One of the lovliest ladies in craft, in my opinion, Rosa Pietsch is also one of the most talented. Creating truly wonderful yet wearable pieces, if you are looking for a unique gift for someone special, then you need look no further than her stall at the Summer Brighton Craftaganza craft market on Sat 15th June…
Please introduce yourself….
My name is Rosa Pietsch and I’m a womenswear design assistant living in South London. I also design and make jewellery for my Etsy store, KatzeShop!
Describe the products you currently make to sell
Currently I make most of my jewellery from laser-cut wood and acrylic, but what makes it a bit different is that I combine these materials with hand-cast resin which I mix with metal leaf (gold, silver and copper) and ink pigments. I make pieces that range from huge statement necklaces to little pendants and brooches. Some are entirely one-offs, and the rest are relatively small batches. Although no two pieces can ever be completely identical!
Where and when do you design and make your products?
At the moment I design, make and photograph everything in my flat, unfortunately for my housemates! I’d love to have a studio, but as I work full time for a womenswear fashion company, I don’t really have the time to use one. So at the moment, all my jewellery is made in my evenings and weekends.
How long have you been selling your wares and how did it begin?
I always used to make bits of costume jewellery for fun as a teenager – I used to make really bright, kitsch things that I sold on ebay! I loved it but for some reason I didn’t consider studying Jewellery Design. Instead I did a BA Hons degree in Fashion Design at Brighton Uni. For my graduate collection I worked on some huge resin neckpieces to go with my clothing designs, my dad taught me about resin casting, and from there I rediscovered my love of designing and making jewellery. I created some catwalk jewellery pieces for a Japanese fashion designer which were shown in Tokyo fashion week and this really encouraged me to continue with jewellery!
I love resin casting, but I wanted to incorporate laser-cutting into my designs as I love drawing out interesting shapes to work with, and laser-cutting offers so many possibilities! So I worked out my own way of combining the two and opened my Etsy store in November last year – so this project is still pretty new to me!
What drew you to the Brighton area, if you are not a ‘native’?
Sadly I moved to London from Brighton last year as I work there and the commute was beginning to drive me crazy! I originally came to Brighton to do my degree, and ended up staying for 6 years because I love it so much. I really miss it, there’s always a very welcoming, friendly and creative atmosphere and I loved living there. London is obviously amazing too, but I’ve got a feeling I’ll move back to Brighton one day!
Any other crafty disciplines you like to practice?
When I get the time (which isn’t often) I like making one-off, hand-cast and polished resin pieces using proper handmade silicone molds, which is a different process to how I make my ‘KatzeShop’ pieces. I also love drawing and print design. I’ve taken part in a few print design competitions as well as some commissioned print design work. My day job mostly involves working with print and embroidery. I don’t think I could choose just one creative profession so I try out lots of different things…although despite having studied Fashion Design I hardly ever sew!
What inspires the things you make?
I’m mostly inspired by the actual materials and processes I use, and the possibilities and limitations they have. This is combined with a really wide range of visual inspirations, from art deco to symbols and diagrams, vintage jewellery shapes, graphics, architectural shapes, contrasting textures, patterns, colour, light, street style and of course I always have some kind of cat motif on the go!
I stress a LOT and can be very self critical, which isn’t often very productive! I’m not sure I have a personal motto, but I do try to remind myself not to stress out unnecessarily, and not to compare myself to other people and their work.