As a young child growing up in the idyllic (if a little chilly) Dunedin suburb of Macandrew Bay, I was fortunate enough to spend most of my days with a certain Rebecca Scarlett. As kids we seemed to spend countless hours plotting our future careers (which of course HAD to be the same). From DNA scientists, to actresses and fashion designers, and just about everything in between, it seems that, to the good fortune of the New Zealand fashion scene, Rebecca has decided to forge her career in the pursuit of amazing jewellery.
Rebecca’s own jewellery label “Scarlett” features many divine pieces, all hand crafted by Rebecca herself from Sterling Silver. The 2013 collection “Darkest Day” features a “juxtaposition of gothic neoclassicism [that] engages the wearer in a spiritual connection with the jewellery.” You can check it out on her website here if you want to be awe struck by her amazing creativity and of course her own beauty (this girl of many talents models for Ali McD and for her own collection!).
WARNING: You may want to buy
one two ALL of them! If your birthday is coming up! *hint hint wink wink* to the plus ones alright!
Her latest collection is currently getting prepared for the Dunedin School of Art Exhibition which will take place on the 23rd-28th November at Otago Polytechnic. I’ve been lucky enough to catch her for a quick chat about what goes into an exhibition like this behind the scenes! Read on for the interview and pretty pictures!
What is your favourite hobby aside from Jewellery making?
My favouite hobby aside from jewellery is fashion!
What made you decide you wanted to be a jeweller?
I have been making jewellery since I was young. When I was about ten I started a jewellery area behind a couch in our living room. [NOTE: I remember this!!] I got really into this and would make little packets and labels and things like that. As I got older I would get books out from the library bout how to do wirework, make paper beads, and other things like that. I just got better at it and it became a huge passion of mine. When I graduated high school I went to art school and I knew that jewellery would be my major before I even went to my first class. I learned how to solder, how to cast things from wax, and heaps fo other skills. I loved it and knew I wanted to make a career of it.
What would be your advice for anyone else interested in pursuing jewellery?
My advice to anyone else pursuing jewellery would be to make jewellery as often as you can, keep an eye on what else is out there, and never give up! It takes patience and hard work, and a lot of mistakes happen along the way.
What are your favourite materials to work with and why?
My favourite material to work with is sterling silver- it’s pretty muc hthe only thing I use. I like it because it’s beautiful and I understand it’s characteristics enough to be able to work with it easily. Once shined up it’s beautiful and shiny, and ti can lat a lifetime.
Tell us about the production process, how long does it take?
Most of my pieces this year have taken 20-50 hours to produce.
Each piece I make begins with sterling silver granules bought from Regal Castings in Auckland. I make everything from granules. The first thing I do to them is melt them into ingots. Ingots can be rolled into wire, or sheet, and I can do absolutely anything with them.
What is your favourite part of the process?
My favourite part of the process is the rush I get when I finish a complicated piece. It’s so rewarding!
Writers often become affronted by the infamous “writers block” do you experience anything similar when trying to come up with designs and how do you overcome it?
I sometimes feel unmotivated but bouncing ideas off others and drawing pictures helps to keep me motivated. I find that I don’t work that well during the day but at night I get really into it and can’t stop!
What opportunities are there for local designers such as yourself, over mass-produced brands?
I love the style of jewellery in NZ, it goes with the fashion style we have here. A lot of our fashion is typically black and drapey. I believe that silver jewellery that celebrates imperfections such as scratches, and bears evidence of the making process goes with this look really well.
What is unique about the New Zealand design market?
The thing I like about fashion jewllery in NZ is that it’s not too “perfect”, it bears evidence that it was handmade. Carving from wax seems to be a popular making style in NZ fashion jewellery.
Well there you go! I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak into the life of one of New Zealand’s hottest up and coming jewellers! Make sure you check out her website and her Facebook page. If you can make it along, her collection will be well worth seeing at the Dunedin School of Art Exhibition this November so make sure you like her page to keep up to date with details and more behind the scenes peeks at what this gorgeous girl is up to!