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 Dragonfly has landed

The fluttering wings of the Dragonfly have landed gently here at Lobo Luxe.

A friend of mine told me that she was looking for a dragonfly pendant and she had searched high and low but couldn’t find one, I found this challenge irresistible and thankfully, so did Caroline Bassett!

Caroline has created two beautiful dragonfly jewellery pieces one a pendant and the other a necklace which you can wear in several different ways.

The dragonfly pendant, made of sterling silver and a soft patina finish, is  light and ethereal.

The other piece is a handmade sterling silver necklace, with a patina finished dragonfly, adventurine drops and amethyst. This necklace can be worn as a lariat, wrapped around your neck like a scarf and in several different other ways – Caroline has created a clever clasp which means that the dragonfly and adventurine drops won’t feel like they are weighing you down.  It can also be worn as a belt, lots of versatility with one piece of jewellery !

There are many different symbolic meanings associated with the dragonfly, from prosperity, harmony and good luck to happiness, purity and strength; a nice cocktail of good vibes for all women!

Image of Dragonfly necklace worn as a double loop necklace:

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.