Archive for necklace
I just love the thrill of discovering an astonishingly unique and beautiful owl or pear objet. And this forest owl necklace is exactly what I’m talking about: it’s chic, it’s retro but it’s on trend, and frankly, it’s drop-dead-gorgeous.
In the run up to the present-giving season, I’m looking for things to blog about which I know would make the perfect gift. But I am also keen to find out more about the designers and artisans themselves.
So who the heck is behind this masterpiece? Folks, it’s time to meet the creative genius that is Natalia Lovat, and talk about pliers, vintage screens and Etsy treasuries.
Let’s start with the necklace of joy – how did it come about?
Forest Owl necklace is made from chunky green 1980s beads which I found on eBay. I often search through eBay looking for old beads, broken jewellery and vintage pieces that I can take apart and turn into something new. The owls are also an eBay find, I wish I had some more, I think I have just one left! I used copper to connect the beads as it looks beautiful with green.
I imagine the necklace being worn during the day, with lots of colour. It’s perfect for wearing on a winter day with a woolly cardi or jumper and a nice warm scarf. Or it would look fab with a grey dress or top.
Could you tell us more about your background in design and what inspired you to create such beautiful jewellery?
I have an art college background and a degree in knitwear design. I worked in the fashion industry for just over eight years, for top end designers and high street suppliers, as a production manager. When small people came into my life all the travelling around had to stop. I have always wanted to do something more creative and eventually start making and designing for myself. I started a course in silver jewellery making and was hooked from the first blast of the torch and have not looked back since.
I still go to evening classes, mainly for the use of the studio and equipment for a couple of hours a week. My fellow students are great and I enjoy seeing them each week and talking about new projects and ideas. It is two indulgent hours which is purely about making jewellery: heaven!
I started making pieces for friends and family as gifts, and that soon progressed to making pieces to sell. It has been a slow progression, but lots of fun.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
It’s hard to pinpoint anything in particular that inspires me – much of my work is organic and inspiration comes from the smallest of things sometimes. As a lot of the beads I use are upcycled/recycled/vintage, I am inspired from the moment I open the packet or hand over the cash. Often just one bead or charm can lead to many pieces.
I try very hard not to follow trends as it can be distracting from my style. However I love flicking through magazines, keeping an eye on what’s happening on the catwalks, and of course I love a bit of research ‘shopping’. So I’m sure on some level trends filter through into my work, even if it’s just the necklace length. If I am ever stuck on what to make I just make myself a mood board, and that always gets the ideas flowing.
Do you have any exciting plans for the future?
In 2012 I would like to continue making and growing Natalia Lovat, especially the silver jewellery making. I’d like to have some pieces in a shop/boutique and I would love to have a piece of Natalia Lovat jewellery in a magazine feature or fashion shoot.
What are your hints or tips for budding jewellers and creatives?
My best piece of advice is don’t give up the dream: it’s never too late to start something new.
Could you share your recommendations of places to visit for creative inspiration online?
I love searching through Etsy and Folksy, not really for inspiration but to see all the beautiful things that people make: there are some awesome designers out there. Also, putting together treasuries on Etsy is my new addiction! [O&P: my fave Natalia Lovat treasury is here].
My favourite blog is What Katie Wore. Katie always looks amazing, so bright and cheerful and has such a unique and quirky style (I think Katie would totally rock the Forest Owl necklace, by the way). [O&P: see below for Katie in a most handsome colourway - click on the image for a link to her outfit, as worn on 10 August 2011)
What is it about owls and pears that appeals to you as a designer?
I have always loved owls and pears! They are used throughout design, and especially in textiles, in so many beautiful and unique ways. Finding something with an owl or a pear on always makes me smile and can often lead to a purchase!
What's in your toolbox? Are there any vital tools or accessories that you simply couldn't do without in your studio?
Tools I can’t do without: this would have to be my pliers - they are essential for so many things.
I'd love to know more about your studio - could you describe your workspace for us?
My studio/workspace is one side of the dining room, which seems to be growing! I have a beautiful vintage screen hiding all the equipment and boxes; I just have to tidy up the desk when we have people over for dinner.
Do you like to work to music, and if so, what are your favourite tracks for inspiring creativity?
I always work listening to music. Either the radio (I’m a 6music girl) or the iPod. At the moment I’m listening to the new Laura Marling album a lot – A Creature I Don’t Know. Or else the iPod is on shuffle so I don’t have to keep getting up and down.
Finally, your owl necklace is my current Etsy eye-candy, but you have plenty more beautiful pieces to choose from. Could you show us three favourite items in your Etsy shop?
My current favourites would have to be the Silver Kisses Pendant, the Silver Pearl Cluster Earrings and the Queen of Heart Necklace (illustrated below, from left to right).
I have a list as long as my arm of pear and owl wondrousness to blog about – but when I walked past the Hobbs shop near Victoria Station this evening, I HAD to come home and bypass the other treats (coming your way ver ver soon).
Here’s a snap of the shop window, in full pear glory. BTW, I did ask the shop assistant if they would consider selling me the back drop once the pear fest was over, but she was less than enthusiastic. That will not be putting me off though – I intend to hound them until they give in. I’m not sure M would be too happy to have such a large piece of pear art in the stairwell, but maybe he wouldn’t notice if I removed the lightbulb overhead…
Anyway, once inside, gasping at the fact that there were pears on clothes, I rifled through the rails and picked out one or two beauties for your online perusal. It’s rare to see a red pear done well, but this print has it all – summery, retro, fun, fruity, classic and quintessentially pretty.
Here’s a close up of the best colourway in my headspace this evening.
