Friday, May 2, 2014

Novelty Brooch Friday - May

This month I'm so pleased to be able to ask a few questions of Katy the creator of Luxulite! Yes Katy has agreed to also offer one of her wonderful brooches to one lucky person who posts a photo of themselves with a novelty brooch and uses #noveltybroochfriday on Instagram on any Friday in May.

I first discovered Luxulite on Instagram last year and quickly snapped up one of her sparkly creations from her Etsy shop.  I have noticed a lot of other people, especially those of you who post to #noveltybroochfriday feel the same way about her work. Its fun, colourful and has that vintage feel and of course 'novelty' about it.

I asked Katy 5 questions about her creations and a little bit about her methods, mediums and inspirations.

How long have you been making jewellery and did you have any formal training
I have always been a maker, ever since I was a little girl. My mum (hi mum!) is a florist and is one of the most creative and generous ladies, so I grew up making things with her (we still like to make things with each other when I visit - she helped me make my fruit salad necklaces at Christmas!)
I studied jewellery design, (among several other arts and design disciplines) when I left school, and then studied Sculpture for my degree at St Martins in London. That's about as far as any formal training goes. The methods that I use now are all self-taught, by trial and error - I've made some terrible messes along the way, and still manage to get my fingers stuck together with superglue every so often, but that's all part of the fun of making things!

Your jewellery is of a 40's/50's style, what is it about this era that inspires you
I'm a HUGE fan of 1940's and 50's lifestyle - everything from the music to the design, fashion and architecture. I'm a self-confessed eternal optimist too, so the sense of fun and optimism that you can see in the design and fashions of the post-war era really appeals to me. It must have been a really exciting time, seeing the fashion, design and musical influences from across the Atlantic coming to Britain after the hardships of the war.

Are there any jewellers you admire
I adore the work of Martha Sleeper, who created some of the most amazing bakelite (often combined with wood, metal or leather) jewellery in the late 1930's and 40's. Her designs are absurdly fun and are sure to put a smile on anyone's face, or start a conversation... 

I love this excerpt from The Washington Post in 1941 about Martha's work (it makes me want to design even giddier 'lapel gadgets')! 
WHEN A MAN is drawn unwittingly into conversation by a giddy lapel gadget on a woman's suit, little does he think it was worn for that express purpose. Yet, according to actress-designer Martha Sleeper, women have discovered that unusual jewelry brings them into the limelight.

Can you tell us a little bit about the materials you use
My brooches are hand cast in resin, in my little shed, with copious amounts of glitter in all colours and textures! Many, many hours are spent sourcing supplies. I love using vintage beads and objects for my necklaces and earrings, some of my favourite finds have been vintage plastic drink markers, plastic matchsticks (a homage to Martha of course!) and miniature brass horseshoes. I’m ALWAYS on the lookout for new supplies, but again it's all about trial and error - I've had some major supply fails along the way when buying things from overseas - my favourite(!) disasters were some 'miniature' flamingos that turned out to be as big as my head,  and some 'plastic' lobsters that turned out to be made of the wobbliest jelly I have ever felt! (If anyone needs wobbly glittery lobsters please let me know!)

Is there any advice you could give to someone starting their business
I think attention to detail is key, from taking great photos of your products to spending a little extra time on wrapping your packages, or keeping in touch with your customers via Social media - it all adds up to providing not just a great product but a great service too - one that will (hopefully) get customers coming back for more. 

Secondly, if you want it to work, be prepared to work HARD! I'm currently juggling a full-time job plus my Etsy store which means I'm up at 6am and don't stop working until about 10.30-11pm each night. It makes it all worthwhile when you see photos of your fabulous customers wearing your creations. I am sleepy, but very happy!


And so this month Katy has so generously donated this fruity brooch to one lucky person who posts a photo of themselves with one of their favourite novelty brooches with the hashtag #noveltybroochfriday on Instagram any Friday in May!

Entries can be submitted on any Friday in May up to and including Friday 30th May I will announce the winner (randomly chosen) on Monday 2nd June. 

Open to everyone so get your brooches out (new or vintage) and you could have another fabulous brooch to add to your collection.

*If you are a designer or sell vintage brooches (worldwide) and wish to donate a brooch for an upcoming month and have your shop showcased, please contact me at