Pretty Personal with Anne-Michelle Dooley

Every antique once started out as someone’s favourite new thing. Antique Fusion Jewellery makes beautiful pieces that you’ll love now, and someone will treasure years from now. We caught up with Anne-Michelle to find out her story.

  1. Hello Anne-Michelle! Tell us a little about yourself.
    I’ll skip all the boring “I was born in” and “went to school at” stuff, and tell you what matters about me. I love to create beauty in whatever I do! Deciding to become a jewellery designer was the result of a long chain of events with a single goal in mind - find something creative to do and make a living from it. Not as easy as it sounded at first, but well worth my efforts in the end!
  2. We agree! And how did Antique Fusion come to happen?
    After studying jewellery design at Ruth Prowse in Cape Town, I worked for a small jewellery business. In 2007 I decided to quit my job as a jeweller’s assistant, and go it alone. The decision came at the price of some serious hard work and many unforeseen difficulties along the way, but I like to think that’s how I knew it was right. When you know what you want, you are often tested, just to be sure. Almost 7 years later, I am proud to look back at what I have accomplished and excited to look ahead at what’s to come. Antique Fusion is in every way an extension of who I am, it has grown as I have grown, changed as I have changed, and learned as I have learned. I have kept every notebook and documented most of my designs over the years. I often sit and read through them. It’s like reading an old journal. You learn so much about why you are who you are and where you are today. It inspires me to work harder, and encourages me to trust my talent.
  3. Wow, 7 years. That must be a really interesting read. Do you tend to see patterns or repeats of things that inspire you?
    I have always enjoyed the intricate, delicate detail and exquisite craftsmanship of antiques. Fascinated from a young age by these treasures of the past, their influence exists naturally in my work.  The concept of Antique Fusion is to ‘fuse’ the old and the new, so as to create a visual synergy of the two.
    It is difficult as a creative, not to be influenced by the world around you and the things you see. I have chosen to live in a very special place, deep in the heart of the Eastern Cape, high up in the mountains of the Amathola Mountain range. Hogsback is a magical place, and the influence of the abundant nature that surrounds me here, often finds its way into my work.  
     Although now days I enjoy creating with other influences too, my true passion will always be my ‘fusion’ pieces.
  4. Tell us a little more about the pieces you make.
    Antique Fusion specialises in antique inspired contemporary pieces, and we are passionate about custom designed one-off pieces. Working mainly in silver and antique found objects, Antique Fusion pieces often explore unusual combinations of materials for visual impact. Our designs are whimsical and light hearted, but elegant and feminine. All our pieces are handmade to order.  Making each and every piece by hand means putting individual loving energy into every item. We like to think that makes the piece you order special. :) Antique Fusion is primarily an online business. We have an extensive online catalogue and easy to use ordering system, all available from our website.  
    We also have a very active Facebook page where you can enjoy monthly giveaways and specials as well as the latest products straight from the Antique Fusion studio.
  5. So what’s the “Antique Fusion” in your life? What are your favourite things old and new?
    My favourite new things would have to be my husband Brandon and our golden Labrador puppy Baxter, clean white socks, new white vest tops and sparkly crisp white linen (an unfortunate passion for someone who lives so closely with nature) and our very own new house in Hogsback, YAY! (Incidentally, if I wasn’t busy making jewellery all day, I would definitely be a housewife! Making home is my thang!)
    What are my favourite old things? Our house is filled with antiques (as you can imagine) and I adore ALL of them! But if I had to choose just a few, I would have to say my exquisite white antique dressing table,  my old Singer sewing machine and our baby blue 1979 Bay Window VW Kombi (even though she gives us a bit of trouble from time to time).

For gorgeous pieces that will undoubtedly be someone’s future much-loved antique, head over to the Antique Fusion Hello Pretty store. You can also get in touch on Facebook and Twitter. Plus, pop back here on Monday and we may just have a little something to give away…

Posted by Adeline on 22 Nov 2013

Media old and new. Weak jokes, strong coffee, and the Oxford comma. Cheese, both literal and cultural. Cowbell. Amateur photography. Professional nitpickery.