Behind the scenes and jewellery with Anarkik Creations Jeweller, Ann Earls Boylan.
The history of women working from home is rather complicated. Before the industrial revolution in the U.K., it was common for women to run their businesses, or employment directly from the household. “Engaged in cottage-based industries such as spinning and weaving or plied their trades from workshops that were either in or attached to domestic dwellings. Many married couples ran inns and coffee houses or kept shops. In all cases, no line was rigidly drawn between ‘home’ and ‘work’.” – Dr Helen McCarthy https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/blog/complicated-history-women-working-home/
Now the lines are blurred for a large portion of the world working from home. For creative business owners, moving from face-to-face engagement with customers to online exclusively was a drastic switch for many during the past year.
Working in a domestic space.
Does the environment influence the work that creative practitioners produce?
“Having my workspace in my kitchen and laundry room feeds into my interest in topics to do with working women. Now as opposed to historically, or in the future. It’s just a state of who and what we are now.”
Anne Earls Boylan is a jewellery designer/ maker based in Northern Ireland. She teaches on the jewellery and silversmithing course at Ulster University, and she has her own practice which she set up at home, pre-pandemic. Curiosity of materials and ethics influence her work and how the jewellery can be worn on the body. Social and political issues influence her conversational jewellery pieces.
Women’s work now.
Anne’s most recent jewellery pieces reflect on the notion of working from a domestic space in a subtle way. Through form, materials, colour, and the tools she uses to make her jewellery. She is intentionally resourceful; this has led Anne to create jewellery using any material product found in the home which she thinks might ‘work’. From steaming wood over the cooker, to repurposing polishing lids and cleaning products.
Much like any other material Anne deems useable, she considers plastic to be a precious commodity. “I want to see if I can find a soul in plastic. Can I find a soul in polyurethane that makes it covetable?”
Her intentions to turn limitation of materials, space, and equipment into a positive, has resulted in producing beautiful and conversational pieces around contemporary jewellery.
“What is women’s work? Why do we have to have a workshop, and is our domestic workshop good enough?”
Packaging with purpose.
Anne is developing packaging for her latest 3D Printed jewellery. She considers both the sustainable and political implications of using and sourcing materials, she repurposes objects found in her home and at the same time, designing 3D printed wearable objects.
In Anne’s video above she demonstrates one of her new rings which nests perfectly into repurposed egg box packaging. As a result, the jewellery and packaging are the antithesis of each other, and yet go so well together. Which is what I have found to be fascinating about Anne Boylan’s work.
To see more from Anne’s latest jewellery work and get in touch with her, visit her page here.
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~ Lizzie, Anarkik Creations Team