Meet the Maker - Andrea Thorpe

Thursday, December 05, 2013
Andrea Thorpe kindly tells us about her inspiration behind her collections for the Christmas Design Temporium.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and how your business started?I born in Warwickshire and became a self employed designer making my own work at the end of 2007. I first developed an interest in jewellery 15 years ago when I did work experience with a local jeweller. On completion of the work experience, I continued to work alongside the jeweller in my own time, developing my skills and knowledge. 

Protea Pendant
During this time, I also undertook a number of part time courses and then progressed on to a HND in Jewellery and Silversmithing, at Birmingham UCE Jewellery College. I also attended courses at Delcam, Birmingham developing CAD CAM work and worked for a number of years as a model maker at a casting company. Currently, I am running my own business and teaching jewellery making, part time at Warwickshire College. 

Cherry Blossom Ring
Can you briefly explain your collection and the processes behind it?
The ‘Protea collection’ was inspired by travels to South Africa where the Protea is the national flower. There are 117 species native to Africa, 82 of which are from South Africa. Inspiration was taken from the King Protea in particular. The artichoke-like appearance of the flower head leads to the name ‘Cynaroides’ which means ’like cynaral’ (the artichoke). The flowers are fringed with a dark ’fur’ lending a tactile and visual appearance which is reflected in this unique collection of jewellery. The range compromises of Sterling silver, yellow gold and freshwater pearls. 

Protea Earrings
The 'Japanese collection' has been developed using the Birmingham Jewellery Industry Innovation Centre (JIIC), Part of the Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery set up to assist the jewellery and silversmithing industries with new technology applications. The JIIC has provided me with the opportunity to asses and research new technologies with help and support to develop and produce her range. The New collection was inspired by Japanese textiles and decorative prints. The Japanese influence is strongly reflected both in the bold design and textured surface. The collection was initially created using CAD CAM, Rapid prototyping, each piece is hand finished in silver incorporating oxidised silver, 22ct yellow gold and cold enamel to highlight the design. 

Bamboo Pendant
In both collections I have used new technologies such as Rapid Prototyping, CAD CAM and incorporated with traditional skills.

Protea Bangle
What is your biggest design inspiration?
I am inspired by travel and textiles from other countries.

What is your favourite part of your making day?
Finishing off and cleaning down my bench so its fresh for the next day!!! 

What would YOU like for Christmas?
A new snowboard!!!!

1 comment: