Friday, 24 July 2015

Meet Our KIN : Picnic Ceramics

As you may know, ceramics have always been very close to our hearts here at KIN, and we are very excited to have discovered the exquisite work of Picnic! Johannesburg-based ceramicist Becky Love does justice to the history of this ancient and precious medium, with dainty, hand-painted ceramic pieces made into wearable jewellery items. We stock Picnic's brooches and gorgeous stud earrings, and are constantly delighted by the new patterns and designs when we open the latest delivery. Read on to find out more about Becky's process and what has inspired her to follow her instinct and create Picnic Ceramics.

Why did you start making your products?

I loved the look of ceramic jewelry (that wasn't in the form of beads) and hadn’t seen it available anywhere – what started out as making jewelery for myself, quickly turned into Picnic Ceramics as a way for other people to enjoy the unique look of ceramic jewellery too!

How are your products made?

Each piece of jewellery is cut from a fine slab of wet clay. It is then dried and smoothed before being bisque fired. Each piece is then hand painted (hence my never ending quest for finer and finer paint brushes), the paint is fired on and then each piece is glazed with transparent glaze before one last firing. Each part of the process is done entirely with my own two hands.

What is your favourite part of the process?

I love opening up the kiln after the pieces’ third and final firing and seeing all the fine details shine under their transparent glaze. It never gets old!

How did you learn to make what you do?
I have been working with clay for over 6 years and experimenting with making ceramic jewellery for the past 4 years. Picnic Ceramics jewellery is the result of all those years of experimentation to get strong and delicate ceramic jewellery.

What materials are your products made from?

Our jewellery is made from earthenware casting slip - this allows for lovely, refined results. They are all then high fired to ensure strength despite their delicate form.

Do you have different ranges under your brand?
Yes, I have the Wanderlust Range made up of either a Forest, Sea or Mountain design on brooches, earrings and necklaces – inspired by my absolute adoration for the great outdoors.

I also have the Half ‘n Half range where I play with colours that I currently love and then the Skyline Range – presently this range has only my home-city of Johannesburg’s skyline, in minimalist black lines.

Do you have an interesting tidbit for us?

Since graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering nearly two years ago – I leapt straight into working with clay full time. I had suspicions that engineering wasn't really my calling and since being in a pottery studio full time – I became certain almost immediately!

When I am not making jewelry, I am either teaching adults and children how to work with clay or creating my own thrown and then decorated ceramic vessels in the studio.

 Follow Picnic Ceramics on Facebook & Instagram.

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