Interview with Caroline Bassett

It was great to catch up with Caroline Bassett and find out more about her inspiration and design process.

Caroline describes the joy of designing as visual hedonism (visual pleasure).  Caroline’s jewellery collection is not only striking in appearance, it is also enhanced with good design and timeless style; pieces that you will treasure for years to come.

Her work combines bold colours, precious metals, patina images that are delicately transferred onto metal and semi precious gemstones; these elements are then transformed into pieces that are beautifully rendered and unique.

Caroline’s story appeals to me, the courage to make changes in her life,  taking a chance with a new direction and trusting her instincts; I hope you enjoy finding out more about the person behind the collection.

LL: What led you to jewellery design?
CB: I was working in a job that I was bored with, so I asked for a redundancy to give me the kick I needed to expand my horizons.  I then went to art school, I wanted to become a portrait artist but everyone was buzzing about the jewellery class they had just taken.

I don’t wear a lot of jewellery myself, but I liked the idea of the nobility of the metal and making it into something.  I have a strong technical mind, and love to work out processes.  Metal seemed like a good challenge.  In my first class, I fell in love with jewellery making and haven’t looked back since.

LL: What inspires/influences you?
CB: Industrial Design and Contemporary Ceramics are my two biggest sources of inspiration.

LL: How would you describe your collection?
CB: Modern, a little quirky and versatile.

LL: How do you source your materials what aesthetic do you look ?
CB: The biggest value I have when designing is Visual hedonism.  Just like good design, if it makes me enjoy the ‘eye candy’, then I use it.  I can’t get enough of design.  If I have an application or process I would like to use in the design, then I research it a lot! I like to find the best way possible and then integrate it into the piece.  I also collect things and put them aside to use ‘one day’, years might go by before it is utilised in a piece of jewellery.

LL: Do you share your work space? How would you describe it?
CB: I have a workshop by myself.  It’s a little compact.  I like to swing a cat, and at the moment it’s just not possible. I plan to relocate my workshop one day so that I can have more jewellery ‘toys’.  I love having tools.

LL: What are your passions outside jewellery?
CB: Photography is my next passion and I have a blog on the photos I take regularly.  Eye candy – I enjoy visual treats.

LL: What tips would you give on how to wear jewellery?
CB: Wear over one colour, so that the piece stands out of the body.  Most pieces are made for the little black dress.  My necklaces work well in two’s.  So if you have one already, get yourself another and wear them together.  Don’t be afraid to wear them to what suits you best.  Flaunt it.  Love it!

Image Above: Bellus Psyche Brooch

Image Below: Image Earrings with AmethystImage Necklace

The Passionate Collector

An Interview with Clare Hillerby

I think I have more than my fair share of ‘collecting’ genes in my DNA, I love calligraphy, and I have a large collection of vintage stamps and postcards from my youth.  These items are like a time capsule that transports you back into yesteryear where people relied on the written word and the postal service to communicate, they had beautiful penmanship and maps were hand drawn with pen and ink; a GPS was not even on the horizon!

I discovered Clare Hillerby’s work a couple of years ago and was in awe of how she captured many of my favourite things and transformed them into highly desirable contemporary jewellery. Clare has a passion for ephemera; she collects old papers, handwritten pieces and extracts from postcards, stamps, postal markings and old maps.

Clare says of her work: “handwriting forms the starting point for my work. Old papers featuring handwritten messages by unknown characters are sourced, interesting sections are extracted; messages become ambiguous, they are then combined with new metalwork, and contemporary stories emerge.

Silver is often oxidised for a depth of colour and to allow papers to become the highlight. Details of yellow gold tube riveting are used to construct parts of the work to reference an industrial landscape; our new history being created daily. Semi-precious beads are added for texture and colour.”

Interview with Clare:

Charmaine: What led you to jewellery design?

Clare: When I started studying I first specialised in fashion. Then I noticed in my fashion designs that I was more interested in the details so I decided to change direction, applying to Edinburgh College of Art; the jewellery course was so well respected and such great people were graduating from there. I appreciated the way you design in fashion though, I think I took that with me into jewellery, and I love the creative process of  jewellery, from the designing through to making and selling.

