1. How did you start? What's your background?
When I was still in school I got very interested in millinery, and did a project on it which progressed into metal work and a slight obsession with body adornments. I got a job in a jewellers straight out of school and my fascination with jewellery - of all kinds - grew from there, to the point that the jeweller who owned the shop took me on as a student apprentice and gave me all his old tools and a lifelong supply anecdotes and tricks he had up his sleeve. Since then I've studied Contemporary Jewellery in Florence, Italy under hugely renowned jewellers, and now have my own bench at home.
|Lauren at her bench in Florence|
2. Define your vision, your brand.
Ellie Air Jewellery has gradually become a jewellery name that can be found in galleries across the UK. I love the hub of handmade within the UK and across Europe, and really want to be involved in it as a place to sell my jewellery. Contemporary jewellery is popular in gallery spaces and shops, and with my own gallery working experience I'd really like to see my jewellery in more galleries rather than to become a fashion brand.
3. What inspires you?
I'm inspired all day everyday. I work full time in a gallery so am constantly surrounded by fantastic art and other jeweller's work. My main inspiration is just looking around me - while on the tube, waiting for the bus, standing in line for a sandwich: it's the first thing I notice on people, you'd be amazed by the variety that people wear!
|her studio at home|
4. Plans for the future?
At the moment I'm busy fretting about Christmas, but in the New Year I'll bring out a new collection in time for Valentines Day. In 2014 I'm really going to make a go of being in the studio more and taking the extra time to do more courses and take on more galleries to exhibit my jewellery.
5. Name 3 designers/artists you really admire.
Katie Paterson - as someone who is infatuated with the moon, Katie's 'Moon-Earth-Moon' got my attention and I've followed her work ever since. This year she made 'Fossil Necklace', a tiny hand carved necklace from fossils from every era of the Earth's history, absolutely beautiful. And mind-boggling!
Ute Decker - I recently came across her work and fell in love with it at first sight, I really like her simple but almost sculptural approach to jewellery.
Philip Treacy - the milliner whose work I've admired since I was a teenager, and still obsess over. He's also the reason I ever stumbled upon body adornments and jewellery, so his work is very close to the heart of my jewellery making.
|Acquamarine Bar Necklace, photo by Holly Booth|
6. What is for you "handmade"?
I think I'm probably quite opinionated on this because I work in a gallery where everything is made by hand, but for me it is making everything from scratch by yourself, or within your team. I don't disagree with people who don't do everything themselves or rely on computers etc at all, that's their own method, but I really love the sense of achievement when I've spent hours working on something from the very beginning with raw materials and it comes out well and someone really loves and will cherish it.
|Fiocco & Roccia Collections, photo by Holly Booth|
7. What question would you like me to ask that I didn't ask?
"Your ultimate dream...?"
My dream is to have my own studio where I can make a living. I don't want to be rich and famous, but I'd love to be able to keep myself afloat from doing the thing I love. If that studio is in Florence and I have a family around me, even better!
|Pennant Stud Earrings, photo by Holly Booth|