Q&A With The Designer

 
Counter clockwise from left: Oyster Necklace, Replica of the MFF Rolling Laundry Basket, Italian Pizza, Wuthering Heights, Charlotte's Web Cuff, and Ellen Degeneres
 

Welcome to my blog, and thanks for checking it out! I'm new to this whole blogging world, and the reason I've probably never started one before because I didn't know quite what to say to start it off. So, I think I'll just dive right in, and you can let me know how it went in the comments below :)

As a way for you to get to know me as a person and a designer just a little better, I've asked my dear friend, Annie Reeves, to ask me a few questions. Some are pretty standard and some are a little out there but just bear with me here....

How did you get started making jewelry?
I've always liked making things. When I was younger, I'd have these crazy ideas of how to make something but I never knew the proper way to put it together so I'd just use glue. My family still makes fun of me for making a rolling laundry basket since I was too lazy to ever carry my basket down the hall. I started making jewelry about high school but to me, that was just tying beads together on a string. 

I guess you could say I really learned the proper techniques when I interned for Jane Pope Jewelry in the fall of my senior year of college. She taught me wire wrapping and beading and recommended I attend a school in NYC to learn metalwork.

How long does the process take to make an item?
It really depends as each item consists of several steps. Every item starts in either a natural or wax form and then is "cast" (turned into metal) before adding any chains or earring posts/hooks. A stud earring might take just a few minutes to make in wax but the process of casting then cleaning can take a few days. Usually, large necklaces, like the Web Necklace, or cuffs, like the Sticks Cuff, can take hours to create in wax. Then those wax pieces have to be sent off for casting and cleaning. Then, once I get them back in metal form, I'll add the chain and clasp.

In the case of the Oyster Necklace (as well as a few other beauties that are coming out soon...), I used an actual oyster shell from dinner, made a mold of the shell, shot wax into the mold, THEN had the wax cast into metal. This process took a few weeks as I had to clean the shell thoroughly and then let the mold cool off before putting wax into it. But, I have to say, it was worth the extra time because it's definitely one of my favorites!

 
One of these oysters became the beloved "Great Southern" Oyster Necklace.

One of these oysters became the beloved "Great Southern" Oyster Necklace.

 

What is your favorite piece you’ve made?
That is a hard one! The Oyster Necklace is absolutely stunning, but I'm partial to the Web Cuff. It was the first piece in the collection that I ever made so I'm a little sentimental about it. 

 
The Charlotte's Web Cuff in wax form! Click to see what it looks like now

The Charlotte's Web Cuff in wax form! Click to see what it looks like now

 

Your last meal would be…
Thin crust italian pizza with salami picante. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

If you could trade closets with one person it would be…
I feel like I should pick a celebrity, but I think I'll go with my best friend, Elizabeth. She's always had such a great style that's totally unpredictable, and that's what I like about it. Now, if only we lived in the same place so this could be a reality...

Describe Mary Frances Flowers jewelry in three words.
Imperfect, Whimsical, and Timeless

What’s your favorite way to spend a Sunday?
I love exploring whatever city I'm in, even if it's the city I already live in! Strolling through bookshops, finding live music, trying new foods/beers, anything that draws in the senses.

You’re hosting a dinner party for five people dead or alive…who would you invite?
Hmm Jesus (#1 on my list), Blake Mycoskie (I just finished reading his book about TOMS, and I'm obsessed with his story), Marcus Mumford (also obsessed), Ellen Degeneres (for comic relief and because she's met so many interesting people), and Eleanor Roosevelt (I've always believed she is one of the strongest women in history). It's a totally random group but these are all people I love/look up to so I'd be interested to see where the conversation leads.

Favorite book you’ve ever read?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Best advice you’ve ever received?
I've received a lot of great advice through my father, my mother, family members, teachers, books, you name it, so it's hard to just pick one thing, especially since the most applicable piece of advice changes daily. So, for today, the best advice I've ever received is "Do one thing every day that scares you" by Eleanor Roosevelt. Today, my scary thing is starting this blog :)

Have any other questions rolling around for me? Let me know in the comments!

xo,
Mary Frances


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