Charmaine: Tell us about your passion for postcards and stamps from yesteryear…

Clare: I’m inspired by the everyday, people, the city – perhaps from coming from a small compact town to Edinburgh.  The city is full of layers of history merging into the way we use it today, narrow closes and roads beneath roads, I have been really inspired by my time living here.

The postcards I use have been sourced from old bookshops in Edinburgh, while I was studying I collecting them for inspiration.  The postcards weren’t really valued or appreciated at that time, which is what I liked, people’s lives intrigued me; little pockets of stories from decades ago, and you can’t help but imagine the lives the writers of the postcards had and that of their intended recipients.

Gradually the postcards became part of my work. I see them as a precious material, more than the silver in some ways as they are so unique. I discovered a shop to buy great postcards which also sold stamps so I gravitated to other forms of ephemera to make some interesting contrasts, I like variety (I get bored very easily!)

Charmaine: How do you source your materials what aesthetic do you look for?

Clare: People used to write so well, there’s a certain time in the mid-20th century were people perhaps stopped taking so much care, condensing their narrative to ‘having a great time/weather is good’ kind of a postcard, I suppose the more ways to communicate and the busier we get, the more watered down they each become.

I like the older postcards, where people were more likely to take their time using real ink pens and it was a treat to buy, send and receive a postcard.

Having said that, back then, there were more mail deliveries throughout the day, you do find postcards with a quick one liner ‘meet you at 6’.  We do the same now electronically –with our mobiles.

I’ve become more particular with the ephemera I choose over time, searching for interesting, characterful handwriting. The writing has to be quite compact to get a lot into the ovals I cut out for the jewellery; each has to say something about the writer. They always have to feel nice too, although they are trapped between silver and perspex for practical reasons, the feel of the paper is just something special I get to enjoy!

Charmaine: Do you share your work space? How would you describe it?

Clare: I have a studio on my own in a building full of artists and makers. So it’s a completely dedicated studio space to make and design and think. One side of the studio is making and the other is the thinking side with a wall full of pinned ephemera (Charmaine: see image below this wall is like a work of art). It’s a very practical space, brick and concrete which only opens to the public once a year. I’m lucky to have a window which gets lots of sun and a view of roof tops with a million chimneys and a sky that constantly changes; it’s good to look at clouds when you’re trying to think!

Charmaine:  I can see where you got your inspiration for the silver lining and rain cloud earrings (see image right and  below)!

Charmaine: What tips would you give on how to wear jewellery?

Clare: I like to see people wear my work quite casually and regularly, rather than just for special occasions, and mixing things their own way. Although I do make bracelets to wear with particular earrings for example I think you can mix anything together to your own preferences, postcard necklace with stamp earrings for example work really well. I like the way people pair them up, it’s often in a different way than I imagined. People gravitate to certain materials too, (I sold to a geographer recently who wanted mostly maps!).

Charmaine: If you had an opportunity to meet anyone who would it be and why?

Clare: There are so many well-known and interesting famous people to choose from but I would really prefer to visit a regular someone in a time and place very different to what I take for granted, seeing how they live and work, it would be far more interesting.

Some new pieces from Clare:

In store we have some new pieces by Clare, including several charming cufflinks featuring maps and stamps.  In addition, we are stocking some new pieces with the option of customising her necklaces and a bracelet with your choice of semi-precious beads (just check out the options tab under each item).

Image Above L to R:  Line of Colour Necklace in Labradorite, Postcard and Oval Earrings, Bangle Wound Quiet.

Image Below L to R: Stamp Earrings, Silver Lining Earrings, Clare’s creative visual board from her Studio, Viewfinder Brooch & Circles Bracelet.

Vintage Glamour

I have always been a big fan of vintage jewellery and was delighted when I discovered Joli Jewelry. I first fell in love with brooches from the collection and now I am happy to tell you we have added some gorgeous necklaces and earrings to the store.

