Linda, it is such a pleasure to speak with you today. Thinking back of how this vocation all started, can you tell us about your earliest memory of jewellery?
My earliest memory of jewellery is when I was about four, I was in my mother’s bedroom looking through her jewellery boxes when I came upon a delicate and beautifully carved gold cross. I soon learned that it was gifted to me by my Grandmother when I was born. I was so excited and enamoured by it that I immediately wanted to put it on and wear it forever… however, my mother wouldn’t let me as she feared I would lose it. I never did get to wear that beautiful piece of jewelry which I believe began my obsession with crosses and started a fascination with jewelry and the meanings attached.
How did your first collection come about? Were you influenced by any particular artists or designers?
My first collection came about through the exploration of materials and techniques I was learning at the time. Whilst finishing my Arts college degree I happened upon a jewelry class, two hours in and I knew I had found my way. I loved that I could create these small wearable art pieces. I quickly sought out various jewelry masters to further my new love of jewelry making and design. Looking far into the past, ancient Etruscan jewelry and their techniques, granulation, fusing, chain making, chasing and repousse´ became my main focus for many years. I crated my first collection after learning to make filagree. I loved how the lines flowed into one another to create intricate designs. In this collection I explored the space between fragility and durability by employing the play of lines and space to create pieces that were both wearable and statement making. Some of the lyrical elements from this early collection still show through in my current work, for instance, The Cathedral necklace employs this wirework which forms the connections between the stones and brings volume and delicacy to the overall pendant.
There are many artists and designers that I look up to, the aspect of their work that always influences me most is when I feel a creative freedom come through, a willingness to try new things, play, explore and follow inspirations. This is what I strive towards in my own work so when I see it in others it excites and inspires me.
Can you tell us about your creative process. Where do you find most inspiration? Do you start working from the individual gemstone and expand, or do you start with the overall design?
I am thankful that creativity comes at me from many angles. Areas of inspiration include nature, architecture, art, history and fashion, many times I am simply trying to emanate a feeling that makes the wearer feel more confident and happy. The raw materials, gold and stones, are endlessly inspiring. As I am the one making each piece, working with the gold will often spur on a new idea or challenge. Elements from one design will fall next to another and spark a new creative idea. Stones are a major driving force as well, I source all my stones myself and am always in awe of the treasures the earth gives. I favour stones with glow and personality over perfection and always love the antique cuts. I find inspiration all around me when my eyes and mind are open to it.
There is much strength and beauty in your jewels. Your pieces are all one of a kind yet form a unified and comprehensive body of work. If you had to describe your work, what would you say are the main connecting themes?
Elegance, Strength and Desire are the main connecting themes in my pieces. It is my own ever evolving story of a wish to live beautifully and creatively to strengthen my voice and become free of fear or self-doubt and to live truly authentically. These words describe the jewelry and the intent behind each piece but also the women who wear them. Women appreciate a handmade, one-of-a kind treasure to remind themselves to thrive in their own individuality and live in the full light of their own brilliance.
Which piece are you most proud of - can you tell us the story behind it?
As I look through the collections, memories of their creation play in my head and I realize I am proud of all the pieces for various reasons. Because they are all one of a kind pieces, each its own individual puzzle, arriving at that balance between beauty, wearability and durability is the goal. Many times there are challenges to overcome, lessons to learn and comfort zones to push but that is what makes it endlessly interesting. Every time a piece is finished, and it checks all the required boxes, it feels like a victory. Having said that, my sword collection has been among the most rewarding for me. It is inspired by a touching real life event that I still have a hard time talking about freely. This sword collection was inspired by a tattoo that my oldest daughter got, much to the chagrin of her parents, after overcoming illness and taking steps to follow her own dreams. When she told me it was a symbol of bravery, protection and action, cutting the ties of old thinking that bound her down and taking control of her own life, I suddenly loved the tattoo and instantly thought, I too, needed a sword! So began the collection. It has been a very popular collection that resonates with many people and I feel honoured to be able to hear their personal stories and see how their belief in the power of the sword helps them each day.