Five Questions With Ochre

We first came across Ochre’s earthy creations – a unique blend of silversmithing and ceramics – last year when maker Lauren debuted with us in Melbourne. Since then we have fallen in love with her ethos and care, even adding paper to her clay so her earrings are comfortable to wear all day long. We can’t wait to shop her stall in Brisbane! Read about this Interior Designer turned maker below and get ready for Finders Keepers Brisbane!

Talk us through a typical day in the life of Ochre. Do you work full time on your jewellery and ceramics label or are their others on your team? Do you have a studio or do you work from home?

I always wake up at 6.30 (even though I don’t need to!) It use to annoy me that I couldn’t just stay asleep at least another hour, however now it’s my favourite part of the day. I make a plunger of coffee and I sit up in bed and (guilt free) scroll Instagram and Pinterest. This is a really creatively and inspiring time, often during the day I am too busy making and responding to emails to take a moment to open my eye creatively to what others are doing. By 9 I’m off, I tend to have a list and I stick to it. My parents have a beautiful studio just out of Melbourne, where I make and fire all Ochre’s ceramic pieces. The studio is run on solar panels! Which when you have and electric kiln firing for 13 hours, 4 days a week helps you sleep at night! I have also JUST moved into a shared studio in Fitzroy, with five other amazing creative woman. It is funny, even though Ochre is nearly 18 month old, it took moving into this space to really feel like I go to work! I love the company of having the girls around, after running Ochre alone in my ‘other bedroom’ for so long.

For me the inspiration and authenticity in my own work comes from my love, knowledge and growth in the materials I am working with, and the creative journey I am on as I explore them.

Who or what inspires you and your creative process?

I am inspired by others, by nature, and by my own individual journey… I think we all are, and that’s a beautiful thing. I believe in authenticity, there is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing someone copy your design. It’s tricky these days to not create something without being inspired by someone else’s work, consciously or unconsciously. For me the inspiration and authenticity in my own work comes from my love, knowledge and growth in the materials I am working with, and the creative journey I am on as I explore them.

Tell us about your new range Del Sol and the inspiration behind it?

I am so in love with the Del Sol range! (can I say that) The inspiration evolved from a desire to introduce a different metal into Ochre’s jewellery. I learnt silversmithing at University, however I hadn’t worked with brass since then (which was about 6 years!) It is a beautiful material, and I found I could source recycled brass from within Australia. Which is a must for all the materials I use. From there I created a glaze that complemented the golden glow of the new metal. It made sense to call the collection Del Sol (Of the Sun) as the jewellery has that warmth and glow to it. I don’t really put pressure on myself to design a new range for the season, jewellery is beautiful in the way it’s timeless, seasonless. Del Sol happened through an reconnection with a material I love, and organically grew from there.  

My ethos for Ochre, is to ensure every decision is make, will never have harmful impact on our beautiful planet.

There’s a lot to be said about supporting ethically created brands and buying with thoughtful awareness  – with the aim being to keep more! What’s your approach to keeping these days?

The fashion industry is one of the primary polluters in the world, SECOND ONLY TO OIL. Thats crazy! The industry is producing too much! And too fast!

My ethos for Ochre, is to ensure every decision is make, will never have harmful impact on our beautiful planet. That means powering my kiln and studio with solar energy. It means sourcing recycled metal within Australia, buying local clay. And very importantly having a 100% NO single use plastic policy!

When I shop, I choose brands that I know work with the same ethical intentions as I do. Quality over quantity. Also I love op-shopping!!! For everything, honestly!!! My studio desk is from an Op shop, EVEN my cork board is from an Op shop (yep I still use a cork board!)

What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming Brisbane Finders Keepers Market? Is there a Finders Keepers designer you’ve had your eye on?

I have never attended a market in Brisbane with Ochre before! I can’t wait!!! I am so excited to hopefully meet lots of new Ochre customers! I hope they love my ceramic jewels.

Some labels I am excited to see are (debut designer) Common Stitch. She makes beautiful linen clothes in an Ochre colour pallet, right up my ally! Also Opia, I have loved Soph’s label for FOREVER! And I know I’ll be going home with a few Posie candles!!!

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