Jody Lyons, the creative force behind Joli Jewelry, epitomizes vintage chic and is a big advocate of reusing and upcycling materials.  Through her collection, Jody hopes to share her love and interest in original, old materials and the importance of reusing things like: vintage glass, original plastics (like celluloid and Bakelite), old metal findings, old French enamels and mother of pearl pieces.

The design process mixes real vintage and upcycled materials with different cultural motifs and new components, such as semi-precious gemstones.  This evolves into fabulous contemporary creations, with a nod to the awesome vintage styles of yesteryear; that are still highly desirable and continue to have timeless appeal.

Because of the limited availability of the unusual components, everything continues to be limited editions.

Jody designs everything in the line. The small production runs are then handmade by a group of wonderful women in her small studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York.

Image Above L to R:  Jody Lyons, La Feuille Earrings, Sophia Necklace, Ingrid Necklace.

Image Below;   Grace Necklace

From the Newsletter : Interview with Rebecca Overmann

Timeless Elegance

It was great to catch up with Rebecca in New York, in February this year, and I relished the opportunity to feast my eyes on her entire range, I am in awe of her skills and the beauty and elegance of her collection. There is a sense of understatement in Rebecca’s work, soft lines silhouette dreamy moonscapes, diamonds are added to highlight and each piece has a tactile quality, a textural finish; it makes you want to reach out and touch, to wear and claim as your own!

Rebecca re-invents and designs jewellery in a way which is not fussy or over the top;  a touch of colour and sparkle – with a champagne (briolette) diamond to a necklace, or a sprinkling of diamonds to 14ct gold or sterling silver,  her work is highly polished and luminous. Rebecca also uses bi-metal in her pieces, for example, her double lily pad earrings are made of 18ct gold, fused to sterling silver, this reduces the price point and gives you the luxe of gold but not at a solid gold price.

Lobo Luxe stocks one of her Rebecca’s favourite bangle designs from her collection, the ‘Spine Bangles; she wears them in a stack -of different metals and finishes – as shown in the image below.

We have some new work of Rebecca’s in store including the Full Moon & Diamond Ring (shown above top right), the Celestial Flower with diamond pendant (shown above lower right), the 14ct Gold Full Moon & Diamond Ring (shown image below ), the 14ct Water Circle Necklace with Champagne Briolette Diamond (shown image below) and Spine Bangles (shown image below).

Below is an interview with Rebecca, you will find out that she is passionate about designing and making jewellery and is obsessed with rough diamonds; more power to her  – I say!

Charmaine: What led you to jewellery design?
Rebecca: I started Savannah College of Art & Design as a photography student — by chance, I signed up for a beginning studio class in jewellery as an elective. In this first class, I found that I really enjoyed creating dimensional objects (probably more than I enjoyed creating photographs), and got caught up in all the excitement of the contemporary jewellery movement that was happening in the US at that time — artists like Thomas Mann, Paloma Picasso, and of course my first teacher, Julie Mihalisin (who also happens to own the very first piece of jewellery I made). In retrospect, I think what I was first drawn to, was that at the end of the day, I could wear what I had created — I love the idea of an ornament or decoration that’s both an accessory and an art object.

Charmaine: What inspires / influences you?
Rebecca: Ultimately, I’m most influenced by natural forms — rather than designing pieces that are literal representations, I tend to create pieces that are loosely based on reality rather than something specific. I’ve also found myself a little inspired (obsessed might be a better word) with raw diamonds. I can appreciate the perfectly cut stones we’re all used to seeing, but for me the imperfections and array of colors in the raw and antique cut stones are infinitely more interesting.

Charmaine: How would you describe your collection?
Rebecca: I’m not interested in ‘fussy’ jewellery — too much detail and clutter. My collection is about form and function — something inspired and interesting, that someone would feel comfortable wearing everyday. When I create new pieces, it’s important that they ‘say something’ about the process and inspiration, but also that they could end up as that favourite piece that never sees the inside of a jewellery box.

