Featured Designer: Katrina Freene

FK talks to Adelaide based Katrina Freene about her lovely jewellery label.

Tell us about your label and what you create.
I have been a contemporary jewellery for the past decade exhibiting in contemporary craft and design galleries in Australia and New Zealand and creating bespoke one off pieces to clients. Recently I have shifted my focus to making and selling limited production ranges from recycled vintage tin trays and biscuit tins which I collect in local op-shops in Adelaide.

What is your background and how did it shape where you are today?
I have always been good at art and for as long as I can remember I have had some kind of craft project on the go, usually sewing, sculpting or jewellery making. I went overseas for a while in my early twenties and it was during that time that I became inspired and invigorated to pursue a career in the arts when I returned. I went to Uni SA to study Jewellery and met other creative people and loved every minute of it. I spent two years as an Associate of the Metal Studio of the JamFactory Contemporary Craft & Design Centre followed by a short stint in Melbourne. I moved back to Adelaide where I continue to run my business and currently work from share studio, Gate 8, which is a big church with five other very talented artists 5 minutes from the CBD.

Who or what inspires your work?
For inspiration I observe pop culture such as fashion, music, blogs and contemporary art. The friends and art community of Adelaide I am involved in has been integral to my creativity. I spent a couple of years working from home which was very isolating. Since moving into a share studio my creative production has soared. For me, I need to be surrounded by creative people and moving into the share studio Gate 8 was the best thing I ever did. I am also inspired to make jewellery which has a low carbon footprint and integrity of design and manufacture. I make jewellery from recycled materials and make it all by hand to produce clever, well designed jewellery that is also sustainable.

What is the most exciting part about running your business?
The most exciting part about running a business is being able to be creative everyday and to get positive feedback from the people I meet and show my work to. There is a definite revival and interest in hand made products and it is so rewarding to go to design markets and actually meet the people who buy my work.

How is Adelaide’s design scene is different to Melbourne’s?
The biggest difference is the size. There are a lot of cool outlets in Melbourne and markets to sell your work. In terms of art and culture Melbourne seems to have it all. Adelaide is a big country town and things move along at a slower pace. The arts community is small but very supportive and everyone knows each other. Adelaide has a lot of very talented folk such as those I share my studio with, Glass artists Jess Loughlin, Deb Jones and Teagan Empson, fellow jeweller Lauren Simeoni and Graphic Designer Rachel Harris of Bit Scribbly Design. I lived in Melbourne for a little while and I loved it but I moved back to Adelaide because the quality of life is better and it is easier to be an artist here.

What are your plans for the label this year?
I plan to continue doing design markets mostly because they are really good fun and I love to meet the other artists and my customers. I am going to expand out from jewellery and do some homewares products and wall features form vintage recycled tin. I have a blog but suffer from performance anxiety on what to write! I have bloggers block. So I intend to smash that block and get on with being a kick arse blogger.



Leave a comment