Next up in our new series of designer interviews are husband and wife duo Emma and Rob Orchardson of One We Made Earlier.
The couple design and create bold and beautiful statement jewellery with strong clean lines and a playful geometric theme. Their necklaces are striking art pieces and always gather lots of attention in the HZ shoppe.
Anna spoke to Emma from One We Made Earlier to find out more about the duo’s makings and inspirations behind the brand.
What inspired you to start your own jewellery brand?
In a way we didn’t really make the decision to start a jewellery brand at all – it was just the direction that our experimentation ended up taking!
Having worked independently in the worlds of fine art and design, my husband Rob and I decided to pull together our common interests and collaborate on a project. We started to experiment with some different materials and shapes and then after making our first few necklaces for friends and receiving some positive feedback and support, we decided to make more necklaces using our signature rope and various other interesting materials, initially wooden shapes and balls.
Can you describe One We Made Earlier for us?
One We Made Earlier produce contemporary accessories. We work with a wide range of design stores and boutiques both in the UK and much further afield.
We love combining unusual and unexpected materials such as corian – a material mainly used for kitchen worktops with cork or shiny resin balls to compose balanced and minimal designs which have impact when worn or even hung on the wall.
What is it like working as a creative duo?
It is good – but life is a juggle!
I work in One We Made Earlier full-time whilst also looking after our two young children who are at primary school. Rob also continues his work making sculptures in the world of contemporary art alongside cutting shapes for necklaces in the studio! We recently moved into a very local studio together which has helped our work/life balance a lot!
We tend to work unconventional hours to get everything done – I work school hours and then again in the evening. Somehow it works, but it can be crazy if we have a lot of orders on!
What are your main inspirations?
Inspiration stems from many sources and is often influenced by exhibitions we are visiting, books we are reading, things we have noticed in daily life in London or places we have been. Some of our foundational sources of inspiration include Memphis use of colour and pattern, the boldness of Constructivist design, Bauhaus simplicity and futurist stage set designs.
Can you tell us a little about the design process behind the development of your collections?
Our design process is very playful and experimental. If we have found a new surface we like, Rob will cut it into various shapes and we will play around with different compositions of shapes until something works well for both of us. From one design, another often emerges organically.
Having worked with existing surfaces for a while such as corian, we are now interested in developing some of our own surfaces, casting and creating our own shapes for future collections.
What advice would you give someone interested in getting into the jewellery design business?
I guess it is easy to imagine you would be sitting at a bench making things all day every day. Of course there are many, many hours spent doing that (in our case cutting and sanding!) but there are so many other aspects to running a business to keep on top of in order to keep the business alive and build your brand.
Social media is key these days and also taking part in events where you can meet customers face to face, gather feedback on your work and see what else is happening in the design world around you.
Any collaborations with other creatives currently in the pipeline?
Potentially, yes…Watch this space!
And lastly, what’s next? What is your vision for the future of One We Made Earlier?
As I mentioned before, we are currently experimenting with making our own surfaces for new necklaces. We are also considering other product lines.
We will be taking part in Designjunction at London Design Festival again in September, so come and visit us there!
Thanks to both Anna and Emma from One We Made Earlier. It is fantastic to know more about what inspires our designers to make such beautiful jewellery!
Stay tuned for more designer interviews coming soon!