for them, and it went from there!

What does jewelry design bring to your life?

I find it quite meditative to make jewellery, and it’s really satisfying to slowly piece together the different elements and end up with a something beautiful. It’s great to watch someone try something on and fall in love with it, it makes me feel that what I’m doing is worthwhile and impacts on people’s lives in a positive way.

Why did you found the brand glint? What does glint mean?

I first started selling my jewellery at London’s Spitalfields Market, which is a starting point for a lot of new designers. Selling the jewellery really helped me to focus on the direction it should take and the range began to take shape and tell a coherent story. Shortly thereafter I launched the Glint website, I really like the hard sound of the work glint, and the way it looks when it’s written down. The word means ‘a bright gleam or flash’, which is obviously appropriate for a jewellery brand! It implies glitter and glamour without sounding in the least ‘girlie’.

Please introduce the concept and specialty of your works.

Glint is about simple but detailed jewellery that draws you in and becomes more interesting the closer you look. My pieces also tend to have a time-worn look to them but they are modern in their simplicity – the leaf charms I use are vintage and with the Cluster pieces the oxidized silver gives them a worn-in look. I’m always balancing old and new, simple and detailed, and I like to contrast hard and soft looking elements, like soft pearls and hard faceted stones. It’s not in the least trend-led, although I’m interested in fashion and I’m sure that trickles down to my work in some way. I don’t like to conceptualise too much, I just want people to look beautiful wearing the jewellery and to absorb it into their own style.

Please introduce the most popular work in all your works.

The Aventurine Leaf Necklace. I’ve introduced some new colours and styles using these vintage leaves recently and they’re proving really popular too. I’ve been pleased with the response to the long Sautoir necklaces too.

Where and how do you get inspiration to present in your works?

Primarily, the stones and metals themselves inspire me and seem to demand that they are used in a certain way. I’m also inspired by natural formations like clusters of berries, clumps of moss or even mould and barnacles– things are accrue from a number of smaller elements and become more than the sum of their parts.

What are the interesting happenings when you designed jewelry?

It’s always interesting when you’re developing new work, just seeing what shape the piece is going to take and whether it will spark off something exciting – maybe a whole new series. I love looking out for unusual stones to use in my work, too.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like eating out or going to the pub with friends and going to the cinema and exhibitions – I went to Christoph Buchel’s Simply Botiful installation recently, which was amazing. I practice yoga as often as I can, and I like reading and listening to music – I love David Mitchell’s books and I’m obsessed with Joanna Newsom’s new album Y’s at the moment.

What does freedom mean to you? When and what makes you feel free?

To me, freedom is being able to live without fear or worrying about what other people think. I feel free when I’m just walking around the city with friends at the weekend, and on Sunday night when I really appreciate that I don’t have to go out to work for anyone else on Monday morning.

What is your dream in the future? How will you reach your dream?

I want to develop my practice and the business whilst keeping it small and controllable enough that I can continue making it myself. I’m considering looking for a shared studio space too, as working from home can get a bit lonely at times. I’m going to keep on doing what I’m doing, pursuing my ideas and developing my techniques, focusing on the present and hoping the future takes care of itself. I’m looking forward to taking more holidays in 2007 too!

Please recommend some special places in your country to our readers.

In London, I’d recommend going to the Brick Lane and Spitalfields area on a Sunday - Spitalfields Market is worth a visit and there are some great independent and vintage shops in the area. It’s worth getting up early and checking out the Columbia Road flower market too. For food, Rasa is a great Keralan restaurant in Stoke Newington – it’s cheap and really delicious. In you want to go to the countryside, give Stonehenge a miss and check out the prehistoric stone circle at Avebury in Wiltshire – much more atmospheric.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Hikaru Furuhashi

I love food, and I love good typography, so these images from
Hikaru Furahashi are pretty appealing. I think I first came across her work through Lena Corwin's blog. Something vibrant to look at on a wet, grey day (is it really August?!)

New Stockists

I've just sent some jewellery off on its travels to these two shops - Myrrh in Sevenoaks, Kent, and Jac. in Atalanta, Georgia. So if you're in the area(s) go and have a look...

Little Doodles

Kate Wilson's little be-wigged birds are insanely cute. You can buy prints from her Etsy shop.

Angie Boothroyd

Angie Boothroyd makes beautiful jewellery with a really interesting texture. She mostly works in gold that she alloys herself. This is her Palm Cascade set. I really like some of the gold and tourmaline pieces too.

First post....

Hi! Anyone there?!

I'll be posting here to let you know what's going on with my jewellery range, Glint, and sharing things that I like and that inspire me - jewellery, design, clothes, art, and anything else that catches my eye.

Here's a picture of my caviar bracelet by way of introduction...

K x