Meet the Maker - Lauren Rowden

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Hello! Today's Meet the Maker is by Lauren Rowden.  Lauren makes intricate contemporary jewellery under the brand name Ellie Air.  We had a chat recently about her inspiration and the creative process behind her pieces...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
I'm Lauren, the designer and maker behind the brand Ellie Air. I've been creating jewellery since school, and since studying contemporary jewellery in Florence, Italy, I've fallen in love with designing and making. My work is very minimalist, it reflects my own taste in jewellery, with a timeless quality to it. 
Apart from creating things what else do you do? 
Jewellery seems to have become my life, and not in a bad way! Since moving my studio to London I've managed to immerse myself in part time positions in the jewellery world, from gallery sales to trend analysis. The rest of the time you'll probably find me with a book and a slice of pizza/a bar of chocolate! 
When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
I grew up in a big and creative family, and being the youngest I watched all my brothers and sisters fly the nest early on. I did very art-y subjects at school, went to university to do Fine Art, and realised it wasn't for me. I needed to be doing something, not learning it. I dropped out and got a job in a jewellers', and haven't stopped loving it; from the initial design idea to the finished product. 
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
Learning new things..I've done a lot of short courses over the course of time and love being able to learn something new and tricky, getting rid of old bad habits, and seeing how other people do things! 
Where does your inspiration come from? 
My brain is on over drive pretty much during all waking hours! The designs stem from the fact I have jewellery in my head all the time. I was recently talking with someone about how different people think in different ways, in pictures, words, colours, film reels, etc, and I realised I think in jewellery; things I've seen, ones I like, stones, new designs, old designs, you name it, it's in there! 
Describe your studio or workspace? 
Up until recently I worked from home, a bench tucked neatly into the apex roof, with tools spilling out everywhere, but now I work in a studio with two other creatives, so must keep my things in place! It's a big bright space and it's inspiring to be around imaginative and productive people all the time. 
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be? 
I've always admired Philip Treacy, the milliner, and would love to see inside his workshop when he started out. But realistically, I just love peering into other jewellers' studios, noseying at all their tools and materials, it's really quite fascinating! 
How would you describe your creative process? 
I work quite compulsively and don't draw much at all; I think of a concept and work with the metal until I have a finished design that I'm happy with. With one off projects I'll sit with the stone, or a basic idea until I've thought up something more concrete, and then I make it. Sometimes this doesn't work, but I'll end up teaching myself a new method in the process. 

What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
As you might have realised by now, I'm really into jewellery. I've always been surrounded by handmade jewellery in all my jobs, and sometimes it's just too hard to give in to temptation! My array might be pretty big but the amethyst and white gold ring that was made for me by the jeweller I first worked for when I left school is my favourite. 
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
I tend not to over do it at the work bench so don't often find myself in a rut, but I have found that the best way to get me out of a funk is to find a particular stone I want to set and thinking of the best way to set it. I end up getting quite excited about it and can't wait to get back to the studio! 
Where would you like to be in ten years? 
In a sustainable position to keep doing the thing I love!

Thank you Lauren, it has been fun spending the day in your studio and seeing you work!  You can find Lauren's minimalist jewellery in our Made in Britain shop.

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