Charmaine: How do you plan your collection, ie how do you decide on themes and does one inform the other – are there links?
Rebecca: I wish I could say that my collection is planned, but it’s really more a series of happy accidents, a lot of trial and error, and maybe even a little intuition. Most of my great ideas come in the weeks before a show or a new collection is launched — my instinct and the reaction of buyers, customers and friends steers me towards the creation of a larger body of work. As far as themes and connections in my collection, the more I create, the more I believe that everything I do is related — the themes of texture, mixing of metals and stones, and a love of things in their raw form are evident in all of my work.

Charmaine: Do you share your workspace ?  How would you describe it – organised or organic?
Rebecca: I’m lucky to have a beautiful (and spacious) studio space in a great neighbourhood (in San Francisco)— sure I have to contend with the occasional leaky roof, but I can’t imagine a better place to be. I’d say that structured chaos describes my studio fairly well — I’m a bit of a neat freak, but as an artist, those two parts of my personality frequently do battle. If I had it my way, I’d be at the bench full time. I currently share with another designer which provides a little bit of a reality check once in a while, and of course keeps me from turning into a hermit.

Charmaine: What are your passions outside jewellery?
Rebecca: What do you mean ‘outside jewellery’?

Charmaine: What tips would you give on how to wear jewellery?
Rebecca: This is a pretty personal question — it’s a different answer for everyone, so I can really only speak as to how to wear my jewellery : )  Everyone has a couple pieces that are those ‘special occasion pieces’ — maybe because they’re a statement, or maybe they’re sentimental. For everything else, I like the idea of wearing it every day. Wear it in the garden, to work, or out to dinner. The greatest compliment is when someone comes back to me and says that their ring needs some cleaning or repair — because they never take it off and it got little scuffed while they were out pulling weeds. The thing I try to show my customers, is that the jewellery should belong to them — it should become a part of their own signature look — and that they don’t need a piece of jewellery to define themselves.

Charmaine’s Note: Does anyone wear  jewellery to do their gardening?  Clearly the lovely Ms Overmann has not read the Lobo Luxe care of jewellery section ; )

The image above includes a picture of Rebecca and her studio in San Francisco.

From our newsletter: Interview with Susan Fleming

Wearable Treasures

I have always been a big devotee of Japanese papers, especially the hand silk screened variety – Chiyogami; I believe each piece is a work of art – good enough to frame!  So when I discovered Susan Fleming’s collection I was thrilled to see these beautifully made papers framed in sterling silver and ready to wear.   Susan has a talent for designing and creating complimentary, gentle, organic shapes that capture the Chiyogami papers and transform them into wearable art.

There is a strong whimsical and almost zen like quality to Susan’s work, which captures your attention and draws you into her pieces.  Susan’s work has been very popular at Lobo Luxe and it was great to catch up with her in New York and stock up on some new pieces in her collection.

Susan tells us about her inspiration for her collection:

LL: What led you to jewellery design?
Susan : My initial interest in jewellery making came via an interest in rocks and geology. I kept a rock collection from the age of six which later translated into a love of semiprecious stones and jewellery. My interest continued as I got older and was fueled by some jewellery making courses offered at the high school level. I took all the courses that my school had to offer and finished my senior year with further independent study. After studying political and environmental science in college, I returned to jewellery making the summer following graduation. I apprenticed with Sam Shaw on the Maine coast and it was there that I really honed my skills and began to establish my own body of work. I stayed on with him for seven years and then moved to the Rocky Mountain West area  in 2000, and have maintained a jewellery studio ever since.

LL: What inspires/influences you?
Susan: Many, many things: living in the mountains, the vast sky, architecture, simple lines, paper, texture, shadows, Ray and Charles Eames, crafty friends, conversations, things old and new, and more.

LL: How would you describe your collection?
Modern, organic and colourful. I set hand silk screened paper in sterling silver settings and protect them with a thin waterproof layer of resin. the paper patterns are based on prints that date back to the Edo period but they still have a wide ranging appeal today giving them a classic as well as modern quality.

