Friday, September 2, 2011

megan keyser

Despite her funky style, Megan is a small town girl with big ambitions. Born in Johannusburg in 1990, Megan’s family moved to Bredasdorp, a small town in the Western Cape, during her primary school years. She attended La Rochelle GHS in Paarl and matriculated one of the top in her class. During high school days Megan took art as a subject as she enjoyed expressing things in 3D form, and most of all working with her hands. From standard ten to Matric she specialized in jewellery design where she was the top student, with some of her designs sold to Woolworths (accessory dept).

Megan holds a strong design philosophy. She feels that design is the ideal and best way to express ones personal feelings. She mentions that she has continually realised since her early days of designing that this is her form of communication, the one form that she can most openly express herself, her ideas, creativity and interpretation of the world around her.  She strives to convey this through the jewellery she manufactures in a way that the wearer will fully understand her intention, brief and motivation.

Megan’s privately manufactured jewellery does not have a specific theme but does however relate to the younger market as she tries to make her pieces ‘fun’ and ‘quirky’.

‘ I manufacture pieces according to the mood I am in at that time.” 

These cute little pieces illustrate just this. It’s quirky and cute, appealing to the younger market- something Megan wants to relate to. We also recognise some of the old objects (coins) she picked up at the Milnerton market and how she has beautifully transformed them into jewellery.

Megan finds influence from both local and international designers in all fields, and enjoys discovering new forms of art.  She has a soft spot for antique jewellery, previously loved objects and any forgotten beauties. One of her favourite pastimes is making a Sunday trip to the Milnerton market to go scratching in the heaps of ‘rubbish’ on display and often finds some classic beauties for a total bargain! Megan also has a huge interest in the Art Deco movement. She is intrigued by the style and has a huge attraction to the decorative, geometric and bold features. 

in this piece, cast pendant, sterling silver, we can notice the distinct relation with the Art Deco style which Megan likes to display in her pieces.

 Here are a few more examples… 

In the rings we can notice the same strong shapes that are present in the works from the Art Deco style. The simplicity and boldness and sense of symmetry also lends itself to the Art Deco style. The 6 rings are a form of her communication to the world about her admiration of the Art Deco period.

Megan prefers to work in silver as it is ductile and malleable and she loves the rough finish it can have if left unpolished- she finds the character it holds far more interesting than that of a highly polished piece. Casting is one of Megan’s favourite techniques, however, she explains that it is a risk you take as often the results are disappointing because of the porosity. She likes bringing colour into her work and therefore enjoys setting and enamelling. We see this in the ‘butterfly wing earrings’ top left.

Megan explains that staying positive and motivated in the jewellery industry is often tough as there are so many hundreds of established and successful jewellery designers out there and almost everything has been done before. She doesn’t let this bring her down though and finds the fact that people request pieces and find her work interesting, enough to stay motivated. She feels that her design and manufacture capabilities allow her to go further than ‘normal’ jewellery and she wishes to push this as much as she can, exploring unusual techniques and surprising people with the unexpected.

Megan markets herself through her blog and on Facebook but still believes that ‘word of mouth’ is the best and most successful marketing media yet.

Still an ambitious student, Megan has big dreams for her future career in jewellery. She wishes to be a buyer for large companies such as Sterns or American Swiss as this will allow her to be exposed to jewellery all around the world. She also wishes to be in a work environment that allows her to have the freedom to choose her own projects, what themes they’ll have and what message they’ll convey.

‘I would like to be somewhere where I don’t see manufacturing as a job, rather an enjoyable hobby that just happens to support me financially”. 

Megan is in her final year at CPUT and is planning on doing her BTech in 2012, exploring the theme of communication. She is definitely one to keep an eye open for as with her ambitious and positive energy and youthful spunk, Megan is a young jeweller that is going to go far.