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Self-taught polymer clay artist, Jess Hunter, designs and creates unique, sustainable jewellery pieces inspired by nature and designed to challenge fast fashion ideals. ‘The trend of mass production and fast fashion has been so damaging, not just to the physical world and environment, but to social conscience.’

21 August 2020

Designer Spotlight: The Hunters True

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Self taught polymer clay artist and full-time designer / maker, Jess: ‘I want my designs to bring that sense of the wild into the urban landscape’

Hi there, I'm Jess Hunter, and I love bringing a sense of the 'wild' into the everyday by creating colourful and unique polymer clay jewellery under my brand The Hunters True.

A collection of bold statement polymer clay jewellery pieces by The Hunters True

I'm a one woman show and a self-taught Polymer Clay artist working full time on my handmade business. I work from my home on The Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, which is close to the beach and the bush, so I find endless inspiration for my jewellery designs.

Self-taught polymer clay artist, Jess Hunter, designs and creates unique, sustainable jewellery pieces inspired by nature and designed to challenge fast fashion ideals. ‘The trend of mass production and fast fashion has been so damaging, not just to the physical world and environment, but to social conscience.’

I originally grew up on a property of 300 acres of bushland in Central QLD which instilled in me a strong passion for nature and the environment at an early age. Growing up in the bush was always an adventure and my parents taught me and my three sisters about rescuing injured wildlife, caring for native species and living amongst beautiful, but sometimes hostile surroundings.

Jess as a young girl with a pink and grey galah sitting on her arm on the family acreage: ‘I originally grew up on a property of 300 acres of bushland in Central QLD which instilled in me a strong passion for nature’

I want my designs to bring that sense of the wild into the urban landscape and everyday life and help others rekindle that connection to nature.

Jess’s desk in her home studio where The Hunters True creations come to life

My home is my studio and I work in a light filled room with a tall, blossoming Silver Princess Eucalyptus right outside my window. It's important for me to have a dedicated space where I can explore my ideas and focus my creative energy.

Jess at work putting jewellery components together in her home studio: ‘Working from home can be challenging… but it also supports the nature of working creatively’

Working from home can be challenging; I often find myself working late into the night and over the weekends, but it also supports the nature of working creatively by letting me ‘strike while the iron is hot’ when creative ideas come to mind.

Jess sporting a pair of her vibrantly coloured ‘Witchety Way’ large statement dangle earrings

My connection to nature and the landscape inspires me to find beauty in the unexpected and share it in a fun, quirky way through my designs. I love to use bold and bright colours and textures to make sure my pieces stand out and make a statement.

Jess inspecting a native grevillia plant on a nature walk: ‘My process begins by sketching, photographing, and physically collecting inspiration while on long walks through nature’

My process begins by sketching, photographing, and physically collecting inspiration while on long walks through nature reserves or on the beach.

Back in the studio, Jess mocks up designs for jewellery pieces on her laptop

Once I’m back in my studio I experiment with colour palettes, pattern design & shapes to create a theme for a collection.

A polymer clay slab being constructed from custom blended colours of polymer clay; ‘My favourite part is when I begin to work with polymer clay’

My favourite part is when I begin to work with polymer clay, which I hand-mix to create unique colours, and use to create patterned clay 'slabs'. This process takes many hours and involves creating one large clay piece of art, which I then cut either by hand or using 'cutters', to create jewellery components.

A brightly coloured polymer clay slab inspired by undersea creatures and corals

I hand sand all of my pieces to ensure a smooth, high quality finish and then bring all the parts together to create a final piece.

Jess hand-sanding and completing an earring component; ‘I create sustainably and my love of the natural world drives me to use ethical and environmentally friendly practices’

I create sustainably and my love of the natural world drives me to use ethical and environmentally friendly practices. I also create all my own packaging from card and I ship plastic-free! I minimise waste and source locally where I can to reduce my carbon footprint.

A bottlebrush-inspired clay brooch with some of Jess’s environmentally friendly and beautifully designed packaging

I've always loved being creative and having the freedom to play. Throughout my working life, I always felt a ‘pull’ towards being artistic and creative and started my business full time in November 2018.



I find the process of using my own two hands to transform an idea into a final, physical work so rewarding.

Work in progress – some of Jess’s ‘Silver Princess’ and ‘Wild Wattle’ Botanical Hoops receiving the finishing touches: ‘I find the process of using my own two hands to transform an idea into a final, physical work so rewarding’

The freedom to create and express myself through art keeps me sane in an insane world, which has never been more important than right now. It gives me an outlet and helps me to process my thoughts.

The Hunters True designer and maker, Jess, wearing one of her ‘Silver Princess Botanical Hoop’ earrings

Having a platform like Madeit is such a wonderful way for Australians to discover and support local, handmade artists. For me as a creator, it was so refreshing to find such an accessible and well curated online marketplace in Australia that has such a diverse range of artists and designers all in one place.

A bright and colourful market display of The Hunters True earrings, brooches and hair clips

In the current environment of COVID-19, physical markets and events are on hold and shops are less accessible, so to have Madeit helping makers and artists stay visible and make their work available to customers so they can show their support is so important.

A pair of The Hunters True ‘Night Blooms’ teardrop statement earrings: ‘The trend of mass production and fast fashion has been so damaging, not just to the physical world and environment, but also to the social conscience

It's such a joy to see people embracing and supporting handmade makers and artists more and more. The trend of mass production and fast fashion has been so damaging, not just to the physical world and environment, but also to social conscience and people’s perceptions of who they are or who they’re expected to be.

A single large statement earring from The Hunters True ‘Staycation’ range: ‘Handmade products are special because, by their own design, they’re unapologetically honest and imperfect’

When something is handmade it's made by someone who's put a little piece of themselves into it; it has meaning and a value beyond its price tag. Handmade products are special because, by their own design, they're unapologetically honest and imperfect. I think people appreciate that because it reminds them it's ok for them to be a little imperfect too.

Two gum blossom inspired polymer clay brooches by The Hunters True

My experience in being a handmade artist has introduced to me to so many other wonderfully supportive creative people, and to amazing customers who see the beauty in what I create and inspire me to keep going.



Visit The Hunters True to find wild statement jewellery to forge, not follow: HuntersTrue

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