I firmly believe that every person has a talent. No, you might not go onto fame or fortune with your talent but you can certainly use it to bless your family, friends or even others. It is important to have or do something that gives you joy and a purpose. For me it has always been crafting – particularly papercraft. I get such joy seeing and creating something out of beautiful paper. What gives you joy?
I spoke with talented Durban jewellery designer Kim Atkins about her jewellery and how she got started. In particular I wanted to know – what gives her joy?
- When people have an emotional response to the meaning of the piece and when I make a difference in the lives of the jewellery students.
Empowering jewellery students is very close to Kim’s heart and she does this by providing work. She employs them to do the sterling silver work for her and pays them well. Ultimately she wants to empower them through the creation of the Legacy Jewellery Project
“The Legacy Jewellery Project is an initiative to help emerging local jewellers become established by developing business skills and facilitating access to markets, as well as to resources that they need to get started in the industry.
The aim is to build up a thriving centre of excellence, with local jewellers taking their place on the national and international stage.
Legacy Jewellery Project will function as a non-profit entity, and the aim is to set up an incubator that will work with newly-qualified jewellers as well as with existing jewellers as affiliates. Jewellery will be marketed collectively, while promoting the identity of the individual jewellers. Collaboration between affiliates, participants in the incubator and jewellery students will create opportunities to generate income and to obtain vital commercial experience.”
Did you see yourself becoming a jewellery designer or was it something that just happened?
I did not expect it at all. I had been restoring ceramics and a friend said that she felt God said I needed to start beading.
Please tell me the inspiration for your jewellery.
The inspiration for my jewellery is definitely drawn from Scriptural promises that call out beauty and inspire hope in the wearer.
How long have you been making jewellery?
I started beading about 12 years ago and making silver jewellery around 4.
What training did you need in order to craft with silver?
I did a very basic evening “Hobby course” at Durban University of Technology (DUT) and further private lessons.
What made you decide to craft jewellery with silver? Is it an easier metal to work with?
Currently ones needs a licence to work in gold not so with silver.
How long does it take to design a piece of jewellery? Do you draw it first?
Very hard to say. I often design in ranges and those build up in my mind as I mull over them. Then I break down the range in to the various elements which get recorded. I also keep comprehensive ‘makers notes’ so each item can be replicated.
How long does it take for you to make a piece of jewellery, such as the Rose of Sharon earrings?
Jewellery is certainly a very labour intensive process. With many stages from smelting metal to make wire and plate, to piercing (sawing out) the design. Then it needs to be sanded and polished.
What is your favourite design / piece of jewellery to date?
I most often wear the 3-rose “ROSE OF SHARON” pendant and earrings from the silver jewellery range and in the beaded range the “HEART OF FLESH”.
Who do you make your jewellery for?
At first I felt I was making jewellery for women like me; however it seems to have a very wide appeal. Especially but not exclusively Christian women.
Do you have any new jewellery in the pipeline for Christmas?
As my website went live mid November 2018, I did not want to dilute it too much as there a quite a number of ranges on it. There is one range “LIVING STONES”, although not a new range it had not been on my website before.
If you had an hour to spare, where would you go to in Durban?
Somewhere pretty like a coffee shop with a beautiful view and pretty tea cups. Flowers …… oh flowers are my best. Particularly berry colours – pink and purple. Colour really speaks to me.
Tea or Coffee? Where is your favourite coffee shop?
Earl Grey Tea. Savior Cafe, 203 Bulwer Road in Glenwood.
Take a look at Kim Atkins new website. You are sure to find something beautiful for yourself or for a loved one. My sister and I bought the beautiful “Rose of Sharon” earrings for our Mother for her 70th birthday. They are stunning!
SUPPORT SOUTH AFRICAN MAKERS BY SHOPPING LOCAL THIS CHRISTMAS!