Nestled in a boat yard in Hobart's historic Battery Point, it is pretty obvious why Larissa Kemp, the force behind jewellery label Little Lari, has chosen this spot for her studio. It's a small creative hub of designers and makers settled on the banks of the Derwent River with what is arguably the most stunning scenery Hobart has to offer.
I popped in for a cuppa and a chat with Larissa about her work and inspiration.
What is your background and what studies have you undertaken for your jewellery making?
I was lucky enough to go to high school in New Zealand, where we learnt how to do traditional bone carving. This was the start of my love of jewellery making.
I moved to Hobart about 14 years ago and found an art and craft design course at TasTAFE with a major in jewellery.
Can you tell us about the materials you use in creating your jewellery?
I mainly use sterling silver. All of the metal I use is recycled - this is really important to me, as getting metal out of the ground has such a negative environmental impact.
I also use vintage kimono silk that I stitch inside earrings and brooches. This helps to satisfy my love of colour.
We particularly love your simple design aesthetic, which creates such timeless pieces. Can you tell us where your inspiration comes from?
That's a tricky question. Sometimes my inspiration comes from something I've seen in nature; sometimes it is as simple as playing around with leftover materials and seeing what can come of the scrap; and other times it's an exercise. The Nest Brooch was born out of me trying to make something asymmetrical. I naturally lean towards symmetry and my muscle memory also kicks in, and my hands will make the same turns with the pliers and the metal. I end up repeating the same shape again and again. So I have to close my eyes and think of something else so that each piece will turn out differently.
We have seen you release a new range of jewellery this year, using bonded silver and copper, which is quite different to your other styles. Are there any other new projects on the horizon for Little Lari?
I hope so!! Give me an extra day in the week, and I'll see what I can come up with! I have loads of ideas tumbling around in my brain - it's just a matter of having the time to get them out. They do come out eventually!