As jewellery designers you create both your own collections as well as custom designs. How do you work with clients to represent their personal style?
Listening is the most important part of custom work. People don’t always know exactly what they want, but it’s our job to figure out how to transform their ideas into a functional and beautiful piece of jewellery. You get to know someone through the process -- you find out what’s important to them, what the purpose of the piece is, and what they like and don’t like. It can kind of feel like mind reading sometimes, but there is nothing more satisfying than being able to take someone’s concept and turn it into a wearable piece that they’ll cherish forever. It’s pretty amazing, and an honour to get to do this for our clients.
How has living and working in Guelph influenced your brand and approach to your design?
Melissa: Susan and I both grew up pretty close to nature, but in different parts of Ontario, so having a studio in a quiet and peaceful place like Guelph feels pretty great to us. It gives us lots of mental and physical space to fully absorb into the creative parts of our work, which we love. That said, we’ve both spent the a good part of our adult lives living in big cities, so ATTIC is absolutely influenced by the culture of cities, as well as the work of other creatives around the globe. We are both pretty hands on women. We are physical in our goldsmithing work and our worlds, and so we are always taking comfort, ease of wear and durability into account when designing ATTIC pieces.
What do you hope you contribute to the community and the broader Canadian design community as a whole?
We want to be part of the growing conversation around building for longevity - to create pieces that will have long lives and that will be inherited by the next generation, and the one after that. Using a treasure from the earth to adorn ourselves is a tradition that goes back as long as humans have lived. We love being a part of this tradition and yet understand that it has more recently come at a cost to the earth. It’s a delicate subject that we try to approach with humility, and with small solutions that hopefully amount to a larger difference. We choose to work in gold, because it is a resource that has always been, and will always be captured and put back into the supply chain. Whenever possible, we use 100% recycled gold that has been refined right here in Ontario. In the end, we really just want to add some simplicity and beauty to people’s lives, and to do it with honesty and integrity. Thankfully, there are more and more brands that understand the importance of designing for longevity, and that care about what they are making and how it is made. It seems that there is an emerging group of people that are finally tiring of over consumption, and instead interested in investing in core pieces that they will have for life. These are the people we want to connect with.