Britta Boeckmann moved to Australia for love. When she got here, she fell in love all over again with its beautiful wood.
britta boeckmann – pink resin pendant with wood
Combining Australian native timbers with translucent resins and semi-precious stones, her jewellery looks a bit architectural with its bold, simple shapes. I love how the clean forms let the rich colours and natural textures shine through; sometimes she adds in bits of twig, flowers or gold leaf to make lots of intriguing details. Britta loves the landscape of Australia too, but is also especially inspired by the organic and modernist furniture of Nipa Doshi & Jonathan Levien (it’s on my wish list as well!).
britta boeckmann – pendants in teal blue resin wood
britta boeckmann -pendant with sheoak pod in resin
She studied Industrial Design in her home country of Germany and there discovered her passion for wood. After moving to London, she had a stint designing jewellery for a brand in Oxford which ignited a desire for further study. “I finished my studies in September 2013 and moved to Australia with my partner. I started working in a woodworking group in Wangaratta straight away, happy to find a place to explore my ideas. The lovely members there always supply me with stunning pieces of wood to work with and that’s a credit to them.” She loves working there: “They always tell me interesting stories about the history of each piece I get.”
Her time is currently split between three work areas. “Most of the work is in the Wangaratta Woodworkers workshop which has a great setup with all the tools you could image. I also have a table with tools in a garage, where I make the moulds and cast the pieces, and then I finish off my pieces on a desk in front of a big window. This is where I glue hooks on, attach the chains or cords and oil the pieces. The last two are a total mess most of the time.”
britta boeckmann – wide green pendant with redgum
All her work for the Oxford brand was built on CAD and sent out for manufacture, and that is very different to how she works now – completely handmade, mess and all. “There are several steps involved in the process of making these pieces. I colour resin with oil based colours and then pour it into moulds which I make from clay. Then I embed flowers, branches, gold leaf or mostly wood in the resin. A couple of days later I take the cured block out of the mould and I sculpt the shape on the belt sander. After the piece gets its final shape I sand it with different grits by hand to get rid of the scratches. Finally I oil or varnish the pieces and sometimes add additional elements like metal tubes or gemstones.”
britta boeckmann – ring – wood with light blue resin
britta boeckmann – ring wood resin gold flake
Like many jewellers I know, Britta says she never wears much jewellery (although she admits she has one special piece that she has kept for herself). “I love jewellery, but I am just doing so much physical work that it would disturb me wearing it.”
wangaratta woodworkers workshop
Her best best of advice comes from her partner, who told her “Not to take life so serious, to do what I love to do and not to think about money all the time.”
You can find more of Britta’s jewellery in her Etsy shop, BoldB.
Jasmine Scott is a maker of resin rings, and a New Zealander currently based in Florida (I’m sure she went there for the weather ;)).
jasmine scott – berry souffle
jasmine scott – cucumber
Graduate of the prestigious National Art School in Sydney, and winner of numerous awards in various disciplines, her talent is spread through drawing, painting, sculpture and especially printmaking.
In recent years however, she has turned her considerable talents to resin jewellery, with inspiration from retro pop and candy, brightly coloured and super fun. She has an impressive eye for colour and subtlety, with wonderful attention to details. When I asked her about her influences, she included “Marini, Auerbach, Modgiliani, Giacometti, Rothko and Motherwell. I particularly love their expressive manipulation of materials.” And while several of these I can see are more influential on Scott’s printmaking, I can especially see Rothko as a starting point for her jewellery, in his use of rich, layered colour.
jasmine scott – latte
She also told me that she was “obsessed with a fantastic book, ‘1000 Rings’ by Lark Books [and you really must check out the rest of the Lark series too – fabulous contemporary craft! – JG], and a blog that only focuses on fabulous rings, TheCarrotBox.
Both sources have an incredible collection of both established and emerging artists/designers.”
jasmine scott – seamonkey
jasmine scott – man o war
I love Jasmine’s rings! But looking back over what this incredibly talented artist has done in her career so far, I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
You can find more about Jasmine and her work on her website www.jasminescott.net, and her work is available in her Etsy shop here.
Welcome to the next in my series on Design How-to – this one’s on the Principle of Harmony. (And just in case you need a quick refresher, you can think of the Elements as a set of tools, and the Principles as various ways you can use them.)
Harmony in music is a lot like harmony in design – it’s how the parts of an artwork look like they belong together in the same piece. They co-ordinate through their similarities (and sometimes contrasts), and this can be achieved through the use of similar shapes or colours, or any of the other Elements – tone, line, texture, and/or direction.
POAST – Cinque Terre neckpiece – ceramic
This sweet collection of little houses harmonise in pastel tones. A soft, smooth texture is created with the base material of clay. Their lines and overall shapes are simple, with size, shape and placement of the windows also similar in each – the windows are small and placed towards the edges of the house-forms. However, sameness and boredom is avoided, because interest is created through gentle variety of shape and colour, and a soft flow of size with the biggest house in the middle.
AFJewellery – silver & ceramic – necklace
Despite the varying shapes and sizes, the individual elements in this pendant harmonise for several reasons. The ceramics and silver exist within a very narrow colour range, which give unity through monochrome (i.e. when the hues are the same or very similar, and the tone varies). The pieces also work together because of their organic, uneven-ness of shape, and because of their soft textures. The simple claw setting and the raw clay edge sit nicely with the un-shiny, oxidised (blackened) silver leaf shape that pokes out the bottom. The simple claws also harmonise well with the open and spacious look of the handmade chain.
What I find intriguing about this piece is that lovely fragment of pattern between the two smaller and darker areas – what is its story and how did it arrive into this pendant? Definitely a piece for pondering.
SpottedDogAsheville – baby’s breath & hydrangea – resin bangle
Contrast of shapes and colours are a dominant factor in this wonderful bangle that uses real flowers, cast into resin. To tie the whole thing together, the artist uses the soft shapes and colours of the blues and greens for harmony throughout the bangle. The red flowers strike a chord with the blues and greens, much like in music when there are soft base notes, with a brighter melody on top. The overall shape of the bangle is kept simple so as not to distract from the flowers. Imagine wearing a little bit of garden on your wrist – endlessly beautiful.
SandyKreyer – 5″ bowl – porcelain
This fabulous bowl is full of pattern; it is profusion bordering on the edge of chaos. But it still works! Harmony comes through the use of lines (stripes / borders at the bottom and top of the bowl), which emphasise bowl shape and structure. Harmony is also created by the distribution of the larger red flowers evenly throughout the body of the bowl, and the regular placement of smaller crimson ones around the rim. I love this bowl, so full of rich and happy colour.
How are you liking this journey through the Elements & Principles of Design? It’s been heaps of fun choosing examples to show you, and I’m so glad you’ve stuck with me so far! (If you’re a latecomer, and/or you just want to find out more about this Design How-To series and its starting points, you can find the rest of the posts here.)
As always, if you’ve got a project that you’re proud of, that you can demonstrate any of these Elements and Principles with, I would LOVE to hear about it. If you’ve got a pic of it up online somewhere, please add a link in the comments below, so you can show it off!!
Cheers, Julie xx