Making jewellery out of food is not the most obvious design choice. But that's one of the reasons that Lucy Folk has become something of a sensation. She has had her pieces picked up by prestigious stores such as Colette in Paris, Harvey Nichols in London, Normann in Copenhagen and Oak in New York. She's also about to open a flagship boutique in her hometown of Melbourne. All on the back of food, such as pasta and popcorn, electroplated with fine layers of metal. Lucy has been working on the fitout of her new store with her fiance Charlie Inglis or Inglis Architects. She has also collaborated with Mud Australia to create custom-made plates that will be electroplated in gold, chrome and copper. The Lucy Folk boutique will open in September.
Which five words best describe you?
Energetic, foodie, direct, happy, creative.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since?
I joined the Pieces of Eight workshop (North Fitzroy, Melbourne) in 2005 and I have been lucky enough to share a studio with five other jewellers. This has helped kick start my career as one can bounce ideas off one another and it is lovely to come to the studio daily and interact with others rather than working alone from home.
My first foray into the world of fashion jewellery was quite soon after I finished studying gold and silversmithing at RMIT. My cousin, the talented Arabella Ramsay, asked me to make the accessories/jewellery to accompany her spring summer collections. [Read Arabella Ramsay's Daily Imprint interview here.] I made some crazy pieces... one being a necklace inspired by the beach in Australia that was made up of paper maché cigarette butts hanging from sterling silver chain. I had so much fun making this sort of jewellery although commercially it wasn't working so well! However, making it for Arabella meant that the jewellery received a considerable amount of press and this started to build my profile.
I had my first solo exhibition in 2006. It was held at Pieces of Eight and it was called "Nibbles". Real food was electroplated and fashioned into all sorts of jewels. From Burger Ring earrings, to Pretzel necklaces, the show was really well received and it gave me the confidence to surge forward and continue to make wearable food.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
You can lose momentum or confidence as it takes time to get to where you would like to be. It is important to keep at it. Things progress slowly. It will happen one day.
What’s your proudest career achievement?
It has taken a while to break into the international market and I finally have. There is so much competition out there and when your product is picked up by one of the most famous stores in the world then you feel pretty damn happy.
What’s been your best decision?
To make jewellery based on something I am passionate about. Not to take oneself too seriously.
Who inspires you?
Victoire de Castellane has always been a huge inspiration as she makes the inconceivable, conceivable. She designs the jewellery for Dior. De Castellane is a real risk taker and pioneer of some amazing stone and metal combinations. Decadent is an under statement!
Not forgetting the brilliant chefs that make up the Melbourne restaurant scene. Eating at these restaurants is an experience that fuels my work.
What are you passionate about?
Food of course! Also travelling, family, art and fashion.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
Hmmmm... Frida Kahlo. She is an inspiration indeed. What a woman! I would love to have sat with her in her beautiful house in Mexico. We could have had some margaritas and talked about art, life, jewellery and love!
What dream do you still want to fulfill?
I would love to have an exhibition or launch overseas. Tokyo, Paris, New York, you name it and I will be there. Another collaborative project would be interesting too, perhaps with an international designer?
What are you reading?
Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices by Andrew Dalby