Sugary delights at Crème Nouveau jewellery
Here at The Upcoming we love to find unique jewellery collections and Crème Nouveau is our latest discovery. Crème Nouveau’s wonderful quirky creations are lovingly handmade by the flamboyant Katherine Hawkins. With fabulous names like, “Oh crumbs” and “Heard it through the Grapevine,” you can’t help but take notice of these pieces. You can be sure of getting something unique as all Crème Nouveau jewellery is made in limited editions and one-offs. We really love Katherine’s latest collection, entitled Twinkle Deluxe, that is created from hand-cast resin, suede and vintage silk.
Katherine took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with us about the inspiration behind her collections, her background in jewellery and craft-design and what’s in the future for Crème Nouveau.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and how you got into designing jewellery?
I got into designing jewellery at De Montfort University in Leicester. I studied design crafts, which was a broad course where I learnt lots of different techniques, from glass-blowing and lamp-working to metal-working, ceramics and plastics. Designing and creating jewellery is something I’ve done ever since I left my course.
How did you go about creating your first item of jewellery?
I suppose the first items I created to sell were the biscuit brooches. I started off by playing around with some vintage crystal beads I had from various broken necklaces and came up with a rather fancy-looking jammy dodger brooch!
What materials do you use in your collections?
When you are designing a piece does it grow organically as you make it or do you prefer to design it on paper first?
A bit of both really, some will be organic and very quick, I’ll just make a rough mock-up of an item without attaching anything together and play around with it until it’s perfect. Some designs it’s not possible for me to get the parts that I want just to play around with and I will have to draw them. My preferred method is the first one; the large twinkle deluxe necklaces are made this way. They are a lot of fun to do.
We love how unique your collections are. Who/what is the inspiration behind your designs?
I draw inspiration from anything really; it can be musical genres, a period in time, a notion, or something that just catches my attention. It could be anything from finding a tongue-in-cheek postcard, or a fascinating image in an old book, to seeing something remarkable on a documentary. I know when I’m on to something as I’ll find myself engrossed in researching it! Recently I’ve been fascinated with rock formations and the ways crystals grow – this resulted in the Swarovski geode rings.
The relationship we have with our jewellery is very different from the relationship we have with our clothes. Why do you think that is?
Personally I think I have the same feelings toward my clothes as jewellery: they are both a method of expressing what you like. I have treasured items of clothing as I have treasured items of jewellery. I think taste evolves with you and I think this applies to both of these so I feel my relationship I have with them is the same.
What do you think it is that sets you apart from other jewellery designers?
I like to involve a bit of humour and have some items that are a bit tongue-in-cheek. I think sometimes fashion can be so serious; it’s nice to own something that’s quirky and fun.
We love the “Heard it through the grape vine” necklace. Which is your favourite piece?
I think when you design something the newest thing becomes your favourite – when I’m working on something new I’m really excited to see if finished, so in a sense everything has been my favourite at some point!
Each piece makes a fabulous statement – what kind of women wear Crème Nouveau Jewellery?
Finally, what’s next for you? We see you have expanded into home-ware – are you going to bring out more pieces in that sector?
I sell a lot of home-ware around Christmas, and for the moment I have no plans on adding more; I have too many jewellery ideas I’m too excited about and can’t wait to get them started, so for now home-ware will have to wait! There will be a new collection coming this winter that will be totally delicious!
Check out the rest of the gorgeous Crème Nouveau Jewellery collections here.