Lucy Folk is a pretty nifty choice as one of Ketel One's Modern Craft Experts. Electroplating everything from Doritos to clove buds in gold and silver, Lucy's accessories are some of the most highly regarded not only in Australia but internationally. Just make sure you don't mistake them for a real snack and lose a tooth. Our insurance unfortunately doesn't cover that. Here's a little interview with Lucy about her practice.
How long have you been making jewellery for? I learnt the basics after school while I was finishing Year 11 and 12. I did a Bachelor of Fine Art at RMIT majoring in gold and silversmithing and started selling in 2005. I created the jewellery that accompanied Arabella Ramsay's Spring/Summer collections for a number of years, and I now sell to Asia, Europe, UAE, the USA and Australia.
What's an average day like for you? It is hectic! I have a small team of fabulous jewellers and we work out of a shared workshop in North Fitzroy, Melbourne. We manufacture all of the jewellery on-site and I run around like a headless chook most of the time! Plus, I have my own boutique in Melbourne so we have to make sure the shop is stocked and all of the special orders are underway.
What techniques and methods do you use in crafting your jewellery? I employ a variety of old and new techniques but I focus on electroplating real food in fine layers of metal, plus casting, crochet and beading. I then combine that with traditional jewellery-making techniques.
Why are you attracted to re-purposing foodstuffs? I grew up behind the scenes in my father's cafes and was drawn to the colours and shapes of food, as well as the flavours of course! I preserve the delicious things we like to eat into precious things we love to wear. Humor is very important to me as well as making something aesthetically pleasing. It's gratifying giving something ephemeral such as popcorn a new life on the body.
Do you find that some food ranges are more popular in some countries than others? I have just finished a new range called Bento and this did particularly well in Asia. The range was made up of rice, sesame seeds, wasabi broad beans and jasmine flowers.
How important is traditional craftsmanship to your label? Extremely! I work with a variety of craftspeople that are exceptional at what they do. This comes at a high price, but I would prefer to make jewellery I am proud of and is made well rather than sacrifice this for the price.
What advice would you give to people wanting to start their own jewellery label? It takes time and a lot of hard work to get where you want to be. Stay true to yourself and your style and explore a variety of themes and materials to gain knowledge and understand what mediums you enjoy working with.
How has becoming one of Ketel One's Modern Craft Experts change the way you look at your work? It has made me appreciate my craft more as it is such an honour to be chosen to help choose the shortlist and the eventual winner of the Modern Craft Project. It's an incredible opportunity and I encourage all modern craftspeople to enter.