Meet the Designer: Oddical
1 . Describe your brand in one sentence.
I would describe Oddical as alternative, luxury costume jewellery.
2. What inspires your designs?
I’m inspired by the organic and repetitive structures found in plants and skeletons. I also look through a lot of traditional tribal jewellery designs for inspiration. The way I make my metal samples, ‘drawing’ with wire and not planning the outcome also has a huge impact on the look of my designs. It ensures a playful quality to the forms I create.
3. What type of woman is a Oddical customer?
Quirky, playful, someone who has fun with her style!
4. How long have you been designing and what inspired you to get started?
I have been designing since graduating in 2010. After completing both my BA and MA at the School of Jewellery in Birmingham I knew I wanted a career as an independent jewellery designer. Before launching Oddical I was making hand made one-off pieces of jewellery for international exhibitions including Talente and the European Prize for Applied Arts. Eventually I decided I wanted that to change, I wanted to design jewellery that I could see people wearing walking down the street. That led me to launching Oddical in late 2016.
5. What was the first ever item of jewellery you designed – and do you still have it?
The first jewellery I designed was a set of brooches during my art foundation course. They were very different to the work I create now and were concerned with memories and using found objects to create assemblages. I do still have them. To be honest I keep most past work, as you never know when it might inspire you again.
6. What kind of designers did you intern with, and why did you choose them?
Unfortunately I have never interned with any designers.
7. Describe your design process.
Each design comes from an intuitive, creative process fuelled by lots of sketching and then ‘drawing’ with metal wire. I never truly know what the end result will be while making my initial metal samples and that’s what I find most exciting! Shapes I find visually interesting are then meticulously recreated into a CAD file ready to be 3D printed. Sample pieces are printed in nylon so I can play with composition and scale, sometimes chopping up pieces to find new designs. The resulting pieces keep the spontaneous quality found in the original handmade work and lose that typical symmetrical feel found in other 3D printed jewellery.
8. How has being a finalist in the Professional Jeweller 'Young Designer of the Year' category changed your career?
Being a finalist has helped Oddical become more widely known within the jewellery industry and has helped to give confidence to potential stockists that Oddical is a brand to support. It was such a huge honour to be amongst the finalists and get to know other designers in the industry.
9. Who inspires you, both from jewellery and other spheres?
From fashion I love the work of Viktor & Rolf, it’s incredibly playful and luxurious at the same time with a subversive take on feminine style. From jewellery I really admire Imogen Belfield’s work. Every piece she designs, big or small is a statement piece and that’s what I try to achieve with my designs. It’s good to see you don’t have to go minimal. Her success is a real inspiration!
10. Who are your jewellery idols and why?
I love all the images of Edie Sedgwick wearing her statement earrings. She’s wearing these gorgeous, oversized earrings and she just seems so nonchalant about it! One of the earrings in the collection is named Edie after her. I also love, like everyone else, Iris Apfel and the way she is so unashamedly herself and uses clothing and jewellery to show that to the world.
11. What are your main goals for your jewellery brand?
My main goals for Oddical are to build on my current stockists and increase the awareness of the brand on social media and in the fashion press to become more widely known outside of the jewellery industry. I want to keep up the momentum I achieved in 2017 with positive press features and awards.
12. What has been the best part of your jewellery journey so far?
The best part of my jewellery journey with Oddical has been the response it received from the jewellery industry. It was better than I ever would of hoped for! It left me feeling excited for the future of Oddical and confident in the choices I make as a designer. All these opportunities and awards have helped to build Oddical as a brand.
13. Your dream collaboration?
I would love to collaborate with fashion designers, stylists and performers to really take advantage of the scale I can achieve with the pieces.
14. Any advice for someone just getting started in jewellery design?
Plan where you want to be in 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years. Time goes by so quickly you need that focus to keep on track and really know what your goals are. But the most important piece of advice I can give is don’t compare your journey to others; there is no right or wrong way!