Name: Emma Stricker
Website Link: www.emmaanne.com
Where are you located? Cape Town, South Africa
Tell us a bit about yourself: My name is Emma and was born and raised in the beautiful city of Cape Town, which is situated on the coast of South Africa. I grew up as one of three children in a very supportive, close-knit family. Creativity definitely runs in my blood, my mom can only be called an artist, dabbling in interior design, jewelry, beading and painting to name but a few and my brother is an architect by profession but is also one of the most creative people I know. Put simply, I’m a jewelry designer and manufacturer and I absolutely love the work I do…I’m a creative person through and through and designing is my passion!
When and why did you begin creating your jewelry/art? I actually started out studying English and psychology but after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, I decided my heart wasn’t entirely into it and I was craving a more creative path. On a whim at school I’d shadowed a jeweler as a potential career and loved it but I think I was naively too scared to go through with it when everyone I knew was choosing careers in finance. I changed my mind, though, in part because I liked the concept of being able to not only design something, but also be responsible for creating it. There is without doubt an awesome feeling in putting so much of yourself into an idea and then, in the end, having something really beautiful to show for it.
So, after enrolling at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) to study Jewelry Design and Manufacture I was accepted and for the next five years studied the practice of making and designing jewelry (which was a lot more work than I’d ever anticipated). I ended up graduating top of my class and looking back the decision to study jewelry was the best one I’ve made to date. I officially launched my label emma anne at the beginning of this year and I feel like I’ve found my true calling and I absolutely love the work I do which I think is fundamental in life.
What do you make? I design and manufacture jewelry. I would describe the work I do as distinctive contemporary jewelry that is not only unique and intriguing, but that also pushes the boundaries of traditional jewelry by using metals in different ways to create jewelry that is fresh and exciting. I like to design pieces that haven’t been made before so that each piece is not only beautiful, but also individualist and innovative.
What materials and methods do you use? I mostly use Sterling Silver because it is so versatile and, compared to other metals, is inexpensive. Some of my pieces also incorporate resin or semi-precious stones or even semi-precious beads that I string. Regarding methods, most of my work is made by folding metal in different ways. I like the idea that with repeating a few simple folds in metal, I am able to seemingly complex pieces that are visually appealing.
Where do your design inspirations come from? In terms of my influences, I am inspired by new things on a daily basis from the simplest of lines to the most complex structures…I think there is potential in anything to inspire creativity.
In my current collection, though, the predominant inspiration is the art of origami. I have loosely translated the skill of paper folding into my designs by creating a few simple folds in metal and repeating these in various patterns. What results is an array of simple yet effective pieces with a structured, geometric feel. This inspiration even plays a role in the design process of my folded collection in that I often start an idea by playing with paper shapes and folding these in ways I think will work or be effective in metal. Once my paper models are made, I translate the workings into metal. It’s really about playing with ideas and being patient enough to come up with fresh exciting designs.
What is your best working environment/where is your studio? Two words, organized chaos. I have to admit I’m certainly not the neatest of workers but that’s who I am and I think rather than hindering creativity, it somehow enhances it (or that’s what I tell myself anyway). I have a studio in my garage at home and that’s where everything happens.
Where can your products be seen? In terms of the Internet, my jewelry can be found in my Etsy shop, on my Website, on my blog, and lastly on my facebook page.
My jewelry can also be found in stores like Mememe on Long Street in Cape Town as well as at Reads Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
Upcoming events: I will be participating in the next annual exhibition at Reads Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg beginning 2nd September 2010.
Who are you a fan of? This is a tough one, I have so many favorites and the list just keeps growing. At the moment though, I think that the work coming out of South Africa is really inspiring. I’m a huge fan of two of my contemporaries, Theresa Burger and Nina Schiller (www.inkheartdesign.com). The former creates exceptional jewelry often incorporating resin and gold/ silver leaf in such innovative ways; her creativity is very inspiring. And the latter’s work is really fun and quirky, based on things like word play and childhood stories.
On a more international note, I’m totally inspired by the work of contemporary jewelry designer Mariana Acosta, who plays a lot with form and color, as well as the work of Katherine Wardropper, Yoko Izawa, Ulrike Hamm and Sarah Louise Kelly( Saloukee) to name but a few. Outside the world of jewelry I’m a big fan of international clothing designer Leanne Marshall whose intricate constructions are a huge inspiration to me.
Price range: $30 – $180
Tell us a little about one of your favorite creations: The Flow Ring is definitely one of my favorites. It is hand made from sterling silver and has a cut out design filled with color resin. The piece is colorful and contemporary, and has a very individualist intensity. It is one of my favorites because of how it incorporates a very structured, geometric pattern within an overall organic design. I particularly like the fluidity of this ring, which, in conjunction with the cool colors, gives the piece an element of serenity. The ring also features one of my favorite materials, resin. I enjoy using resin in my jewelry, particularly colored resin, not only because it is an inexpensive way the add color to a piece but also because of the effect it creates when light filters through the different colors, casting captivating shadows. This ring inspired the idea of folding metal that became the foundation of my folded or, as its being called, origami collection