I am Rose Thomas, a Designer Maker based in London. Over the past ten years I have been creating books, prints, photographs, greetings cards and patterns, and in 2015 I started designing and making jewellery too!
HOW I GOT HERE
When I graduated from a degree in Graphic Design in 2009 I knew that I didn't want to work as a traditional Graphic Designer, and I wasn't sure what I would end up doing, but I knew wanted to work with my hands and 'make stuff'. I soon fell into teaching and have been working in Printmaking Studios at Art Schools around London ever since. This gives me great access to studio space, libraries full of brilliant books, and the facilities to really experiment and realise my ideas.
Over the past few years I have undertaken an MA in Design Critical Practice at Goldsmiths as well as gained a teaching qualification for higher education. I love working with creative people and find that through teaching hands on skills and processes I find myself inspired by new ideas and experiments- that's how my smile necklaces came about.
I had always been fascinated by laser cutters, but never quite found the right project for it until I had the idea for the smile necklace. I made a handful of necklaces in a few colours and sold them in a pop-up shop last summer. They sold out within days and I had to quickly make some more! After that I spent a bit of time looking for better quality chains and findings, this re-entered me into the fascinating and addictive world of bead shops- one of my favourite pastimes as a ten year old.
After creating the smile necklaces in a range of bright, bold or subtle colours I began working on a new range of necklaces and
brooches, called SQUIGGLE. This range draws inspiration from shapes found in nature as well as from some of my favourite artists and designers, who include Jean
Arp, Josef Frank, Matisse, Charles and Ray Eames and Estrid Ericson as
well as a touch of 90s surface design inspiration!
I started my online shop just before Christmas 2015 and sent a fair few necklaces off to new homes. My motivation to make things has always come from the reaction I imagine when somebody is given the thing I am making, whether it's in the form of a card, a book or a piece of jewellery I always want to make you smile.
I create my designs by hand using my favourite brush pens or indian ink before scanning in the ones I think will work as jewellery and digitising them ready to be laser cut. In the drawing stage I go into a bit of a trance and try not to think about whether a certain shape will work as a piece of jewellery and just let my hand guide me. This means I have mountains of patterns piled up in my home studio- which is also where I turn the laser cut shapes into jewellery ready to send off to their new homes.
I've got a few things up my sleeve for the coming months, including working with new materials and processes such as clay and ceramics, fabric and textile design!
If you're looking to find more of my work you can visit my portfolio website at rosethomas.co.uk and follow my work in progress on Instagram @rosethomasdesign
For commissions or for wholesale options please get in touch.
All images are property of Rose Thomas, please ask permission before using.