In case I didn't make it clear enough with less-than-subtle instagram mentions, a surprise trip to the woods this April saw Will pop the question - in just over a year we'll be getting hitched! When it came to the ring, Will knew I was going to be a tough customer. Working on Good Times, we've met so many talented and capable makers that a shop-bought ring just wouldn't do (and I was certainly going to want a say in any design). So Will proposed with a picture on a tree and one of his Mother's rings, and when we'd recovered from the prosecco, we started looking. We first met Lauren Griffiths (of Little Joy Jewellery) at Made Brighton in November last year - her stand stood out for its understated minimalism, allowing the quality of her materials to speak for themselves. From the moment we contacted her, through to receiving the ring, delicately wrapped, Lauren was a pleasure to work with. I caught up with her to learn a little more about her processes and inspiration.
Hi Lauren! First things first, could you introduce your work for us in a couple of sentences?
I am committed to quality of craftsmanship. Utilising traditional techniques in Silver & Gold smithing I produce sensitive fine jewellery. Minimalist forms of nature produce understated forms of beauty that can be worn on the body.
All my materials are responsibly sourced, from Eco Silver, Fair Trade Gold to conflict free Diamonds. My independent company Little Joy aims to bring joy to the viewers & wearers with each bespoke element.
There's a particularly organic feel to much of your work, with simple structures (such as raindrops and crescents) and earthy stones (such as peridot and dendritic quartz - even wood!). Does nature play a big part in your inspiration?
Nature certainly is a huge inspiration yes! I have always been fascinated by nature & my surroundings & all those minuscule details we take for granted in our day to day lives. I spend a lot of time collecting natural specimens & make continuous compositions around my home & studio that trigger ideas for designs.
What do you listen to whilst working?
Have you always worked for yourself? What inspired you to go it alone?
I have collaborated with alternative artists & makers on various projects but primarily always worked alone. My inspiration came from my father who is a master craftsman. When pregnant with my first son I took the plunge & started Little Joy Jewellery, bit of a hard way to start a business with child in carrier but it gave me the push to embrace life & see where it takes me!
Could you describe some of your processes for us? Is there a regular pattern for the working day?
I think since motherhood especially time has become so precious in the workshop I make a daily list of things to do & complete in a typical studio day. Design & consultations with folks visiting the studio for bespoke pieces usually takes place before lunch time and my afternoons are spent piercing, soldering, raising, hammering, filing & polishing !
On an evening after mummy chores I sit down to my administrative duties! It's full time job but I am passionate about making & making my family proud.
We're looking forward to your website opening! You've been selling through Etsy since 2010, how have you found the process of selling your wares? Have you found the makers community supportive?
Etsy took me a while to figure out in the early days but learning about how to use it & meeting the Etsy team has really inspired me!
I have met fellow makers at shows & exhibitions that have shops on Etsy & I have found it a wonderful support.
Selling my wares gives me huge satisfaction each and every sale, I strive to deliver each piece to the best of my ability & I love wrapping it up before it leaves the studio!
Do you have a favourite piece?
I love working with harmonious compositions to create new stacking ring formations; these have been the highlight of this current year in particular .
We're asking all of our MAKE//FRIENDS makers what techniques they have for when they get stuck in a rut. What do you do to get inspired when you're up against a creative wall?
A very good piece of advice once given to me was in taking a step back from a piece every now & again, sometimes we become too close with our work we don't see its beauty or potential. I tend to work on 3 -4 pieces at a time and takes breaks from each to give the piece fresh eyes. Also taking to other makers helps me sometimes, realising we all have the same struggles!
Describe your ideal Sunday for us.
Sunday's are for cuddles with my boys and long walks along the shore beachcombing whilst dinner's in the oven for our return!
You can shop Little Joy Jewellery via her Etsy store