Meet the Maker — Atypical Thing
From Ikon’s exhibition programme and events, through to Ikon Shop, we always aim to support both emerging and established artists and creatives. Showcasing the best of local Birmingham makers, Ikon Gallery hosts a Winter Craft Market on 15 November, set in the stunning exhibition of Polly Apfelbaum. This will be a perfect chance to find unique Christmas presents, and you can enjoy 20% discount in Ikon Shop across a range of products.
Our Communications & Development Assistant, Heather, had a chat with designer/maker Josefina from Atypical Thing Jewellery, for a sneak preview of what to expect from her at the Winter Craft Market.
Hi Josefina, can you tell us a bit about you and what you create?
I am a designer/maker, currently living and working in my small studio based in Birmingham. I tend to use the abstraction of shapes that I find all around me. I collage using papers and experiment with colour to create the theme of my collections. I then begin to work in my final chosen materials. My jewellery is about integrating different elements to create statement jewellery with minimal design that focus on colour and geometrical shapes.
My work ethic is to be as sustainable as possible, so all items in my ranges are made using recycled precious metals and sustainable/ethical stones. I often combine these with a throw away material such as plastics, giving these materials the same perceived value as the precious metals or stones used. We have a duty to be kind to our planet and I would like to think I’m doing my own little bit!
What might people not know your work or how you make it?
People might not know that everything you see, from the packaging, business cards through to the final jewellery, is all made by me. Each piece is hand-marbled, formed, soldered and assembled by me, in my studio. I paint and print my own display/business cards, make all of props and stand features (with a little help from my dad!) and even smelt my recycled silver!
Do you have a favourite item for sale at the Winter Craft Market, and why is it your favourite?
That’s a hard question, but if I had to choose one, it would be my latest addition to the range which is my abstract wire hoops, incorporating natural pearls. They are so delicate and fluid that they manage to make any outfit come together and make the wearer feel extra special! I love them!
Where do you find inspiration? Which makers, artists and designers inspire you?
I am very much inspired by modernist jewellery and the movement itself. Modernism jewellery was all about using innovative materials and changing what was perceived as high end jewellery at the time. They would use copper and silver rather than gold! So artists like Alexander Calder, Art Smith, Margaret De Patta are all major influences in my inspiration and design now.
What advice do you have for others who would like to start making?
I don’t think there is anything more therapeutic than making something with your own hands, and you’ll only realise this when you do so. Join a class, workshop or do it in your own home – but it’s certainly useful to be around creative people so workshops are great fun to learn and meet other makers at the same time.
Don’t take it too seriously at first and just have fun with learning the materials and don’t get caught up with the end result.
Come along and have a chat with our makers at the Winter Craft Market on 15 November, 5.30-8.30pm. Ikon Shop stocks a range of items from local makers and designers – shop online for some gift guide inspiration. All profits support Ikon.