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funny pillow cases At Home with Jewellery Designer and Stone Sculptor Holly Ryan accent pillow case baby
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funny pillow cases At Home with Jewellery Designer and Stone Sculptor Holly Ryan accent pillow case baby

Updated: 2020/01/17 Views: 177

With a renowned jewellery brand in her own name and adding stone sculpting to her portfolio, it’s no lie when we say Holly Ryan is a creative entrepreneur. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Holly to discuss how she got to where she is, how she brings sustainability to the forefront of her businesses and some of her proudest moments.

What do you do?

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I’m a jewellery designer, primarily working within the fashion industry, but I also do a lot of bespoke work such as wedding rings, engagement rings and custom pieces. I’m also a stone sculptor, working with sandstone, Hebel, timber and steel.

How did you begin?

I’ve had my jewellery business for nine years now, I launched it straight out of university when I was 21. I started sculptures as a way to display my jewellery in a much more interesting way for fashion week two years ago.

To me, sculpting is like a much bigger version of jewellery. A lot of the jewellery I make I carve from waxfunny pillow cases, it’s just the tools I’m using are a lot smaller and a lot less intense. It’s the same process in terms of design, shape and form. It’s a similar way of thinking – just on a much grander scale.

Sculpture by Holly Ryan, Minetta Ceramic Vase, Leora Ceramic Vase

To me, sculpting is like a much bigger version of jewellery….It’s a similar way of thinking – just on a much grander scale.

I think with sculpting, because it takes much longer and you’re working with bigger materials, the process becomes quite meditative and cathartic. It’s very physical and when you’re working on something so big, I tend to not plan the design as much, I just pick up a chisel and see what happens and go with it.

Tell us about sustainability and how you incorporate this into your businesses

With jewellery, I use all recycled materials and all of the stones are sourced ethically. From stones and metal to packaging and right through to the jewellery, it is all made in Australia. It always has been, ever since the beginning.

These are just the moral principles I live by, I have always cared about that, and my parents drilled it into me from a young age.

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With jewellery, all of the metals I use are recycled, all of the stones are sourced ethically. From stones and metal to packaging, through to the jewellery, it is all made in Australia. It always has been, ever since the beginning.

What gives you the drive to keep going and creating?

It’s an interesting question, I’ve been pondering it myself a lot lately, but I think – I don’t know anything else. I can’t exist in a day without being creative, without making something, it’s who I am and it’s how I always have been since I was really young. Mum’s a jeweller and always has been, so I’ve always been around that.

As a business owner, what do you do to take care of yourself and tune out?

I exercise a lot, because that frees up my mind, I run a circuit every morning with my dog. I love the ocean and love to go hiking.

Sculpture by Holly Ryan, Minetta Ceramic Vase, Leora Ceramic Vase

What is one of your proudest moments?

Definitely my first solo show for my sculptures last year, with the gallery Jerico Contemporary. I made 16 sculptures and 13 of them sold on the first night, so that was pretty huge. That gave me goose bumps, I think I cried.

Also, being featured in Vogue and an editorial in any of my favourite magazines like Russh or Harper’s Bazaar is always amazing. There’s lots of moments. It’s constantly an exciting and challenging world to be within.

When I design something new even with my jewellery, the first one that sells is always exciting. It is first and foremost an extension of me, what I like and what I would wear.

Especially when you know each piece is somewhat unique. There’s eight artisans that work for my brand in Australia, and each one makes it slightly different to the next. They’re putting their own hand and touch to that, so it does have their own stamp on it.

Talk to us about your current show

This show is called Exhale and there’s 28 sculptures within it. I’ve used sandstone, timber and hebel - which is actually a sustainable concrete designed by the Swedes. Nothing is mined for, it’s all sustainable rock which has been ground down and made into a new form of concrete. The timber is all Australian, some of the timbers dad and I have sourced on bushwalks and from the beach.

The whole show itself is abstract femininity, finding beauty in imperfection. Breaking the notions and mainstream idea of what beauty is.

See more from Holly here

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