Tuesday, February 12, 2013

INTERVIEW TIME // Tessa Blazey - Jewellery Designer

I had the pleasure of interviewing Tessa Blazey the Jewellery designer/maker behind some of the most unique jewellery I've ever seen, including my very own engagement ring! I was excited to discover her collaborations with fashion designer Alexi Freeman! They teamed up in 2011 and again in 2012 and are showcasing their new piece 'Gown of Shadows' at Craft Victoria's upcoming exhibition 'Signature Style'. You can check this out from March 7th - April 27th at Craft Victoria. For more info click here.

I hope you enjoy reading about the amazingly talented Tessa Blazey as much as I did!  I just love all of her amazing work. I'm off to pick out a wedding band to go with my amazing engagement ring. Wish me luck!! xx

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and what path led you to be a jewellery designer/maker? 
I had previously practised Sculpture and Interior Design - I believe interior design lead me to jewellery. I was very fond of the scale of model making so the transition from interior into jewellery seemed a natural progression. I loved the idea of working in a miniature scale and it's accessibility as a sole practitioner. A piece could be invented and realised without having to involve anyone else. I spent much of my spare time as a child playing dress ups and I was quite obsessed with rummaging through my mother's crocodile skin jewellery box. I also inherited some lovely pieces of costume jewellery from my grandmother as a teenager and since that time became an avid jewellery collector. In 2004 I had my daughter Mila and wanted to find an occupation that utilised my creative skills and interests, that was (time) flexible and allowed me to work from a home studio. A friend and jeweller Kim Victoria Wearne suggested I enrol in jewellery course to give it a try. After completing a short course at the CAE I was utterly captivated with it and soon after enrolled in Jewellery at NMIT. 

What is the inspiration behind your work?

I see jewellery as a miniature form of Sculpture and Interior Design. They all utilise the imagination, form, space and shifting scales. Since taking up jewellery I have been fascinated with the natural forms of minerals. The structures of these minerals are extraordinarily beautiful, they often grow in very pure geometric forms that look artificial or manufactured when they are in fact naturally occurring (i.e tetrahedrons, cubes, octahedron's, dodecahedron's and icosahedron's). Many of them resemble a form of miniature architecture. I imagine them operating at contradictory scales - like tiny building or even fictive cities. I draw much of my inspiration for jewellery from the geometric forms of these mineral specimens - but also from architecture and experimental fashion design. 

Where can we find your one of a kind pieces?

I have been represented by Pieces of Eight Gallery since 2009. Melanie Katsalidis (Pieces of Eight - Owner & Director) has been an incredibly supportive mentor to me and I find all her comments and advice incredibly valuable. Most of my precious work is stocked at Piece of Eight. I also have other jewellery ranges stocked at Craft Victoria, Black Finch, Luft & Stockroom, CoTA, Jam Factory & Gaffa. 

What can we look forward to from you in the future? Local fashion designer Alexi Freedman and I have worked on several collaborative 'jewellery gowns' together and we have recently finished a new piece entitled Gown of Shadows for Craft Victoria's upcoming exhibition Signature Style which runs from March 7th - April 27th. I cannot wait for the opening - it's going to be an incredible group exhibition!

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