Jen Neame-Collins of atelier jen makes jewellery from her studio every hour she can. She creates stunning and dramatic statement pieces for customers all over the world. and Each piece is handmade from papier-mâché.
South-West France-based Jen uses only paper as the basis for her jewellery designs. Surprisingly they are completely waterproof, and can be worn for any occasion, in all weather, day or night. They provide the wearer with a beautiful and light weight statement piece. These amazing pieces radiate in colour and style and feature gold, silver and copper leaf as well as different patterns. Each item gives off a different, complex and decorative effect, becoming completely captivating to look at. They are also very sophisticated, fun, stylish and ooze glamour. The wearer will definitely feel special displaying her works of art.
Jen was kind enough to do a Q&A with me. She chatted about her work, jewellery and design, and much more.
Tell us about yourself, and your love affair with Jewellery.
My first love is for pattern and colour. I studied for a Textile Design degree at college and worked as a designer in a London studio after graduating. I started making 3D papier-mâché pieces to decorate my flat. This led to several exhibitions and a gallery in London, where I exhibited and sold decorative objects. Trompe l’oeil mirror frames that looked like draped fabric, tables with draped cloths over them – all in paper. Since moving to France I have been experimenting with smaller pieces. A gallery owner here suggested jewellery……..no stopping me now!
When did you first realise you wanted to make Jewellery as a career and what has been the best thing about following this career path?
As I started making jewellery only recently, it is all part of my whole career. This seems to have been about decorating anything that doesn’t move! However now I am so full of ideas for jewellery collections and designs, there are not enough hours in the day. I will be doing this for many years to come.
As a designer, where do you draw your inspiration from?
I am inspired by and love many things including history, renaissance, fashion, Dolly Parton, Mexican art, Versailles, Elvis, textile design, memento mori, ornament, kitsch.
How would you describe your designs?
More is more, gold leaf on everything, the bigger the better. Although I also do a range of smaller pieces and drop earrings as I realise statement jewellery is not for everyone! But I do love the more dramatic pieces.
What is your favourite piece you’ve ever created – and what made it so special?
My favourite is usually a recent piece as I feel I get better and better all the time. At the moment it’s a tie between the charm necklace from my new collection, and the layer earrings. These have given me the theme for my next collection.
What are you currently working on?
My new Charm collection, and ideas for the next statement earrings. And at the back of my mind, thinking about layer pieces.