FK talks to Victoria Mason from Melbourne about her jewellery label full of miniature treasures!
Tell us a little about your jewellery label.
I hand make silver miniatures then make them into jewellery. I try to choose objects that are a little under the radar but remind me of quiet, happy times, like having a cup of tea or hanging out the washing on a warm day. I like the idea of wearing little reminders to calm down and focus on the things that truly make us happy, it’s so easy to get swamped.
I didn’t have any great plans to start a label, it came about after working in the jewellery trade for so many years, I was tired of making the same commercial designs over and over & started making pieces just for me that made me smile.
What is your creative background?
I started making jewellery in my first year out of high school and haven’t ever stopped. I studied jewellery design at Sydney College of the Arts, then trade school for 3 years at Enmore Tafe while I did my apprenticeship, worked at the bench for a couple of jewellers, moved to Melbourne, then started on this path about 7 years ago. It’s actually all I’ve ever wanted to do so I think I’m pretty lucky that I get to design and make exactly what I like every day.
Describe your workspace and creative surroundings.
I work from a beautiful light-filled studio in the Century Building in Melbourne. It’s tiny (like a large cupboard) but I am totally excited to go there every morning!
I moved in about 6 years ago when all I owned was a bench and some hand tools, all of the larger equipment (which can a big investment when you’re just starting up) like a polishing machine, rolling mills & an ultra sonic, I was lucky enough to borrow from a friend when he moved to Germany. Now though, it’s crammed full of good things to look at like 1960s cabinets ring stands, and paintings.
What have been some of the most interesting parts about starting your own label?
Having creative freedom. I make pieces because I like them, I don’t tend to worry about what’s fashionable, just about what I think works and I try to make designs I haven’t seen before. I’ve received a lot of fantastic encouragement from people too, that’s an amazing privilege and something that I never take for granted.
What are your favourite creative things to do in Melbourne when you’re not working?
I love going to exhibitions and festivals (there seems to be a new festival every month!), if I ever feel that I need a bit of a change of environment (I work on my own so it can be a little intense sometimes!) I go down to the NGV and have a walk around..or a supermarket, I really like supermarkets. Especially since I started out on my own, I’ve met a lot of creative people and one of my favourite things to do is hear about the different projects that they’re working on.
My friends are totally inspiring and over the years I’ve watched lofty ideas grow legs and become real and I love to see it happen. There are so many choices that need to be made, (often an early one is financial!) but I’ve noticed that if you’re creative, being in that environment is totally rewarding.
What can we look forward to seeing from Victoria Mason in 2010?
I have a couple of new designs almost ready, one is a new set of rings in the same range as ‘morning tea’ (spoon, teacup & biscuit) but this time it will be ‘lunch in the park’ with a sandwich, apple and a book. I have some new envelope earrings that were really fun to make, I soldered a stamp on the back of them but that’s something that only the wearer will know!
Also, I’m planning this to be ‘the year of collaborations’. I think good things can happen when you marry two different styles or materials so this year I’ll be teaming up with some creative people that I know who use different things like leather or sewing or words to create amazing works.