Interview: Lizzie Burns for Supplementaire #12

In Interviews

“Artefacts and amulets of a modern age, simultaneously sci-fi and low-fi.”


E.A.Burns’ launches her gold vermeil, silver, and rhodoid collection ‘Ancient Rites’ marking an evolution for the label, whilst simultaneously continuing to advocate sustainable luxury.Pieces in this collection are made from 100% recycled silver or gold vermeil, with Rhodoid, which is a type of cotton derived plastic, made by craftsmen in Italy.

The abstract shapes are named after actions and practices, which link us to ancient man, and stand as a monuments to the continual development and progress of civilisation. Delicacy and intricate engineering is no longer concealed. Translucent Rhodoid shows the inner working of the designs, and the pieces adapt to the colours they are worn with; becoming floral in some instances, and graphic in others. Each piece is designed and made by skilled craftsmen in the UK.

Working in precious metals has allowed E.A. Burns to develop this beautifully dynamic collection of high fashion rings, bracelets and pendants.

How did you get into jewellery design?
I’m a fashion designer by trade and a couple of years ago I decided to set up my own label, but had no money so started right at the bottom with a stall on Broadway Market selling clothes I’d made. At the same time I’d been playing around with 3dimensional leather shapes and had made a couple of  neckalces which I put on the stall too. They started selling quite well and it led me to develop the jewellery more. A few years on the clothes have gone and jewellery has evolved and taken over.

What was your inspiration for your new collection?
I draw inspiration from the architecture and design in the city around me, whether it’s intentional or not, anything from brutalist architecture to culture clash fashion, so I guess that’s what informs the form and style of the everything I do. For this collection though I was especially inspired by working with new materials and developing techniques, really the act of exploring the posibilities of a material and creating something which previously did not exist, it felt like a very primal process.

Why ethical?
This collection uses recylcled silver and Rhodiod. The recycled silver is  a better ethical alternative than using silver from large scale mines that have the potential to damage the environment by using chemicals such as mercury and arsenic. The Rhodiod is early form of plastic, made from cotton rather than petrochemicals which is entirely biodegradable.

How do you work?
I work from a studio in my flat in North London usually in the middle of the night. Nearly all of the development of designs is done in 3D making many versions of an idea until it works. 

Who would you most like to see in your jewellery?
I’d love to see someone I’ve never met before wearing the jewellery because they truely love and treasure it. I think that’s the aim of all designers.

What is your favourite piece from the collection?
My personal favourite from the range would have to be the Span The Depths Earrings, they encapsulate everything I was trying to achieve with the collection.

Which designer do you think your jewellery would work with? 
I love seeing jewellery used to smarten up a tomboyish look, having said that I love Charlie May at the moment. Her pieces are deceptively simple, elegant but with street influences , a perfect combination for the  Ancient Rites collection. Artefacts and amulets of a modern age, simultaneously sci-fi and low-fi.

Interview by Zoe Hutchinson at Platform Creative for Supplementaire

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