FK chats to Bianca of jewellery label, White November who creates intricately layered pieces with a science fiction sensibility. Catch these gorgeous creations at the White November stall at our AW14 Melbourne Market.
Tell us a bit about White November and what we can expect to discover?
The name ‘White November’ has a very personal meaning, as I wanted the name to be something that represents who I am as a jewellery designer. My name, Bianca, means White – and my sister and I were born in November, on the exact same day, but 6 years apart! My dad calls us deferred twins, as we are so close.
I’m interested in creating pieces of jewellery that encapsulate the elements of art, architecture and design that fascinate me. I love work that interacts with light and layering. In each piece of the “Celestial Spheres” range, I have folded and layered pieces of metal to give a real three-dimensional quality to the work. In this range, dots and lines have been used in different ways to create some unique negative spaces. The way these spaces interact with light combined with other pieces of metal is what inspires me to create more shapes and patterns.
What is your creative background and how did it lead you to where you are today?
I come from a very creative family – my mum is always involved in something artistic, and my dad is a really creative thinker. My sister is a fashion designer for a Melbourne based fashion label, so we are always bouncing ideas off one another. I am so lucky to be surrounded by really imaginative and inspired people.
I have been studying jewellery design and creating my own pieces for over 3 years now, whilst also working as an apprentice at Insync Design. Before that, I studied Fine Arts and Interior Design, so doing something creative has always been very important to me. Although I only took up jewellery making 3 years ago, my previous studies and creative interests have influenced a lot of my work today.
What inspires your work? What keeps you motivated creatively?
My work is inspired by so many things – especially travelling and seeing new things, although I do sometimes tend to find inspiration in the seemingly mundane.
The inspiration for the ‘Celestial Spheres’ Collection was from the floor plans of an ancient Roman building- The Pantheon – which I visited in 2012. I think having an interest in art, design and architecture makes me a better jeweller, as there are so many ideas and images to draw from and incorporate into my work.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you about your surroundings?
In my work I use traditional hand finishing techniques combined with industrial processes. As a result, my creative process involves trial and error and lots of testing and playing. I find making paper models of my work a good way to see how the proportions sit and how the piece interacts with the wearer.
I am really blessed to be currently working out of the project space at Northcity4 in Brunswick. Here I’m surrounded by some of the most talented and knowledgeable jewellers in Melbourne’s contemporary jewellery scene. The studio is always a buzz with ideas and conversation. There is such a strong community feel in here and it’s a place I feel really motivated to do my best.
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
What I love about my label is that I am able to explore ideas that I’m passionate about, and translate them creatively into jewellery. I also love the ability to reach people all over the world with my work.
On the other hand, I sometimes find it hard to switch off and have down time from the business, as there are so many hats one must wear when launching a jewellery label. From making to marketing – there are so many facets of the business that need to be considered, and done well. The challenge is to find that balance, and learn to give yourself some rewards for reaching your goals.
What new projects are you working on and where would you like to see White November in the future?
I have recently joined a Lapidary and Gem club, and hope to set some of my hand-cut stones into my ‘Celestial Spheres’ work. I love the process of cutting and shaping the stones. There are so many beautiful minerals and gems out there I cannot wait to get my hands on.
In the future, I would love to see White November stocked throughout Australia and overseas. I would also love to collaborate and work with another jewellery designer, and perhaps venture into the fashion or interior design field.