Creative pair grinning from ear to ear

EMMA Bradbury has just moved from a 200-year-old cottage in New Norfolk into another, a mere 100 years old.

The decor of the ‘new’ place, on Sharland Street, is not to her taste, but it offers something every artist needs – a good-sized, window-lit studio space.

The wallpaper will have to wait, but the work won’t.

Joined in the studio by her fellow designer and business partner, Katelyn North, the pair are ramping up production of their handmade jewellery, particularly earrings.

The walls and benches are covered in the brushes and paint samples, lamps and supplies, work that is part-finished and other pieces that took awards years ago.

They’ve been at this for about 18 months, their output a product of Covid restrictions that denied them much-needed retail therapy.

“We had to do something, to make those things for ourselves that we were looking to buy in the stores and markets,” says Katelyn. “So we got to work.”

Then came a fateful Saturday market in New Norfolk in December 2021. “In that one session, we sold out everything we’d brought, dozens and dozens of pairs of earrings. We were floored,” recalls Katelyn.

And from there, their line of jewellery began to draw retail interest in Hobart. The Tassie Makers’ Market, an outlet in St Helens, Waterfalls Cafe at Mt Field, the Deloraine Craft Fair …

Their hand-made earrings are made from a polymer clay. It’s lightweight, and cut into unique shapes before being oven-hardened. Some are hand painted with detailed designs before being covered in a protective resin.  

“We just let the creativity flow when choosing the design, colours and paints,” says Emma.

“Rather than tell ourselves that such-and-such sells, the whole thing is pretty organic. We make what we like, and let it happen. And it works: mostly, people find exactly what they’re looking for.”

Emalyn Studio now has ranges in 10 stores, and the occasional pop-up outlet including the Eastlands shopping centre. Earrings run $20 to $60 a pair.

Right now, they to maintain their own separate interests, Katelyn as a nail technician and a seller of homewares, and Emma as an executive assistant at the Master Builders Association, along with her own line of art.

But there’s a good chance that growing consumer demand will require a rebalancing of those workloads.