Meet Claire Brooks, a talented contemporary jeweller on a mission. Having dedicated herself to her craft since she was 15 years old, Claire’s jewellery designs are truly unlike any we have ever seen. Claire’s creations are both delicate and bold, intricate yet eye-catching; there’s no doubt that each piece demonstrates her highly-developed skills and unique flare for the craft. As we chat over coffee at Karma & Crow Café and Studio Collective, Claire fills us in on the philosophy behind her work and her latest project – a campaign through Pozible to crowdfund a teaching space within the studio itself.
For Claire, a fundamental philosophy of her work is to be as environmentally conscious as possible. Environmental mindfulness is interweaved throughout her entire creative process; “I really start with the idea that I want to work as sustainably as possible…I would rather my clients have one really beautiful piece rather than ten pieces they could potentially throw away”. As much as possible, Claire uses recycled precious metals and ethically sourced stones for her jewellery. One of the most fascinating aspects of Claire’s sustainable practice is the inclusion of micro-plastics within her jewellery. “I love to collect shells and pieces of micro-plastics off the beach. Basically, everything is about looking closer within a piece”. Claire shows a delicate pendant, the insides of which contain tiny coloured pieces of the collected plastics. No two designs are quite the same – “aesthetically, I like things to be quite asymmetrical and different”.
Claire then explains her affinity for teaching. Having taught jewellery-making at a tertiary level for a number of years, it is clear that she is not only skilled at creating, but also at communicating those skills for others to learn. “It comes quite naturally to me,” she says. This is where the campaign comes in. Claire’s idea for a community-based teaching space has been in the works for years; she confides “it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it, I know it’s what I want to do”. Claire speaks enthusiastically of the artistic community at Karma and Crow, saying “I think what Karma and Crow have added to this area is immense, it’s really special.” Claire hopes that she can further enhance the studio space, and her teaching will “bring our local community in to see what we’re about”.
Through Pozible, Claire is offering those who donate to her campaign a number of rewards - the most exciting of which is the unique opportunity to sign up for the classes themselves. She is offering a variety of classes, appropriate for absolute beginners through to those who simply wish to further hone their skills. The classes themselves will be small, consisting of around six people. Claire explains that this will allow her to spend enough time with each student, and for the group themselves to get to know not only the craft but each other. “You need enough of a group so that people can build relationships, I think that’s – as much as the jewellery – one of the most important things, where people can come in, learn and be creative in a really social environment”.
The classes on offer include:
A one-day earrings class, where students will design and make their own earrings. You’ll leave with at least two pairs of earrings and some impressive new skills.
A seven-week ring class, which will be a comprehensive introduction to the craft of jewellery making. Claire will teach you all you need to know about ring making, from sizing to cutting and construction.
A private one-day jewellery intensive, where you’ll have the incredible opportunity to work one-on-one with Claire in a six-hour session, tailored to your skill level and desired outcomes. This personalised program will allow you to create a custom piece of jewellery from start to finish and pick up some great new skills along the way.
And finally, a one-day private party class, where you’ll be able to host a birthday or a hen’s party with a difference. Everyone will leave with a beautiful piece of jewellery that they’ve made themselves, and the project can be personally tailored for the six students, with all materials, tools and even lunch provided!
Claire also emphasises the fact that she’ll always be adding new classes, and is “happy to help students with their own projects if they’ve got something in mind”. This truly is an unmissable opportunity to create a piece of jewellery you’ll treasure forever whilst developing new skills under Claire’s expert instruction. To sign up for these classes or to contribute to the campaign, click here.
Header image supplied by Claire Brooks and courtesy of Perth Product Photography.