Here’s another interview with a super talented Dunedin designer… Rebecca Scarlett of Scarlett jewellery.
1. Where are you from?
Born and raised in Dunedin!
2. Where and what are you studying?
I’m studying Jewellery and Metal-smithing at Dunedin School of Art, where I’m about to graduate with a Bachelor of Visual Arts.
3. Have you always had an interest in jewellery?
I started making a lot of jewellery when I was about 8… I pretty much spent all my money buying beads and wire and other stuff like that. Learning metalsmithing at art school was great because being able to make everything from scratch offers so much more creative freedom, you can pretty much make anything you can think of.
4. When did you launch your label?
Last year I was a part-time third year student, and I worked towards creating everything I’d need to start a label, like sorting out a logo and coming up with a name. I’d say Scarlett started about a year ago, although I expect that things will really start to happen for real next year, since I will have graduated by then, and I’ll be able to put my full attention towards making it happen.
5. Why did you want to start your own label?
I think that for most jewellers, if you want your job to be designing and making jewellery then usually you just have to get out there and do it yourself. Starting a label means I will be able to develop as a jeweller in my own way, and have the creative freedom to make whatever kind of jewellery I feel like making, which is very important to me.
6. What items do you create and what materials do you use?
This year I have spent a lot of time making necklaces, but in the past I’ve been obsessed with rings. I’m open to making everything really, but bracelets, necklaces and rings are the things I make most. Occasionally I’ll use brass, bronze, or other metals, but mostly I like to make everything from sterling silver. It’s the easiest metal to work with and everything seems to look better when it’s made from silver
7. What inspires your jewellery?
Honestly, the biggest inspiration behind my jewellery is other jewellery… This year many of my necklaces were quite influenced by costume pieces and the way it’s constructed. I was just interested in creating pieces that fused together elements of big, overdramatic costume pieces and the more grungy, imperfect style of jewellery that is so popular in Dunedin. I’m also very influenced by clothing; I always think about the kind of outfit someone would wear with my jewellery.
8. Do you do seasonal collections or are you constantly updating?
Last year I spent a whole year making a collection, but this year I wanted to really expand on my design and fabrication skills and spend a lot of time experimenting with different making techniques. This year for me was more about exploration, and making sure I had experimented with a wide range of techniques and styles before graduating. In the future though, I imagine I might do yearly collections.
9. How/where can people buy your work?
There are some pieces I made last year available in Salisbury Boutique, which is located on Bond Street and also online at www.salisburyboutique.co.nz. All the best pieces I have made this year will be on sale at SITE 2013, which is the graduating students’ exhibition at Dunedin School of Art, held at the art school in mid November. After that I hope to find homes for any remaining pieces in stores around Dunedin.