The Gardenia Dress (pictured at the top of the blog post) is an “on trend tutti fruity print” (reads the Hobbs website!). It is made from linen, but is machine washable. Tick. Also, it features a “flattering elastic waist detail”. Ahem. Not a phrase I normally like to pair with descriptions of elegant summer dresses, but when it comes to comfort, I guess anything goes. At least you could make a serious dent on a stodgy lunch and still pull off a statement entrance wearing this dress.
If you can’t justify spending £99 on the dress, but still want the pear print in your repertoire this summer, you could opt for the Cherry Print scarf instead – £39 but lovely nonetheless.
Or, for a Mad Men approach, this Cherries Skirt is really cute: flared, flouncy, below-the-knee, perfect for kitten heels and a big belt.
You won’t believe it – there was a pear pendant too. It’s quite big compared to other pear necklaces I’ve seen. And far from apologetic: it literally is a massive green pear on a chain. But it could be useful if you wanted an impromtu paper weight, or needed to knock out a fruit-hating fiend…
Last but not least, the Lily pear bag to die for. I hardly need say more. A pear sits perfectly in the hand of this delicately drawn lady. With her vintage-inspired dress, wide eyes, ruby red lips and outstretched arm, the pear is placed right where it would most be seen if the bag were clasped tightly under your arm. What’s more, it comes with a detachable patent leather purse in the shape of a pear (see below). I am smitten.
Thanks Hobbs – what a great start to the pear season. And there is more bloggage to come along the same lines – watch this space for a full feature on the latest Orla Kiely pear print dresses.
I have just returned from one of the most stylish weddings ever. This time in Parknasilla (@parknasilla), Co. Kerry, Emerald Isle. And if I hadn’t worn a vintage sixties chocolate lace number with a dark brown faux fur stole and cute matching kitten heels, I’d have plumped instead for a fitted, plain wool dress and some serious owl adornment.
And when I say serious, I mean stylish, considered and unique. This is hard when it comes to owls – there are many cutesy, kidsy designs out there. Or else faffy crafty (you know what I mean). But for grown-up owl glam, you need look no further.
Paul & Joe (@Paul_and_Joe) graced last season’s catwalk with some stunning owl accessories (see above), but now it’s the high street hitting home. Step into to the limelight Monsoon/Accessorize, Betsey Johnson and ASOS.
Once again, we have Jen Green to thank for finding this Betsey Johnson (@xoBetseyJohnson) Owl Pin. Pretty steep at $50 but funky, fun and flexible (stick it in a lapel, on a dress or into your favourite bag). It’s also available as a necklace here.
Finally, ASOS (@ASOS). If you want a little less of the eighties bling vibe, and more of the funky scandinavian colour block in your owl accessory, then this is probably the best of the crop, and beauteous value too, at only £8. Get yours online here.
Now I’m pretty sure I’ve only skimmed the surface of high street owldom (I know there are some superb examples in Dorothy Perkins, for example).
So, lovely readers, if any of you would like to add your own suggestions or links or hints to those gems I’ve missed out, just post a comment below and the best one will receive something nice and owlishly jewel-y in the post.
This post is devoted entirely to pear-related jewels and trinkets. Here are a few cherry-picked delights that I am particularly fond of for many different reasons: mainly because the essential, iconic, beauty of the pear is evident in each piece. And yet they’re all different in style and substance. Sometimes pears are like that; they can surprise and astound you. Luckily they also look good in precious metals and stones too. Here goes.
I can’t take my eyes off this first ring. It’s made by New Zealand designer Ash Hilton, who works in ethically sourced gold, recycled silver, copper, platinum and titanium. Ash has an Etsy shop too, where these rings/pendants are available to order, so there’s an endless number (OMG). We, the pear-loving public need these rings on our fingers. And possibly also as a pendant, and maybe adorning our ears too. I have ordered one just this minute – just for research purposes you understand!
Second up is this cute stacking ring, designed by Chocolate and Steel and made from reclaimed pure silver. It’s available to buy via Shanalogic, where you can mix and match it with other stacking beauties (I like the bird, but eat your heart out – there’s plenty to choose from).
If bling is more your thing, fear not, the pear fits right into this category too. Voila the Kenneth Jay Lane pear pendant (sadly only available to the most hearty of eBay addicts). I originally found it on Net a Porter, but it appears to have sold out already. Harrumph.
In a similar vein, you could always order one of these kitschy Lily Allen pear pendants from ASOS - it is currently on sale for fifteen squids and the official blurb describes it as an “enamel pear pendant with diamanté detailing and high shine interlinked chain”. Good ol’ Lil.
To finish up today’s jewel fest, here are some sweet pear button earrings. Made by Etsy designer Lemon Drop Knits, they are fabric-covered, vintage in style and mounted to a base metal, silver-toned post. I can’t think of anything more lovely to wear with a simple lemon-yellow cotton dress in the summer, while sipping a citron pressé in the afternoon sun. With that thought in mind, I am now about to venture out into the rain and pick up M from nursery. I should add that I am wearing grey cords and an old cardigan with dodgy seams. But a girl can dream…
It’s about time for an owlish post. And a good time to introduce you to one of my most recent owl indulgences: an Eskil design owl necklace. The low down is as follows – simple gold chain with black engraved owl pendant (boy owl one side, girl owl the other) dangling in a charming owlish fashion from one ear (is that owlish? I don’t know, but for the purposes of today’s post, it is). I’ve been wearing mine with a chocolate linen maxi, in case anyone’s interested. And can I just mention that it arrived through the post in funky Scandinavian designer-style packaging, which probably makes sense, seeing as this particular owl was created by Swedish designer Emilia (you can buy her stuff here on Etsy).