Shop: O Bliss Jewellery
I live on a 1.5-acre property in the Gold Coast hinterland of sunny Queensland Australia with my husband of 22 years, 2 teenage children (my eldest has flown the coop), my mother-in-law, an Australian cattle dog, a cat and 3 chooks. With golden beaches 20min east and a world heritage national park 20min west, it truly is a fantastic place to live. My lovely little studio space is situated next to the family room so I can tinker away in the evenings while still being involved in family life.
History and Inspiration:
I have always been a maker and thankfully have always been able to make a living from some sort of creative pursuit. Upon completing a Bachelor of Visual Art in my early 20’s, I ran a successful family ceramic business for 10 years. When my youngest child commenced school I returned to university to qualify as a high school art teacher. While I am passionate about teaching, after a few years that longing for my own artistic venture returned. If you told me 2 years ago that that would take the form of a jewelry label, I would have laughed. But then I mistakenly landed in a one-day silversmith workshop and to my complete surprise, loved it so much that I signed up for night classes. Inspiration comes from various sources but mostly I am intrigued by the interaction of shape, form and texture. At this stage I have restricted my materials to sterling silver which has limitless possibilities and suits my pared-back aesthetic.
Setting up a silversmith studio has been an expensive exercise and the acquisition of new tools has enabled me to create more complex pieces. But if I had to choose 3 top tools, they would be:
1) a soldering torch - as soldering metal together is my very favorite thing to do.
2) a Fritz Chasing Hammer – it not only adds a lovely texture to silver, but gives my biceps a great workout.
3) a jewelers saw - despite the fact I always break blades when cutting shapes out of sheets of sterling silver, this is indeed an essential jeweler’s tool.
Music or Silence:
Oh I absolutely need music playing - doesn’t everyone? I play music in my art classes, put on music to do housework and even fall asleep to music. So naturally when I am unmotivated to make orders, nothing turns that around like music. At the moment my playlist rotates through Muse, Alt-J, The Nationals, Bright Eyes, Mumford & Sons, Passenger and Radiohead, to name just a few.
Rewards of Creating Handmade Goods:
Recently a shop assistant complimented me on the rings I was wearing and asked where she could buy them. I smiled and handed her an O bliss card. It is a huge honor when someone actually wants to buy my jewelry and the ultimate affirmation of what I do. However the greatest rewards are found in those magical moments when ‘play’ results in an exciting new design. When running a creative business it is tempting to focus on the latest trends, but there is absolutely no satisfaction in doing so. Like all designers I want to present a unique aesthetic and hope to bring something fresh to the marketplace.