Here at The Hornet Press, we are hugely fond of anything upcycled, recycled, or even just polished up.Delighted were we to discover a Melbourne-based artisan who is doing just that!
Describe your product range in a sentence or two
Stringlets handcrafted jewellery pieces and decorative homewares are made using parts of discarded musical instruments that would otherwise end up in landfill; hence the Stringlets’ catchphrase is ‘Instrumentally Repurposing’.
Which of your three offerings do you allocate the most time and energy to?
All pieces are designed and made individually by me. As individual pieces, I put the same amount of energy and love into each piece. No one piece is the same and this keeps my passion and love of the process very much alive; This truly is the joy of making.
How did you come up with the Stringlets concept?
The Stringlets concept came about when a dear friend who is a traveling journeyman and musician was changing their guitar strings. The discarded bundle of strings with their beautiful raw material brought back memories of my love of working with metal in a contemporary fashion which I had first explored as a jewellery student in my youth. Designs and ideas instantly flooded my mind. This passion combined with my love of repurposing was the start of Stringlets in 2019.
How do you source your materials for your upcycled pieces?
I source discarded strings from music shops and luthiers around Melbourne. All the strings that I collect are then sorted and processed with stringent measures put in place for cleaning before using.
With very aged strings the wound metal often has discoloured with a beautiful patina which I utilise in some finished pieces by coating them with a high-grade sealant. The discarded instruments that I use are found mainly in hard rubbish. Occasionally some well-received donations have been gifted to me through word of mouth.
Is Artisan Wares a side hustle or a full-time concern?
Stringlets come under the umbrella of my art business Artisan Wares. My other passion connected to this business is painting. Through private commissions under the name of Antayas Art, I paint a variety of subjects including portraits of people and beloved animals and memories of much-loved houses. There have also been several commercial murals that I have completed for a range of businesses over the years. Each of these large-scale projects has been more fun than I can put into words.
Which platform do you find most lucrative for selling your work?
Stringlets can be found on my Instagram page @artisanwares which has been a wonderful platform for showcasing my work. I also have a small presence on Facebook (Artisan Wares) with the 2 social media pages linked.
What do you find the most challenging about running a small business?
The most challenging part for me as a small business owner has been ‘work /life’ balance. I love the process of turning discarded materials into new objects of beauty; I am fuelled by this passion and there is a large part of my heart and soul that goes into every piece that I make. I have been known to lose hours in my studio enjoying every part of this process.
Which other artisans do you follow, or are you inspired by?
The Artisan that has inspired and had the most impact on me personally and professionally is contemporary jeweler Brenda Ridgewell who I was fortunate to have had as a teacher and mentor when I was studying contemporary jewellery back in the ’80s at The Western Australian Institute of Technology (W.A.I.T).
What are your goals for 2022?
My goals for 2022 are building on the Stringlets product range and continuing to make beautiful pieces that are not only distinctively individual but also of the highest quality in execution. I have just started producing a new range of sterling silver pendants using recycled silver incorporating guitar frets.