The Line of Sun Jewellery - Meet Alice and Jules
Holly Bodeker-Smith | On 20, May 2015
We chat to Melbourne creative duo Alice and Jules about their jewellery label, The Line of Sun, their recent wedding and what inspires them most.
Itâ€™s hard to scroll through photos of the recently married Alice and Jules Tsakirakis without feelingÂ equal parts of awe and envy. They really are the kind of couple that youâ€™d only expect to see in a film. And I mean a dreamy, sepia-toned film; rolling through mountains in their old caravan, their dog Preston in the middle seat.
But donâ€™t let me get distracted here, the couple have far more to offer than an opportunity to goggle and wonder. They are the faces and the hard-work ethic behind jewellery label, The Line of Sun. Launched in 2012, the range of rings and home wares has demarcated itself from the crowd in Melbourne.
The duoâ€™s designs are unlike any other, they are statement pieces crafted with an eager delicacy. Some of the bolder pieces are layered edges that lead into mystical signets. Others are detailed with hand-stamped cyphers, adorned at the centre with semi-precious stones of onyx and tigerâ€™s eye.
Alice brings the designs to life through the lost-wax method, a process by which metal is sculpted from the mould of an original wax model. It is through this process that each piece gains its own unique imperfections.
We chat to Alice about their recent wedding celebrations, how they work together as a team and their sources of inspiration.
TCI: I heard you guys recently got married, Congratulations! How was the big day?
Alice: It was amazing! We got married in an old Butter Factory in Newstead that was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. We had our caravan as a bar, our dog Preston as our ring bearer, and we had a Indian / bluegrass band with a sitar. We gathered together all of our closest friends and family and threw a huge party. We couldnâ€™t have asked for more.
TCI: It sounds and looks like it was an incredible day! So, what is the story behind The Line of Sun?
Alice: We started The Line of Sun just as something just for ourselves, that we had full license and creative control over. We thought weâ€™d design some rings, have them made and see if anyone wanted to buy them. There was never a business plan, it just kind of happened!
TCI: When did you first discover that you had a knack for jewellery making?
Alice: I donâ€™t know if youâ€™d call it a â€˜knackâ€™, but once I carved the first ring from wax, â€˜The Risingâ€™ I just loved everything about the process. Starting from a piece of wax, and slowly carving it down into a ring and having it cast into silver was just so cool. As a graphic designer and normally spending all my time behind a computer screen, it felt so good to use my hands and make something from scratch.
TCI: Alice youâ€™re on jewellery design and Jules is on the sales side of things, how do you two work together as a team? Do you find that your roles cross over or are you pretty set in them individually?
Alice: Jules and I will work always on the initial concepts together. We are always inspired when we are travelling, so generally most of our ideas come when we are overseas or away from home. We spend a lot of time developing the ideas and working out how each style will work with each other. There is a lot of times where it gets to the end of the day and we feel like weâ€™ve got nothing, but then days where we are just on a roll and can work out a few styles in one go. Once weâ€™ve got a bit of an idea for a collection, I go off and carve them out of wax, and Jules focuses on our marketing etc. Then we come together again to work out our photoshoot and how we want to bring it all together.
TCI: How would you describe the aesthetic of your most recent range?
Alice: The range we are about to release has a similar aesthetic to our first range, but I guess more developed. We will always want to produce jewellery that crosses the boundaries of both male and female. In as many styles as we can, we want it to be appeal to both. For every style, we work hard to make it look and feel like theyâ€™ve already been part of your life for years. They are always a bit uneven, and never high polished to give them a really authentic feel. We produce all of our jewellery in very small runs so that each piece is genuinely unique.
TCI: What inspires your designs?
Alice: We are inspired by a whole range of things. As Iâ€™m from an art and graphic design background, Iâ€™ve always been inspired by prints and patterns. We spend a lot of time in antique stores and anything from a chair to a painting can get us desperate to get home and back in the studio to work. But mostly, travel and music is a huge influence. When we are either overseas, or just at home listening to records good things come. The good thing about being creative is that inspiration never really runs out. Being inspired by one thing will always bring you to another thing, and to another.
TCI: You guys also did a range of home wares that were pretty successful, are there any plans to do more of that in the future?
Alice: We are desperate to produce more home wares! We were making one off ceramic pieces, which all took a shitload of time. For each piece we made, there was 5 that didnâ€™t survive being fired and at least a week of work. It was both devastating and extremely satisfying!! But there will be more to come!
TCI: Where do you go, or what ritual do you have for when you are lacking inspiration?
Alice: When we are lacking inspiration, we are slowly learning that we need to accept it, and give ourselves a bit of a break. Forcing yourself to be creative really doesnâ€™t get anywhere. We end up locking ourselves away in the studio and convincing each other we like what we are making, then the next day we throw it all out. Sometimes we will have a few indulgent days off and go away in our caravan, and then we find we are hanging to get back into it and bursting with ideas.
TCI: Do you have any advice for other designers who may want to get started on a label?
Alice: Donâ€™t fully believe the saying â€˜Do something you love and youâ€™ll never work a day in your lifeâ€™. You will work every single minute you are awake. You wonâ€™t sleep because you want it to be the next day so you can make all the things you are thinking about. And you have some serious moments where you question everything you are doing. But you wont give a shit about the hard times, because youâ€™ll love it. We have never worked so hard, but it has never been so worthwhile. We love what we do and wouldnâ€™t trade it for the world.
TCI: I absolutely loved your first range. I wear my Idol every day, and Iâ€™m patiently hanging out for whatâ€™s nextâ€¦ Can you tell us a bit about your plans for TLOS in the future?
Alice: Yay! So good to hear! We have been working on our new collection for the past few months, and hoping to release it July/August. As well as rings we will be introducing other jewellery pieces, so itâ€™s super exciting. We have big plans for whatâ€™s to come in both jewellery and more, so stay tuned. x
The Line of Sun is stocked locally at Handsom in Fitzroy.
Wedding photography by Alex Motta.
Home photography by Nick Carr.