After a brief hiatus we are excited to announce that Seb Brown has returned to Monk House Design! Signaling his arrival Seb has filled our windows with an array of coloured paper shapes in soft pink, grey and blue. Drawing inspiration from everyday spaces, the raw angles and textures ever present in his work are reflexive of his interest in the materiality and nature of day-to-day life and the place jewellery holds within it.
We talked to Seb about his jewellery, his travels and what the future holds...
How do you define yourself?
I define myself as an artist who makes jewellery. I am also very much interested in collage, drawing, sculpture and photography. I like the immediacy of jewellery and that it also has a use whether it is purely aesthetic or for a purpose (special occasion, wedding etc). I find it really interesting how people often place so much meaning on a piece of jewellery that they would never attach to a piece of clothing.
What inspires you and your jewellery pieces?
As corny as it sounds my work is influenced by naturally occurring phenomena and the artfulness and chaos of growth. Bacteria, mould, rust, rocks, texture, dirt…
Do you now find your travelling lifestyle to influence what and how you make?
Not really, I find travelling to be very chaotic and spontaneous and my work is a base I can always return to. I find working in the studio to be very relaxing and grounding, whereas travel is so exciting, unexpected and often lonely. I never feel lonely if I have work to do.
I'm constantly being influenced by everything all the time. Snippets of conversations, poles leaning against walls, piles of rubbish, smooth bumper bars, the tension and lightness of two shapes or textures accidentally interacting with each other.
Your slab ring is your most popular piece, can you tell us about the process of designing and producing a piece like this and what you value in your designs? (i.e each piece being original)
I work quite fast, almost in a 'stream of consciousness' method. I sit down and play around with different kinds of wax to come up with something that is balanced. I often speak to other jewellery designers and they agree that sometimes they are defined by the first decent thing they make (i.e. my Slab ring) and will end up mimicking this design for the rest of their career. I love it when I get to meet the customer who is making a commission and chat and work out what they want. They become part of the design process.
My process is highly experimental and I often design or make something by accident.
I value the value someone else places on my work. I value the antithesis of mass-consumerism. I value being able to go into the studio and do what I love all day!
What is next for Seb Brown? Can you give us any hints?
Good question - I feel very much at home in Melbourne, yet I am moving to Europe to try and expand my market and have access to some new influences. I am constantly evolving my process and work so stay tuned for highly bedazzled rings and some coral and under the sea inspired work. I am also planning to get seriously into painting!