LL: How do you plan your collection?
Most often it is the patterns in the paper that drive the design of a piece. Whether it is the scale of a floral pattern or the repetition in a geometric print, it dictates or speaks to a specific shape. For example, I recently acquired a new paper with a large sunflower type print and created a bezel to perfectly frame a specific flower from the paper.

LL: Do you share your work space? How would you describe it?
I share a workspace with my amazing assistant, although we each have separate work benches. I think I work better in an organised and tidy environment although you would not gather that from looking at my desk. I usually work on multiple projects at once and so my desk often appears to be in a chaotic state, but there is an organisation to it even if only apparent to me.

LL: What are your passions outside jewellery?
Spending time with my husband Doug, daughter Finna, golden retriever Pema, family and friends, playing in the mountains, especially hiking and skiing, traveling(wherever), baking, eating yummy food and designing interior spaces.

LL: what tips would you give on how to wear jewellery?
Wear it often!

From our newsletter: interview with Flick Pope

The Queen of Hearts

Living by the sea in the Mornington Peninsula (Victoria, Australia), and having a passion for life and love, is our featured designer, Flick Pope.  You can click this link, to see the range in store.

I first discovered Flick’s collection over 18 months ago and I was fortunate to meet her shortly after.

After browsing through Flick’s extensive catalog of work, I was struck by the freshness of her style, there is a strong sense of place, love, romance and humour in her jewellery, and I think this is why her work is so popular in her home town, and now through Lobo Luxe, her following grows!

Flick’s collection is embellished with pearls, hammered and scratched textures, little adornments called ‘doo dads‘ and highlights of fine silver and bronze.

We’ll soon be showcasing some new designs from Flick; watch out for two new rings (the Queen of Hearts & Postcard Rings) and some gorgeous, whimsical bangles.

Flick tells us about her inspiration for her collection:

LL: What led you to jewellery design?

Flick: I loved working with metal at high school and my imagination would go wild.  My father was the head of a foundry school and I spent time during school holidays exploring the foundry.  I loved seeing molten metal being poured into sand moulds and a metal object being the finished product.  It was a very industrial place to witness an incredible process and initially I wanted to be the first female molder to work in the foundry.  However, this led me to the more refined and intricate process of gold and silver smithing.

LL: What inspires / influences you?

Flick: Life.  I am a great observer , I love detail and looking at things.  I see constant change around me, in my family and life.  Whatever it is, it excites me to design a new piece.  When I have the feeling of excitement, I can’t wait to draw and see a new design come to life.  It may be a leaf I have collected, or stones that I have made into earrings, they look edible, so I have called them “eat me”, or even a book I have read like “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” by D H Lawrence, which inspired me to create a whole new range of work.

Many themes are very personal, but when the final design comes about there is a lightness, freshness and even some humour.

LL: Do you share your workspace?  How would you describe it – organised or organic?

Flick: The workspace is shared with my long time friend Leisa, who with her husband, built a mud brick studio about 30 years ago. She asked me to join her space and we have shared our ideas even collaborating on some pieces for the last 25 years.

Recently Julie, a painter, joined our studio and brought another quirky dimension to the space.

Morning tea has been known to “go on for a bit” as we discuss each of our own ideas and current pieces.

Caroline has been my assistant for the last 5 years.

The studio is quite well organized as Leisa has all her glass blowing equipment in one half, while my workbenches face the bush and surrounds.

There is a small kitchen and somewhat of a bush bathroom.  Comfort enough.

LL: What are your passions outside jewellery?

Flick: My Husband and children are my passion. We all enjoy a good wallow in the sea and a skip down the road.  Our garden gives me great pleasure, I have loved building it around our house, we have built together.

LL: What tips would you give on how to wear jewellery?

Flick: A piece should be something that becomes part of the person who is wearing it, being careful not to take over; every piece takes on the personality of the wearer.

Top Image – clockwise from left: Flick’s design drawings, Flick (seated) and Caroline (Assistant), Queen of Hearts Earrings, Flick outside of her shared Studio, Queen of Hearts Neckpiece, ‘Eat Me’ jewellery pieces.

