Meet the Maker - Corrinne Evans

Thursday, May 02, 2013

I think it's time to meet another incredible talent from our Made in Britain shop.  Corrinne Evans is a Cornish girl who now lives in York and makes beautiful nature inspired jewellery - here is more about her:

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
My name is Corrinne Eira Evans and I am a jewellery designer/maker and applied artist living and working in York, North Yorkshire. I was born an raised in Cornwall and moved to York to be with my partner Andrew Oliver who's a fine art furniture maker. I've had six years training within the arts, ND Btec Applied arts from Plymouth College, HND jewellery & silver smithing from Birmingham school of jewellery and finally a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Crafts at Falmouth. After graduating and moving to York I set up my own jewellery business in 2009. The work I create is all hand crafted from aluminium, titanium and silver with accents in gold. Inspired by nature, Victorian Botanical prints, vintage maps and period fashions my work is an accumulation of traditional and vintage with a contemporary edge. 

Apart from creating things what else do you do?
I love what I do, and so tend to live and breathe my work with a passion which takes up a massive amount of time. Alongside this I work part-time in a family run jewellers in York with a lovely group of ladies giving me a great little York based social life. We love a good craft night, and indulge ourselves in pudding club (I love baking!), to name a few. I also love to go to the coast with my partner and on day trips to galleries, exhibitions and visiting family. 
When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
There was no other choice for me, I lived and breathed art and design right from the word go. I had a really enthusiastic art teacher at school, Mrs. Schooling, and she helped push me forwards. My family has been a massive influence and support network as well, as most have their own business within the art and design world too. My Mum as a textile artist, Dad a draughts man, Uncles as lino printers & painters. My Aunty is also a jeweller and my Grandparents are blacksmiths and create amazing drawing studies. I guess I was just born to it really! 

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
I love everything about it. Doing what you love as a job is a really amazing thing, I believe firmly in the saying “Give a man a job he loves,and he will never work a day in his life.” (Confucius). Making unique pieces that no one else has and that will last lifetimes is a beautiful thing. Knowing that, after the love I've put into a piece, it will then be loved by its wearer and the wearer after that is an incredible feeling. Knowing that people still appreciate unique and one off pieces in such a mass produced environment is something I find really encouraging. I love owning my own time, and have no difficulty losing myself in my little workshop for days at a time, the only danger is the temptation to keep going all night long! 
Where does your inspiration come from? 
Inspirations of mine include nature, Victorian Botanical prints, vintage maps and period fashions. they enhance my work, an accumulation of traditional silver smithing skills and styles coupled with a contemporary finish. I often find myself hit by a new idea, generated by years of research when I least expect it whilst washing up or polishing jewellery at work, then off to my workshop I go to dive into a new range! I am passionate about challenging myself and keeping my work fresh and as original and innovative as I possibly can. 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
My work space is a haven for me, situated in the spare room of our flat in York. My bench was kindly made for me by my partner Olly, (Andrew Oliver) from an old fire door and scraps of wood. Longer than it is wide my bench travels the length of the room, with shelving at one end for my many jewellery books and craft/interior design magazines. A window lets the sunlight shine in onto the old leather sofa beneath it (rescued from a skip). Olly's table and shelves span the opposite wall, so we can craft together when he's not in his furniture workshop. 
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman(dead or alive), who would it be? 
I really love Nora Fok's work- it would be such a privilege to get to peep inside her studio. 

How would you describe your creative process? 
It varies widely for me, depending on the particular idea. If the idea is born out of current research, I happily sit and sketch designs, which then evolve into jewellery item's. I then take these into my studio where I will play around with materials making Marquette’s. Usually I waste no time in creating a finished piece, and am often impatient when it comes to physically realising the vision in my head. The finish on my jewellery is paramount to me, I am a bit of a perfectionist and will spend hours filing and polishing as I really believe quality is everything. Other times ideas will just pop into my head and I just experiment and go for it and make it there and then. This making in the moment when I feel most inspired has given me some of my best results. 
What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
I have a few cherished items: A pair of beautiful knitted gloves by my mum, two lamps from Olly (one being a crooked lamp from his 2006 work, and one a current up cycled lamp that we originally bought when we first meet at a car boot sale). I also have a Nora Fok bangle which only comes out on special occasions and a beautiful bag that my cherished friend (and part time model of my work) Maeta made me for my birthday. 
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
I am lucky enough to say I haven't actually had a real creative rut yet. If I'm feeling particularly stressed or unsure of the work I'm producing,a good day trip to Scarborough or Whitby with some nice candy floss and a go on the two penny machines usually does the trick. 

Where would you like to be in ten years? 
In ten years I will be thirty eight which is a slightly scary concept! My dream would to be living by the sea with a dog and a couple of children, of course still creating bespoke jewellery. Maybe a solo exhibition and my work bought by some galleries and museums. That would be perfection!

Thank you Corrinne, such a beautiful interview.  Mrs Schooling a teacher! She really had to be with a name like that.  Your green leaf brooches are a firm favourite here in the Made in Bristol office.  Come down to the Made in Britain shop and discover Corrinne's gorgeous nature inspired creations for yourself.
Made in Britain
(next to Carluccio's)
Quakers Friars
Cabot Circus
Mon-Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun: 11am - 5pm

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