If you're interested in our Laser Cutting for Crafters session
, find out first hand from jewellery designer Rosa Pietsch what it's like to use laser cutting to create a jewellery line. We caught up with her last week:
Rosa, do you have a formal training or are you self taught?
- I trained in fashion and textiles design and worked in this area for a number of years while working on my own jewellery designs - my dad taught me the basics of resin-casting and I did a short course in Illustrator, but apart from that I am mostly self-taught when it comes to jewellery design.
Did you always use technology in your work or is it a new thing for you?
- I didn't know how to use CAD until I took a short course in Illustrator. I really took to it and from there I began designing and making laser-cut jewellery. Before that I didn't use much technology in my work, apart from Photoshop for print design, etc. As I had already been working on hand-cast resin jewellery, it was the combination of hand-craft techniques with machined materials that interested me and got me inspired to begin making my current range!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
- I get inspired by a really wide and eclectic range of things. I'm from a textile background, so I get a lot of inspiration from things like vintage prints and embroideries. I also take inspiration from travel - for example, I designed some pieces last year which were inspired by vintage Thai embroidered florals. I also take lots of inspiration from the materials I use themselves, I'm always thinking of different ways to use and combine them and this often inspires a design before I know what shapes I'll be using.
How much does the technology influence what you make?
- Quite a lot. There are limitations in using laser-cut flat materials, and lots of things to consider, for example making sure you aren't cutting shapes that are too small and breakable. I like the fact that there are some limitations though, it encourages creative thinking and problem-solving!
What are you favorite things about working with laser cutting?
- I like that there are so many possibilities, basically if you can draw a shape you can laser-cut it! There are so many variations of acrylics and woods to use, and you can also easily personalise or edit designs if you have access to a laser-cutter. I also genuinely quite enjoy the process of creating designs in CAD, and assembling really intricate laser-cut shapes.
Do you have a day job and if so how do you balance the two careers?
- Up til last year I worked full-time in design for womenswear - mainly in printed textiles, jewellery and accessories. It was quite a struggle to balance the two, and I found I never had enough time to really develop my own ideas and designs until I was fully pleased with them. Since I went freelance, my designs have really developed and I am much happier with the work I'm producing now that I have more time to focus on it! It was a scary decision to go freelance, as obviously living in London that can mean a fair bit of financial uncertainty, but I've enjoyed the challenge. I still work freelance in accessories and print for a few clients, which is nice as I get some variety in my work life.
Which famous person wold you like to make something for and why?
- That's a really tricky question! I love music, and try to go to as many live gigs and festivals as I can, so it would be amazing to make something for a band or singer. It would be fun to make something intended for a performance as I'd get to be really creative and potentially work with someone inspiring.
Thanks to Rosa for taking the time to talk to us. Check out Rosa's work here www.rosapietsch.etsy.com
and follow her on Twitter @rosapietsch
If you'd like to try Laser Cutting, check out our session here
- it includes how to use the right software and is aimed at total non-techies! Plus there's drinks afterwards included - it's just £12!