Image Below – from bottom left:  Doo Dad Bangle, Postcard Necklace, Heart Signet Ring.

From our Newsletter: Interview with Louise Douglas

Inspired by Nature

Inspired by the forest and sea, Louise Douglas from Nelson New Zealand, shares with us her passion for jewellery and gives us an insight into her collection.

Louise’s work has a strong feminine aesthetic, softly formed pieces that echo organic shapes found in the forest or beach.  It is charmingly nostalgic, reminiscent of holidays, sun, sand and surf.  Her work also reflects a gentle tactile quality, a feature that resonates beautifully with Lobo Luxe clients.

There are some new stunning pieces from Louise’s collection in store: the Leaf Lariat, Leaf Earrings and the Branch Bangle/Peacock.

Louise tells us more about her inspiration and her collection:

LL: What led you to jewellery design?

Louise: I have been fascinated with jewellery since I was a little girl, my mother and grandmother both loved jewellery and I was always digging through their jewellery boxes and dressing up. So, I started making jewellery when I was 18 years old and selling it to fashion and design stores throughout New Zealand. I then moved to New York when I was 21 and started to work as a designer for large fashion jewellery houses. I took a few classes along the way, but really I learnt most of my skills on the job or from experimentation.

LL: What inspires / influences you?

Louise: I have always been inspired by the intricacies of the ocean and the natural world in general. I love art and fashion too, but the truth is what I am always most inspired by stems from nature in some way.  I look at a lot of old scientific botanical style drawings when I design but I stylise things to fit my aesthetic. The main aim of my work is for people to feel closer to the beauty of nature when they wear it.

LL: How would you describe your collection?

Louise: Feminine, delicate, nature inspired, unique, personal, fashionable, yet timeless!

LL: How do you plan your collection, i.e. how do you decide on themes and does one inform the other – are there links?

Louise: I might see a plant or a texture or a scientific drawing of something organic and it will inspire me to build a collection around it.  I see jewellery possibilities in a lot of the natural things I find out there. So from here I start with a few rough sketches of how the collection will look as a whole and then I do a finer sketch for the carving – which I make from wax. I then create wax moulds and casts using the lost was casting process.

LL: Do you share your workspace?  How would you describe it – organised or organic?

Louise: I have a workshop at the back of my home which it is surrounded by mountains and native birds that sing away all day! I am a typical messy artist but I can usually find everything in my studio when I need it.

I also work at a local workshop in town. It is a great place to chat with other jeweller’s and get feedback etc. I sell my work there too, so it is a good way to keep in contact with some of my clients. I am a really social person and sometimes jewellery can be a bit of a lonely profession so being part of a greater community of jewellers and artists is really important for me. Nelson is great for that.

LL: What are your passions outside jewellery?

Louise: I like to abstract paint and do arts and crafts. I also love movies and the outdoors. On my days off I like to go second-hand shopping with my mum and sister. They just opened a cool little vintage shop up the road from me!

LL: What tips would you give on how to wear jewellery?

Louise: I love long earrings but sometimes people are afraid to wear them…I think they can frame your face, lengthen your neck and just make you look glamorous in general. Sometimes it pays it to move a little out of your comfort zone when it comes to jewellery. Experiment and have fun, it will get you noticed and add interest to your style with only a little effort and risk. You’re worth it!

Image below: clockwise starting from lower left – Leaf Lariat, Long Sea Lace Necklace, Leaf Earrings, Caviar Ring, Sea Lace Ring, Branch Bangle – Peacock and Caviar Necklace.

Interview with Shauna Mayben : from our Newsletter

Photos, Romance & Money

It sounds like a ripping yarn, a crime thriller or a good episode of your favourite soap opera, but it is in fact a summary of Shauna Mayben’s collection at Lobo Luxe.

Shauna’s collection was just recently launched at Lobo Luxe and I thought it would be great for you to find out more about the artist behind the “Antique Photo”, “He Whispered Sweet Nothings in Her Ear” and the “Money Makes the World Go Round” Collections.

