Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Introducing : Reverie Designs & Ministry of Memories

Claire Sandham of Reverie Designs & Ministry of Memories talks about why she began making jewellery, her inspiration, processes & designs and working with fellow artist Sharon Boonzaier.

Tell us a bit about your brands and designs
Reverie Designs is my brand and Ministry of Memories is a collaboration brand between Sharon Boonzaier and myself. Reverie has several different designs which are mostly inspired by organic shapes. I try to create my pieces so the shape of the piece is open to interpretation. Memories are changeable and mean different things to different people, I hope my designs do the same.

Why did you start making your products?
Reverie Designs was born out of a desire to preserve memory and moments. Each piece encapsulates an experience, which, superfluous in word alone, comes alive on the wearer’s body. Memories are snapshots in our individual histories, lost as easily as they are born, but the Reverie Brand strives to create enduring reminders of who we are, where we’ve come from, and which stories we’d like to keep and share.

The aim of Ministry of Memories is to create illustrations (inspired by our past) that can be worn as jewellery. I have always been inspired by Sharon's work, in fact three of her artworks hang in my room. We collaborated to create unique pieces documenting our roots and fond memories. Each piece starts with an original artwork by Sharon which I then translate into a jewellery piece.

How are your products made?
Each design requires a different process to manufacture but we do not use laser cutting at all. All of our pieces are designed in studio and then manufactured or assembled by hand.

What is your favourite part of the process?
Seeing a design go from a sketch on paper to a functional, wearable piece of jewellery. I never get tired of looking at the finished product and thinking "only a few days ago this was only a concept now it is something that I can hold and wear."


Do you have an interesting tidbit for us?
I will always remember the feeling of completing my first piece of jewellery. I looked at the piece and thought, this started as granules of raw metal. I looked at my hands and could almost not believe they had made the piece. I have kept that piece and it reminds me daily to never loose sight of why I am a designer and why I manufacture.

Find Reverie Designs & Ministry of Memories at KIN at V&A

Follow Reverie Designs on Facebook here

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

January Inspiration : Fresh Escapades Await!

  1. Moonstone & Pyrite Necklace by Bountiful Jewellery
  2. "But Does It Fly?" Illustrated Print by Intaglio Prints
  3. Screen-printed Fabric 2015 Calendar by Mocholoco 
  4. Owl & The Pussycat iPad / Tablet Sleeve by the WREN design
  5. "Get Leafy" 2015 Diary by Schwarzie TM
  6. Resin Flower Studs by Chasteau de Balyon
  7. "Hello" Wooden Coaster Set by Mocholoco 
  8. Brass Arrow Studs by Tessa J Kelly
  9. Double Deco Leather Necklace by White Rabbit Days
  10. Pink & Yellow ShweShwe Scarf by Handmade By Me
  11. Pink, Charcoal & Yellow Ceramic Bunnies by Sootcookie Ceramics
  12. "The Contrarian " Illustrated Print by Make&Do
  13. Birthday Calendar by Lovely Sweet William
  14. Bamboo Kudu Figure by Head On Design
  15. "Slotd" Laptop Stand by Unfayzdesign

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Studio Sneak Peek : Inge Marais Jewellery

A Sneak Peek? What's this? Chatting over tea at HQ one day, we were marvelling at how lucky we are to work with such an array of wonderful designers, and in doing so get to know them, their spaces, people and pets. Suddenly we thought, "We should share them!" and voila! we now have a spot on the blog for Studio Sneak Peeks!

Last year we were lucky enough to spend some time in the exciting studio of Inge Marais where she expertly demonstrated how she makes her "I Love You Like..." Heart Pendants right from a blob of silver all the way to a carefully hand-coloured piece of beauty hanging on a chain.


A little more about Inge and her passion for what she does:

I studied for my BA in Jewellery Design and Metal Technique at the University of Stellenbosch. It’s an all encompassing jewellery course where we learn how to make jewellery from scratch: from granules of metal to a finished piece, with some gemology, drawing, printmaking and photography thrown in for good measure. After completing my BA, armed with all the skills I’d need, I decided to do my MA in visual arts, specialising in jewellery design. This was 4 years of jewellery-making bliss where I could experiment and play to my heart’s content, culminating in my MA exhibition entitled ‘Transformation’ at the BLANK projects gallery in Cape Town. I then worked as a manufacturing jeweler and goldsmith in London, mostly for one British designer, while doing my own bits on the side. This was a wonderful experience but now I’m back in SA and making my own jewellery full time.

The content of my new work grapples with what it means to be back living in South Africa - it is starting out with having quite a bit of focus on nature and what I take from being outdoors - the freedom, the space. Where I see this going is me re- exploring my culture, mixing in the Afrikaans. I also draw inspiration from my loyal partner in crime who would sometimes just come to me out of the blue and say – hey you should make a sputnik.

I work with sterling and fine silver, some copper and brass. I oxidise and leave some pieces  un–pickled so that the traces of the heating process remains. I’ve used enamel paint in the past – that might make a comeback.

My jewellery can be fun, humorous, ironic and clever but always beautiful and delicate. It is personal, whimsical and honest, sentimental and romantic. I use image and text in some ranges but in other ranges I use repetition and pattern to create objects that are tactile. Movement and where the piece sits on the body is very important to me.

It's been so wonderful to get to know Inge, her dedication to her art-form and her love of the extraordinary found in everyday moments. Her ranges have grown to really reflect the light-hearted, spirited artist that she is, and we can't wait to see what is in store for Inge Marais Jewellery in the year ahead.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Happy 2015!

What are our New Year's windows all about?

When we wondered what we should show off in our windows for January 2015, we remembered that we had one or two unused 2014 Schwarzie Diaries just waiting for their chance in the spot light. At our end of year Christmas feast in December (in between playing Dirty Santa and eating mounds of delicious snacks) we asked each of the angels to help with 2 tasks...

Task One :  think on an event / happening / circumstance that had occured during 2014 that you would really like to say goodbye to...find the exact day in the diary, tear the page out and to write a quick, private farewell then fold it up into a paper jet and let it go. Then repeat until all the unresolved bits of 2014 have been said farewell to and we all felt lighter and brighter.


Then, after a sip or two of champagne...

Task Two : imagine something that you really want to experience, find, happen during this beautiful, fresh year of 2015...write it down, fold it into an old-school letter and wish it in. And then repeat until the days ahead begin to glitter with hope, possibilities and really good ideas.

Using these precious farewells and wishes, we created our January windows - one saying farewell to the year that has been and one welcoming in the year that is before us.

2015 is going to be full of magical days and nights.
How do we know?
Well, because we wished it in of course!

Happy New Year everyone!