Whats in store for CQJ in 2017 – A Blog Takeover

Hello, it’s Julie here. I’ve taken over Clare’s blog this week as she prepares for some incredible changes happening with her business this year.

Not only is Clare planning a relaunch of the New Beginnings collection, there is also a new direction for the business, her family is expanding and then there’s a relocation midyear.

It really is exciting for Clare Quinlan Jewellery with lots to look forward to this year. Which is why I’ve come in here to ask her a few questions about what is happening at Clare Quinlan Jewellery HQ. I’m sure you will enjoy what she has to say as much as I have…


Julie: Tell us about the relaunch?

Clare: I’m excited about the relaunch. I’ve had a few months off now – working on the business behind the scenes and changing the structure of how the business is run. I have cut down the number of collections, with a revamp of the New Beginnings collection. This has always been my basics range, so I have condensed it and made the collection as a whole more concise with a wider variety of pieces, including necklaces, earrings, cuffs/ bangles and as always rings.

The relaunch is planned for the end of March and in the lead up there will be a new look to the website, some promos and some exciting sneak peeks of the pieces.

J: What changes will there be?

C: Back to basics. This basic range consists of pieces that can be worn everyday, all the time – on their own or together. They have been designed to complement each other and any other jewellery people may have, so they can create a unique collection of jewellery that tells their stories and expresses who they are – whether they be layered or worn individually.

J: What inspired you for this collection?

C: I wanted to make the basic range a collection of pieces that are plain, simple and relaxed, but that have different textures and forms and create some interest the way the light moves on the finished surface. These are the pieces that you can put and just forget are there, but still look great and add to any ‘look’ you may be wearing.

I am inspired in general by the natural world. Marine life in particular and the intricate silica forms of diatoms. These are microscopic plant and animal life, some of which form elaborate structures from silica – glass. The structures of seed pods and flowers also influence many designs. I think its the imperfect symmetry of the natural world that is really interesting and can be found everywhere that I find so delightful.

I also love seeing the way these design elements have been portrayed in architecture and designs around the world. Amazing structures carved from stone like the marble lattice screens I came across in India. Think Morocco, Turkey, India, Greece, Italy.

J: What will the new collection include?

C: I have tried to create more earrings and necklaces. Pieces that can be gifted to people and don’t need particular sizes. The necklaces are different lengths so there will be a selection to choose from or will look great layered together. I will still have a limited range of rings which will work together to make nice looking stacks.

Layering is brilliant. A few simple pieces look completely different when layered together. And my pieces will be able to go with other jewellery that people already have so that they can incorporate all their memories and stories into a single stack whether it is a bangle, ring or necklace stack.

J: Do you have any special favourites?

C: I love the chunky bangles, their weight and simplicity. They are bold and solid. I also love the organic round earrings that I carved from wax and have had cast into silver. Again – very simple in design, but their form and texture is very aesthetically pleasing.

J: What excites you about the future of your business?

C: As part of the revamp and new direction for the business, I am looking forward to working with some master craftsmen and craftwomen in Bali who will work with me to make my designs with quality and care. This is exciting as Ill be able to bring some of my more elaborate and intricate designs to life, and incorporate semi precious stones, which I have wanted to do for a long time now.

J: What do you hope people will get out of your jewellery?

C: I feel that a persons jewellery collection is like a memoir of their life. Jewellery has this beautiful ability to evoke memories and stories from the adventures and travels you have, the people in your life or special moments that took place.

I love hearing people talking about their jewellery, a pair of inherited earrings from a much love grandmother, a necklace given as a token of love and support or even a pair of earrings that was bought while travelling and reminds you how, when you were trekking through the Himalayan region in Nepal, they were left in the pocket of a tent, and amazingly, with the help of some brilliant guides, they were track down and returned to the intrepid explorer! – yes, this was me in 2011 and I think about the amazing adventure and people I met on that trip every time I put them on – I love those earrings!
J: If you could be any place in the world – where would you be and why?

C: Oh, that’s a hard question!

I loved living in Bangalow in the Byron Shire – it’s a very inspiring and uplifting place to live with a great healthy lifestyle. I feel invigorated and creative there – Byron being the place I lived when I designed my last 4 collections and started on my jewellery biz path and got pregnant with my first bub after trying for a year.

India is one of my favourite countries. I love the colours, sights, smells, the noise, the people. It’s so vibrant and alive and full of discovery and adventure.

Or perhaps home in Melbourne.

I just want a teleporting machine so I can travel around the world quickly whenever the feeling strikes! ha ha.

J: Who inspires you and why?

C: David Attenborough – what an amazing life! So many adventures and still counting. And such a beautifully humble man, bringing important and little or unknown species and environmental issues to a wider population.

People that have children, and a biz, and a life and just keep going and creating amazing things for themselves.

Thanks Clare for giving us an update of the business. I’m sure we can all say that we are looking forward to hearing about how everything progresses over the next few months. More blogs to follow from Clare soon.

Handcrafting wax moulds for ring casts
Sterling silver casts from wax mould
Creating texture for bangles. Handmade jewellery, Australian designed and created sterling silver jewellery. By Clare Quinlan
Soldering rings
How its made matters- creating sterling silver jewellery by Clare Quinlan
The handcrafting of the Basic Elements collection. Wax carving. Sterling silver casting. Hammering to create texture. Textured metal. Sterling silver jewellery. Australian designed and handmade jewellery. Soldering. Silversmithing. How its made matters. Australian fashion. Australian style.