Wellington jewellery designer Roseanne Ward’s enthusiasm for what she does is infectious. “I’ve been manufacturing for fourteen years and I love it! I make my own jewellery from home and sell throughout the country in galleries and stores as well as on Felt. A new avenue that I’ve just started is teaching people to make. I’m loving passing on my skills and knowledge and watching students of all ages light up as they complete their first piece of jewellery.”
She feels very strongly about what jewellery is about. “It’s important part of who you are. You can express yourself through it and it can make you happy, and be intimate and special.”
What do you make?
Anything and everything! I enjoy the concept of making jewellery and manipulating metal. I like to push the eye to see other angles and contours that can be a little different and challenging. I like my jewellery to be statement pieces; talking pieces that speak volumes on their own.
How did you get into your craft?
I fell into it! I went for a interview at a retail jewellery outlet store and they turned me down (I may have been too friendly and forward to sell!) but they mentioned a manufacturing jeweller close by that was looking for a apprentice. I had just come out of a diploma of visual arts and liked to express art in a physical manner so I thought I’d inquire – turns out it came naturally to me!
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I started a full bench apprenticeship back in 1999 (that’s four years, or eight thousand bench hours). I’ve been manufacturing fourteen years this year!
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
I mainly work in silver nowadays, but I do also love working in 18ct red gold, a personal fav! I also love any forming or forging of metal and interpretive work, trying to push limits and design aspects.
What inspires you?
Laughter, life, nature, family… I’m a hugely family-orientated person and have a very warm and supporting family. Laughter is also highly important for the mind and how I design – because if you can’t laugh about life and what it hands you, you may as well cry!
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I view jewellery as an extension of one’s personality and I love making a piece that is perfect for the individual. All my jewellery is handmade with precious metals and stones; it’s really about the owner of the jewellery and interpreting their wants.
Describe your workspace: Chaos! But I know where everything is most the time…
Five words that describe your mind: Active, spongy, crazy, creative and excitable.
Your favorite feedback from a customer:
Tears are usually a good sign in jewellery – that means it’s perfect! A “Thank you!” is all I love truly.
What is your favourite childhood book?
I’m a Wizard of Oz girl… my dream as a child was to go to Oz.
Your hero/heroine? My Dad.
Do you have any pets?
I have a chocolate Labrador called Hershey who loves my workshop in the sunshine and a kitten called Hammy.
If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
Everything and Anything Girl, and it would be that I could work at the speed of light! Just so I can get done everything I need to get done.
Roseanne has very kindly offered one lucky winning Felt customer the choice of either a pair of her sterling silver “Pod” earrings or one of her sterling silver “Beaten” rings. Tell us what you like about Roseanne’s work, or how it inspires you, in the comments section below and you’ll be entered into the draw to win one of these beautiful prizes. The winner will be drawn on Friday 24 May. The draw is open to New Zealand residents only.