Shauna is based in Hobart, Tasmania and her work is not only beautiful it is also environmentally friendly, she uses reclaimed, recycled and up-cycled materials.

What led you to jewellery design?
Shauna: I have always had a love for the arts as young as I can remember. I dabbled in sculpture, and then moved towards furniture design. It wasn’t until I travelled around Europe at the age of 19 and came back to Australia that I realised the importance of obtaining a fine craft ‘skill’. My Grandfather was a jeweller so I initially worked with him as well as doing my degree. I haven’t stopped learning since.

What inspires / influences you?
Shauna: Antiques; objects with previous lives. Old photographs that have lost their home, books, history and fine arts. I can spend hours lost in time in museums and galleries. I love visiting the heritage houses of Tasmania which are like time capsules. Decorative wallpapers, cabinets filled with scrimshawed whales teeth, handcrafted pipes, boxes with intricate gold and shell inlay. Beautiful handcrafted objects that would take a lifetime to master, the finest skills to construct.

What led you to incorporating sustainability into your design?
Shauna: I found my self in a dilemma. I love to make, to produce beautiful handmade items, but these days it seems a bit selfish when there is already so much out there. It’s also hard for me to know that the jewellery industry is one of the worst polluters in the world, not to mention the questionable ethics that are involved in the trade.
Once I was aware of some of the negative impacts of the craft that I loved I resolved to become an ‘ethical jeweller’ and a teacher who imparts knowledge about the less glamorous aspects of our industry. In doing this I hope to change work practices where the jewellers demand more environmentally sustainable mining and processing of gold and silver. Did you know, for example, that one gold ring generates 20 tons of by-products, leaching toxic metals and acid into soil and water?
So I made a choice to reduce the impact I had, by using salvaged materials and pre-existing materials. Each item is made from 100% recycled silver, up-cycled perspex and found images. I would like to think I can make a change by increasing awareness. (Don’t we all?)

How would you describe your collection?
Shauna: Considered, timeless, vintage inspired and elegant.  Designed for the intelligent woman, who loves quality and sophistication, but also knows how to enjoy themselves.

How do you plan your collection, ie how do you decide on themes and does one inform the other – are there links?
Shauna: Most definitely, I do a lot of research before I make a range. Just recently I had an exhibition of works called; “I would rather have roses on my table than diamonds around my neck”. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that love is better than material possessions. That a rose garden is more beautiful than any stone dug up from the earth. Money is the oil that lubricates the machinery of life. It is important but it’s not everything. I worry that in today’s society we put money before everything. In doing so, we miss out on the smaller details of life.

Ultimately though all my work inspired and informed by the secret language of objects. Jewellery, photographs, dried flowers, old love letters, movie ticket stubs, we all collects these ‘worthless’ items to reminds us of intimate moments and loved ones.

Do you share your workspace ? How would you describe it?
Shauna: I share a studio called “Five Flights Up” with three other very talented jewelers. My studio is organised chaos. Yes, you may think that a jeweler is meticulous and clean but not me. Picture cut up magazines and books strewn across a table, streams of paper overflowing onto the floor, my jewellery bench, filled with silver wire, tools, small drill bits and bobs. On the wall I have my pictures of inspiration, other jeweller’s work I admire, and a photo of my beloved dog, Hero.

What are your passions outside jewellery?
Shauna: I love to teach and funnily enough I am also a soccer player. You wouldn’t think so if you met me, but there is nothing better than running around with friends playing that beautiful game.

What tips would you give on how to wear jewellery?
Shauna:  Dare to be different… and you will be noticed.
A black dress with an elegant, but some what original designer piece and you are sure to be asked a million envious questions. Have a story to tell about your special piece of jewellery, where it came from, what it means, how it is helping the planet by recycling materials. The same black dress with pearls, or gold earrings, you just won’t get a second glance. So, try it. I have, many times.
Original designer jewellery can become a conversation starter, and who knows where the conversations can lead….