Love macarons, but hate the damage they do to waistlines? Stop eating them. Wear them instead! Local artist and macaron lover Lucy Duckham of Clay & Clasp has made it easy. She creates one-off handcrafted jewelry and home wares that are just as sweet as the French pastry itself. Our favourite is her statement macaron necklace pendants, though we’re not convinced they’ll quell the cravings….
We spotted Lucy at the Light Up Leederville Festival recently and had a chat with her about her work and all things Perth.
What do you love about Perth?
I am originally from the UK but fell in love with Perth when I was on a working tourist visa back in 2005. For me it is all about the lifestyle, great wine, festivals, beaches and restaurants. There is always something new popping up in Perth that I can go and check out, I never get bored or feel isolated. I think the summer atmosphere here is unrivaled to anywhere else I have been in the world.
I also feel there is immense opportunity here as a designer, with creative markets, shops and events cropping up all the time. And of course as I am British I have to say… the weather!
What inspires you to create?
I am inspired by the things I love to do (and eat!). I collect vintage china and eat a lot of cake which is why there are a lot of High Tea themed pieces in my collection. I am also inspired by nature and fashion.
I find Perth has a very creative atmosphere and I am always seeing new things from which to draw inspiration.
How do you create your pieces?
I make all the clay pieces by hand and don’t use any moulds. This process results in no two pieces being exactly the same. You may sometimes see a fingerprint or wonky cup handle but I’ve always felt that this is part of the handmade appeal.
The clay can then be either left to dry naturally or cured in an oven (depending on the type I am using). I paint some of my pieces, such as the teacups, by hand for a more realistic look. I then apply laquer to seal in the paint.
My jewellery pieces are then incorporated with chains, ribbons and jewellery blanks to create each piece.
Do you have any other jobs/passions?
I am an Architect by trade so come from a design background. I’ve been using clay since I was a child and I never gave it up. Even whilst studying I was always trying to sneak something made out of clay into my architectural models. However in the New Year I will be taking a break from Architecture to focus on something that really makes me happy, Clay & Clasp!
What is your favourite item and why?
I tasted my first macaron at Laduree in London (not Paris unfortunately) and think I probably became obsessed with the look of them rather than the taste. I spent hours slaving in the kitchen trying to perfect the art of making them look perfect! Several thousand hours later (er, and several thousand kilos heavier), I still can’t get it right every time so it got me thinking if I’m doing this for looks over taste, maybe I should make some in clay!
I think my favourite piece is probably my macaron necklace, simply because it is how people remember me! Not everyone buys one, but nearly everyone comments… ‘macarons’! (Apart from the one customer who said “I love your pink and green burgers!)
Where can we find you?
I have appeared at several markets this year including Made On the Left, Unwrapped, Market Girl and the 3 in 1 markets at Claremont Showgrounds. I hope to be making appearances again at these next year. I am also lucky enough to appear in pop up shops With Love by Bec in Fremantle and in Society in Perth.
(Guest post by Kelsie White)