Coral Covey Jewellery is a sustainable jewellery brand created by Laura Deakin. Based in Melbourne, Laura loves what she does and prides herself on creating handmade jewellery from only recycled and refined precious metals. Read on to learn more about Laura’s journey and practice before meeting her at the Melbourne/Narrm Design Market this 7-9 July at the Royal Exhibition Building.
What inspired you to start your business?
Coral Covey Jewellery had its beginnings in 2015. After completing a Masters of Fine Art at The Munich Art Academy, I started making small jewellery items for friends and family; however, making that leap to a business took a little longer. I loved goldsmithing; however, upon learning of the unethical and dangerous ways in which newly mined silver, gold and platinum are sourced, I decided to start a label whose primary focus is the creation of handmade jewellery using only recycled and refined precious metals. In addition, I use natural and recycled packaging while powering my entire studio in the Nicholas Building with renewable energy. The name, Coral Covey, is the unity of my two grandmothers, Coral McKissick and Gladys Covey, who were both important influences in my life, and taught me the importance of caring for the community and environment.
What did you do before you started Coral Covey?
Before starting Coral Covey, I worked several other jobs to make ends meet. I finished studying for my Masters in Munich in 2011, which was a struggle. I worked in a cafe, architecture firm, bike garage, gallery, auction house, call centre, personal assistant, and nanny…to name just a few. Between everything, I worked for other jewellers, improving my skills and dreaming of one day being my own boss. It was a long hard road, but now I work for myself full time, and I feel so lucky to do it. Sometimes I can hardly believe how far I have come.
What’s the most special piece you’ve created?
I love working with clients to make something custom, just for them. Last month I worked closely with a client, Erin, to create a ring in memory of her Nan, who had recently passed away. Erin had inherited some money and wanted to use it to create a truly special piece in her Nan’s honour. We spoke about her Nan in detail, and I got a feeling for this amazing woman. I love learning why and for whom I’m making a piece of custom jewellery. It might sound silly, but it really helps me make the piece when I understand its significance to the client. Erin selected a stunning Australian sapphire, and I created a special ‘flat spot setting’ ring. It was a real honour to create this ring and an experience I won’t forget.
What do you love most about being a jeweller?
Honesty, I love the making part. I love the problem-solving that comes with creating a clever piece of jewellery that is well-resolved, elegantly finished and beautiful to wear. Making jewellery requires you to think about many different aspects at once. The piece needs to be comfortable and easy to wear. It also needs to function well, speak about its wearer and take your breath away.
What’s your studio like?
I absolutely LOVE my studio. Mid-last year I relocated my studio to the Nicholas Building in Melbourne’s CBD. I’m on the third floor, and my jeweller’s bench looks out over leafy Swanston Street towards St. Paul’s Cathedral. When the morning sunshine streams in the beautiful old windows, I feel I’m back in Munich. It’s a delightful and creative space.
What are you most excited about?
This is my second Finders, and I’m so excited to be a part of the line-up again this year. I love the sense of community at Finders. Everyone is there to support each other and have a good time. It’s busy, but always lovely to meet other creative peeps and chat with people about what I do.
What’s new for Finders Keepers this season?
I am debuting a new range of rings. I love making rings that posses a feeling of movement, and this new range does just that. With fun names like, ‘Spot my way to you’ and ‘Lines in the sand’, these sterling silver rings are a playful mix. Each ring has a unique pattern, and no two are the same. Individually handmade, each ring is unique.