By day, Karen works as a graphic designer in Wellington. In her spare time, her love of fashion has turned her into a jewellery designer. Wellingtonians who missed her at Craft2.0 in October can check out taprobane this month at Knack Market in Berhampore and at the Seatoun Fair.
What do you make?
I make contemporary jewellery – necklaces and earrings – made of perspex. The first range of jewellery I created is called Alphabet Soup and inspired by my love of fonts and everything typographic. The current range of jewellery I have been working on has been inspired by amazing wrought iron products from my childhood. I loved the organic shapes combined with industrial materials. They created a wonderful tension between nature and man-made design. I aimed to reflect that balance in a wearable way, with a contemporary material.
How did you get into selling your craft?
taprobane came about almost year ago, when I decided to make jewellery as Christmas presents for my cousins. The feedback I got from friends, family and even strangers was so positive, I decided to try selling online and in stores.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
My current favourite material is perspex, but I’m also keen to start investigating metals. I love coming up with that initial idea, and then really pushing it to see how far it
can go, and then getting into the detail to refine it to perfection. I always start with paper and pencil, and then it’s usually a process of refining concepts digitally.
What inspires you?
I am constantly inspired by art, fashion, architecture, furniture, theatre, music and mostly people. I love Wellington for the quirky mix of design that ends up here, due to the city having both strong corporate and art scenes. Ideas often come from a glimpse of a colour, a texture or a shape. It doesn’t take a lot to inspire me, the possibilities are everywhere and endless.
Describe your workspace: Ordered chaos!
Five words that describe your mind: Inquiring, busy, creative, crazy, colourful
What are you currently listening to? Ladi 6 – Time Is Not Much
Your favourite childhood book?
Benji – Fastest Dog in the West, from the amazing Little Golden Books, along with Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, a few years later.
What are you reading now? The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
A favourite quote: “Less is more.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Do you have any pets? No but I would love a horse!
If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Bright red – I love that colour!
Visit Karen’s shop, taprobane, on Felt.