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In the studio with Smith Jewellery

In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog

 
I was recently lucky enough to spend some time with the lovely Anna of Smith Jewellery, and got to have a good ol' snoop around her office and studio - guys. So. Many. Shiny. Things.

It's obviously all absolutely gorgeous - I darted from pretty thing to pretty thing like a kid on a sugar high in a Reggies. (There was one hairy moment where I backed into something glass, and the seconds that it took to settle again were of the longest in my life.)

I asked a bajillion questions, and Anna was completely lovely and super informative - we've saved some of the juicy bits for you below:
 

In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
  • Can you describe a normal day at the office?
I always start the day with a coffee, then I sit at my desk and go through my emails from the evening before. I then set my to-do list. By noon, I inevitably have some kind of errand to run. But I come back in time to have lunch with my assistant, where we chat about our lives and deal with any work issues that may arise. After lunch, I sit behind the bench working with Anine. Unfortunately, most of my day is spent doing admin versus actual benchwork.
 

 
In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
  • What inspires your work?
Everything inspires my work. I am equally inspired by culture and nature, so I'm always on the look out for a new shape or design that I can bring into my work.
 
  • What's a normal design/production process for one of your one of a kind pieces (Like my dream floral hair clip, or the awesome hummingbird cufflinks you were busy sculpting from wax the day I was there)
So in both cases these were commissions. The hair comb I designed for my own wedding, which took place in one of Cape Town's greenbelts, so it was a natural step to create something inspired by plants. The customer who wanted the cufflinks had seen my other ones and asked me to make a pair or bee eater cufflinks specifically for her. I am just really trying to create a wax model as close to the bird as possible.

 

In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
  • Is there anything specific that you do that you especially love doing/making/designing? - what is it about your job that you feel most passionate about?
My favourite piece of jewellery to wear are earrings, so I naturally start designing a range/collection from there and design around it. I like the shapes or design to find their own purpose, so I play a lot with orientation and scale when creating the rest of the range.

 

In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
In the studio with Smith Jewellery on http://hellopretty.co.za/blog
  • Any tips for potential clients that you wish everyone knew?
Yes, the design and manufacturing process takes time. When asking for a commission, it's always best to have at least a months lead time. Sometimes parts of the process have to be outsourced, which means being subject to someone else's time frame. Also, the more concrete your idea of what you want, the quicker things can happen. Having said this, I've also been known to finish a custom piece within a couple of days, so it really does depend on the design.

 
Nice hey? So nice. So you should DEFINITELY visit her Hello Pretty store. Because, you know, Christmas and stuff. *bats eyelashes*
 

Posted by Lee on 05 Dec 2014

Reading, writing, sketching, painting, making. Hopeful designer. Recent Capetonian, Durbanite at heart. Head of Strategy and Social at Hello Pretty.