Featured Designer: Miss Wee

FK talks to Julie Wee from Melbourne based contemporary label, Miss Wee.

Introduce us to your stunning jewellery label, Miss Wee.
Miss Wee Jewellery is all about shape, character and simplicity. I have an ongoing mission with myself to master the art of simplicity and one day, by the time collection 20 is released, I can flick through my past chapters and see how my interpretation of simplicity has evolved… it will almost certainly end up far more complicated than how it began.

What is your background and how did you get into jewellery design?
I spent a couple of years at The Melbourne School of Fashion unpicking beautiful silks and learning the complicated techniques of pattern making. For a change I headed to the US to change nappies as a live in Nanny and escaped a couple of nights a week to a Life Drawing course in New York. A year later, to cleanse myself of cable knit sweaters, white picket fences and country clubs, I headed to South America where my love for jewellery was born. I was completely inspired by Peru, their silversmiths, creativity and abundance of diversity. I heart Peru; there was definitely a connection there. Shortly after I arrived back from South America I decided to come home to Melbourne where I studied jewellery making at NMIT.

I always knew I would do something creative but I never ever thought it would be jewellery. I am possibly the worst sales person ever but I can’t wear it! I literally just got my ears pierced yesterday; I think my right ear is infected. My perception of jewellery is far more about shapes and objects as opposed to a wearable piece of metal.

What do you find most rewarding about having your own label?
The best thing about having your own label is your right make your own rules and decisions and the person it impacts the most is yourself, whether that be good or bad it’s always good.

Who or what inspires your work? At the moment my geometric template ruler is ruling my world. I’m not inspired by anything or anyone in particular. My creativity comes to me at the most inconvenient of times, usually when I’m half asleep and need to be up in 4 hours. Note to one self, ALWAYS WRITE IT DOWN! I’m certain I had a brilliant idea the other night… but I can’t remember what it was.

What is your workspace like and what motivates you whilst working?
My workspace is a disaster and it seems that I can’t work in anything more or less. I work out of my double garage in the burbs. It is filled with all different types of machinery, tools and toys. I have thin planks of Pacific Ebony on one table, a bag of cement on another (that was for my concrete jewellery phase that I have yet to explore), lemon tree branches (apparently the wood is extremely dense, similar to ebony…how cool), logs, sterling rod, piping, sheets, copper ahhhhhhhhhhh it’s expensive. I get carried away and excited with an idea and before I know it I’ve already moved on to my next idea and I have even explored the first. I just keep buying “stuff”, though having said that, I do love new my scroll saw.

What plans do you have for Miss Wee in the future?

I’m not too sure what Miss Wee’s future involves. I never plan too far in advance and make sure I live life for now, not for later. Possibly Life InStyle 2011, but trade fairs have always frightened me. Maybe shoes, I would love to design shoes… can you imagine! Either way Miss Wee will be around for awhile.


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