Maker Katie Betty
Jeweller, pattern designer, workshop holder, vintage brand owner.
Katie definitely comes from the multi hyphen generation, using her understanding for shape, colour and people to create a world of calm design, considered forever pieces that would pretty much go with everything in your wardrobe. Interviewed by Lucy Harbron
What’s your personal relationship with jewellery?
I’ve always loved jewellery & I always wear the same few pieces. My earliest memory of wearing jewellery is from when I was 3 & I was a bridesmaid for my auntie. I was given a delicate gold heart necklace to wear & I chewed on it the whole day & by the end it was just a mangled lump! I still have it now. My most treasured piece is a ring that I got a couple of years ago when my grandparents died. It’s a minimal gold signet ring with ‘Betty’ engraved on it, it's so well worn that you can barely read the writing. Betty was my Grandma but no one remembers ever seeing it before so we think it must have been from when she was young; the style of it & the engraved name are so appropriate for me that it's almost bizarre & extra precious.
What or where provides the best inspo for your work?
The world around me! Colours, shapes and textures that I spot when I’m out & about- I live in Manchester & it's great for this as it is a very industrial looking city, but with flashes of colour everywhere. The colour palette for my Melba statement earrings was inspired by a peach coloured drainpipe next to a pastel blue door round the back of an old brick building. I take a photo when I see an interesting colour combination or composition of shapes etc just incase it will come in handy at a later date.
Whats your creative process like, from idea through to completion? Any particular rituals.
I take the colours, textures & forms that I’ve been inspired by & start thinking how I can translate these into designs- sometimes I
start in a notebook/sketchbook but playing with materials is my favourite way to develop ideas. I generally work with simple geometric shapes as they give me more freedom to play with texture, colour combinations & the balance of elements without things getting fussy or getting away from my minimal aesthetic.
If you weren’t a jewellery maker, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
I also run an online vintage clothing shop, so maybe I would just dedicate
more time to that. I did a Masters degree in Design Cultures a few years ago & after that I applied to do a PhD- I didn’t get the funding so it didn’t happen!- I often wonder if things would be different now if I had pursued it. I love writing, especially about design theory/ object theory, so maybe I’ll get back into that one day.
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