Cape-based jewellery designer, Gillian Lawrence creates striking and very unique jewellery pieces that celebrate the beauty of the female body, (boobs, faces, curves) in various shapes and sizes. We love how an unapologetically feminist and body positive voice is reflected in her work. We had to find out more about this designer and her thoughts on SA’s dynamic design scene.
What is your design process and design philosophy?
My design process is one of my most enjoyable every other day scenarios. It involves earphones and music which block out the bustle of our shared studio and creates a world of isolation and abstraction where I can start the process of bending up metals, rolling them, cutting grouping, and tossing. It’s a situation where I indulge in whatever’s happening at that moment and trust my process rather than consider restrictions and pre-envisioned outcomes. It’s very loose, fast and stimulating. I find though that the design process continues throughout all phases of manufacturing a piece. For example, during clean up, certain pieces will lend themselves to unique finishes that weren’t planned but that breath new life into the piece. So in short, don’t over think things and to be confident in your aesthetic.
Is this what you’ve always wanted to do – how did it all start?
Haha, no. I had a handful of career ideas I thought I’d potentially end up in and Jewellery Design definitely wasn’t one of them, nor even close. It was suggested to me by my brother and I ended up studying it on a whim, probably the best life choice to date. I had no clue what was going to come from it nor any expectations. But I’m in love and it all feels right.
What is your signature style?
It’s hard to say. I think many people see my characters, classics (boobies, faces,) as my signature style because they’re a constant and pretty much my only duplicate range, but for me it’s more in my once off pieces, mix match sets and asymmetrical pairing.
Are there any pieces in your collection inspired by certain trends?
Sure, I think we’re so visually stimulated that trends become universal to a degree. Even if you’re not being obvious about it, it’s still there.
Are there experiences that have influenced the collection?
Definitely! I think one of the main experience has been doing what comes naturally to me, experimenting and not forcing the label into a direction that takes the excitement away from it all. The influence for this came from the brave and beautiful market and followers who embraced it all.
Which materials and tools do you use?
I work mostly in metal which includes silver, brass, copper and bronze alloy.
What is the price range?
Price range sits between R250 and R840.
What you love most about what you do?
Finishing off a piece, seeing how it’s brought to life going from packaging card to wearer. Feeling inspired. Collaborations and how Lorne pieces become part of someone’s rendered vision as well as meeting and sharing a workspace with amazing people.
Speaking of collaborations…who is on your radar?
There are so many and it’s amazing that collaborations do happen. To pinpoint one specific would be next to impossible. This country is booming with talent and vision and I reckon the right collabs come along at the right time.
Your thoughts on SA’s design scene…
Mind-blowing. It gives me so much energy just thinking about the magic SA is producing and the support given to it. Visionaries everywhere. It’s wild and exciting and embraced and beautiful.
Images: All from Lorne Jewellery