Meet Alice. The brains and hands behind The Line of Sun, the first jewellery brand we reached out to when we started planning for the opening of Kind Curations. We were drawn to the unique earthiness of her pieces and felt the maker behind them had something truly special to offer.
What's a typical day in the life of Alice?
My days vary a lot depending on my workload and my jobs for the week - whether I am sourcing gemstones for a bespoke piece, taking jewellery pieces to be cast or finishing and polishing pieces in my studio. I’m not really one for structure, so its lucky I work by myself and can make up the day as I go along.
My only real regularity is that I always try and spend the morning on my laptop answering emails so I can get that out of the way before getting into the messy stuff, and I always take my studio pal (my dog Preston) out for a walk at lunchtime to give myself a mental break.
I try and get everything done at the studio so that I can disconnect from work and be present with my family as soon as I get home however as I handle all my accounting, social media etc. , and am often meeting clients after hours it can be a challenge.
My days are definitely longer and it can be a struggle to switch off, but only because I love what I do and genuinely enjoy every aspect. Everyday I’m excited for what will come, so that’s definitely a good sign :)
How did you get into making jewellery?
I studied a Bachelor of Communication Design as it seemed like a good career path given my interests in Illustration and Design. However pretty quickly into my course I realised it was much more computer based than I anticipated and it definitely wasn’t right for me. During my uni years, I had some great opportunities to move into Textile Design which felt like a much more suited medium. However after working with a few big Australian Brands, the idea of ‘fast fashion’ never sat well with me. I loved designing prints and products but also felt very against the morals of the companies I was working for. I started making jewellery as I loved the sculptural and hands-on aspect after spending so much time on a computer each day. And I wanted to create pieces that were one-off , locally made and ethical. Creating something that will only be made once vs. thousands of times is very special, and every single time I do I very grateful for that!
How would you describe your personal style?
Most days I am in a t-shirt and overalls and covered in metal filings, but on the weekends its jeans and loose fitting linen. I’m currently pregnant so getting dressed is particularly challenging..the looser the fit the better!
Tell us a little about your creative process.
Whether I’m working with a client on a bespoke piece or working on my collection my creative process is generally the same, in that I start carving with wax without having a finalised idea of where its going. If it’s a custom piece I will work around the stones and have a direction from discussions with my client, but most of the time it is a matter of adding wax, taking some away, melting and creating different textures which slowly form into a piece. This way I find that the pieces find their form more naturally. If I have too clear of an idea of what I want to make before I start, it often doesn’t work or completely changes direction anyway. What most people probably don’t realise is that there are a lot of pieces that are made that will never get seen by anyone and I’ll melt down to form more pieces, but I use them to get an idea of scale and most importantly weight - which I can’t get from the wax model.
We are in a world where starting a brand has become a lot more accessible, and this means more competition. How aware are you of what other makers are doing and does this have an impact on your business at all?
You’re right in that it is potentially a lot easier to start a brand these days, but a whole lot harder to keep it going. I try not to follow other jewellery designers so I can ensure I don’t get influenced by their work, but I have noticed a sudden influx of jewellery brands on Instagram that seem to pop up over night and amass a huge following. Sadly a lot of the time their pieces are completely ripped off smaller independent designers, made at really low quality and sold at a fraction of the price. However I think (hope) that people will cotton on quickly to this and they won't last.
On a more positive note I’ve definitely come across a lot of incredible artists, independent labels and ceramists whose work I find particularly inspiring. I’m especially interested in brands that are able to grow whilst holding tight to their ethics and producing locally. This is such a challenge as the cost of production continues to increase so I love to see people that are trying to make it work, and always looking for ways I can adapt their practices to my own business.
You can see Alice’s work on her website and in store at Kind Curations.