Featured Designer: Vinyl Cuts

FK chats to Natascha of label Vinyl Cuts, inspired by the humble vinyl record!

Tell us about your label Vinyl Cuts and what the concept is behind it?
Growing up in the 80s, vinyl records have such a fond place in my heart. There is something so much more enjoyable and tactile with a record, taking it out of the album cover and then the plastic sleeve, taking that first whiff of plasticky vinyl goodness, placing the stylus just before the grooves, hearing a few pops and then magic! There is just something so much more satisfying about playing a record – I believe – than any other medium. The sound is different, it’s bigger, warmer, maybe it’s just child-hood familiarity, not sure, but I love it!

The idea to make a range of jewellery from records came about a few years ago when I read a newspaper article about how thousands of records (and CDs) were going to landfill every week as people were downloading all their collections. I thought this is a chance to “save” some of that music and make something new along the way. It’s a different, interesting and sometimes challenging medium to work with. Just to assure those hard-core music aficionados no good music was harmed in the making of our product.

What is your background and how did you get started working with jewellery?
My background is radio, having worked for the leading commercial radio stations in various positions, from journalist, to on-air talent, promotions person and creative director. I love love love music and what better environment to be immersed in it, than at a radio station. Vinyl Cuts is my passion, it’s generally my last thought before I go to sleep and my first thought in the morning… my head is constantly whirring with design ideas and how to take it to the next level.

What inspires you daily?
I find daily inspiration from all manner of things… phrases in books tend to stick with me – I can reread Oscar Wilde continuously – he was just so amazing, music (of course – all and any types), art work (I’ll try to get to as many exhibitions as I can from classical to super modern, loved the Tim Burton exhibition so much I saw it in New York and then had to see it again in Melbourne). I’m massively moved by architecture and design … but am particularly inspired by recycled / upcycled works across the board from buildings to furniture to jewellery to fashion to artworks. New uses for any recycled medium really excites me, old rubber tyres converted into flower pots and Joost Baker’s Greenhouse = amazing!

What is your workspace like? and what is your creative process?
I have a home office and then a space in the studio (aka the garage). The work space and I tend to lock horns over the papers and piles of magazines and books, it seems work space has a mind of his own and tends to mess things up… it is frustrating when one does not have the natural abilities of organisation. I do have a slight tendency to hoard certain items, for example : records (I know, how surprising!) and books. Work space is much better these days post having seen that show Hoarding – Buried Alive, which scared me so much, I snapped into action and threw a lot of stuff out (there are no dead cats in the work space, but that show is scary never the less! Talk about a cautionary tale).

The creative process is based on a lot of thinking, thinking and thinking and combining shapes and ideas in my mind, then it moves to the page and the sketching commences. I’ll always do a cardboard run-through before we even look at starting to cut. Many a times, it works in my mind, but then looks rubbish on, so it’s back to the drawing board. At the moment I’m working on bigger breastplate pieces – they still need work!

What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
There have been quite a few challenges. For one the medium, eg. vinyl records can be a super challenging to work with. The other biggest challenge has been balancing the time between my full-time job and the brand. Especially when starting out, you have to be realistic about what you can achieve in a particular amount of time and proportion your time accordingly. The learning curve has been huge, the world of GST, PAYG, etc. and the world of pricing structure wholesale versus RRP is totally new.

What do I love about it? The ability to create something lovely from what would be a discarded object. Am so grateful to have the ability to be creative and to create, it’s amazingly fulfilling and satisfying. The freedom to do your own thing and not have to report to anyone but yourself, is also pretty fantastic.

What aspirations do you have for your label in the future?
Future aspirations for the brand are : to expand the range into other mediums (but that will be in about 2 years from now). What mediums? not sure, maybe vintage books or china, but it’s just an idea and is slowly bubbling at the back of my mind. Our short-term goals are to get the brand out there, raise awareness and get more stockists.


Photo credits : Images with model by Photographer Lauren Becker, Margie Curry, make-up, Emma Spotswood and model – Sophie Crenigan.

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