FK chats to the lovely Tegan of beautiful Sydney based jewellery label iamto’b.
Tell us a bit about iamto’b and what products we can expect to discover?
My name is Tegan and I am a Sydney based designer, maker, collector and wearer. My label, iamto’b, features contemporary handmade jewellery and the odd painting or two. I create because I love to and what better job could you have than one you love?! My current range features laser cut necklaces and bangles as well as resin brooches, recycled plastic bag bangles and various brass and silver pieces. I’m in the process of designing a new series as we speak!
What is your creative background and how did it lead you to where you are today?
I have always been artistic but I started my career at TAFE studying fine arts with a focus on painting, drawing and photography. I then traveled around Europe for a year and got to know myself a bit better before coming back to Sydney to study Jewellery and Object Design at Sydney College of the Arts. I started iamto’b after graduating from Uni and have been building it up ever since. I love the freedom of being able to make what I want and to follow my own whims.
What inspires you daily?
What doesn’t?! I can find inspiration almost anywhere. Nature has always been a big source of inspiration for me but lately I have been doing a lot more work with pattern and colour. I am constantly checking Etsy, Instagram and Pinterest. There are so many talented people out there and they alone can be really inspiring. It is always great to see that people like me can make a success from their creative passions. It gives me something to aspire to. Homewares magazines and blogs such as The Design Files and Design Sponge are always good for inspiration as well. They are all part of my daily social media catch up.
What is your workspace like? and what is your creative process?
Messy. Always messy! I am lucky enough to have a spare room that acts as my studio as well as my hubby’s study. I have a beautiful big old florists table as my worktable and a pegboard on one entire wall. This should encourage organization of some form but it doesn’t stop me from spreading my work from one end of the house to the other. I like to work with a lot of background noise, so quite often I end up in the living room.
My process is one of evolution. I come up with an initial idea then just play with it until I am happy. I do this through drawings, a lot of imagination and just plain old material experimentation.
What do you love about working with jewellery? And what are some of the challenges?
As a designer as well as a wearer, I love the endless possibilities of jewellery as well as the challenge of creating art that can work with the body. I love that jewellery can match many outfits and can lift your mood.
It may sound like I’m contradicting my first point about the endless possibilities, but one of the biggest challenges is creating original pieces. There are so many talented people using the same methods as myself that it can be difficult to create jewellery that is truly different. For example, I’ve worked with resin for a few years, and recently decided that I want to start a new series of resin bangles. They work so well when worn with my wooden series, the hardest part is designing pieces that are truly unique and different to what is already available.
What aspirations do you have for your label in the future?
I am currently working on designs for a new collection, which I am hoping to release by the end of the year. I would love to be able to create jewellery full time and make a decent living from it. I currently sell through Etsy and I do a couple of markets each month. I enjoy the variety that this offers; you meet so many people and get to visit a lot of different places. It never gets boring. I would love to one day sell through shops such as Koskela and be featured on Australian blogs like The Design Files. These are businesses that I greatly admire for their contemporary attitudes towards art and design. It is good to dream!