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Empty nester, Natalie has been crafting jewellery in different mediums for 15 years, but after discovering the art of enamelling she was hooked and is now building a business from her hobby.

29 July 2022

Designer Spotlight: Willo Jewellery Design

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Empty nester obsessed with enamelling, Natalie: ‘I’m now totally obsessed with enamelling… the possibilities are endless’

My name is Natalie and I’m the owner and maker at Willo Jewellery Design. I make enamel jewellery in my studio at my home in the Yarra valley in Victoria.

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I’m married and have two adult children, William and Louisa. Their names combined are how I got the name of my business Willo jewellery. I have a cat and two dogs that sit with me every day and keep me company while I create. I’m a stay at home mum but as both of my children are now adults and are off living their own lives I’m trying to take enamelling from being a hobby to being my job.

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I’ve been creating jewellery in one form or another for over 15 years. Trying lots of mediums including polymer clay, metal etching and leather jewellery to name just a few.

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A couple of years ago I was introduced to enamelling by a family friend. They had an enamelling business in the 1970’s and 80’s and travelled around Australia selling jewellery, clocks and bowls amongst other beautiful pieces. They showed me the basics of enamelling, using a torch and a few other techniques that got me on my way. I’m now totally obsessed with enamelling and the more I do it the more I learn. The possibilities are endless.

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Enamelling is quite popular overseas and there are many teachers in America and Europe where you can learn lots of techniques but in Australia there aren’t a lot of resources or teachers, so mostly I’m self taught.

Empty nester, Natalie has been crafting jewellery in different mediums for 15 years, but after discovering the art of enamelling she was hooked and is now building a business from her hobby.

I’ve taken two classes with the amazing artist Debbie Sheezel, her cloisonné work is out of this world. Even though I don’t do cloisonné I learnt lots of techniques from her classes that I use in my projects.

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Copper is the base metal I use for all of my creations. It’s 100% compatible with enamel so there are no issues with cracking or the enamel not fusing correctly. I like to use recycled copper as much as I can. I buy old copper ash trays, copper tea pots and pretty much anything that I can repurpose into gorgeous pieces of jewellery.

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The creative process is quite uncomplicated for me. I don’t really draw or design my pieces before I make them. Enamel is very unpredictable; you can have an idea in your head but sometimes the idea doesn’t go to plan, so mostly I just wing it and hope for the best!!

My inspiration comes from nature, animals, plants and the beach. While out and about I take pictures of things I see around me and I use those pictures to help me to combine colours and patterns to my work.

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I love Madeit because it supports creative makers in Australia. The products on Madeit are high quality and I know that what I’m buying is supporting a fellow maker like myself. I get such a buzz when I open my emails to see I’ve made a sale and when I buy from a Madeit seller I hope they get the same feeling.

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Handmade to me is very personal. When you are a maker you pour your heart and soul into your creations. Personally I like to make my pieces to the highest quality so that people can be proud to wear or give as a gift. I love the fact that hand made does not equal mass produced so I know that I have purchased something original.

Natalie is offering Madeit’s community newsletter subscribers 15% off at Willo Jewellery Design for a limited time. Subscribe below to get the coupon, plus weekly handmade shopping guides, designer spotlight stories and discounts:



Visit Willo Jewellery Design to find unique hand-crafted enamel jewellery pieces: Willo1970

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