Lizzie Burns | Founder of EA Burns Studio
I tend to have a lot to carry so my Lightning Rucksack is perfect to fit my laptop along with samples and materials.
Designer and stylist Lizzie Burns, is the creative force behind EA Burns – a label that specialises in high impact, modern statement accessories. Sustainability and creativity are at the heart of EA Burns; a British business founded on an honest balance of style and substance, with it’s owner Lizzie driven by a thirst to explore, discover new techniques and materials, and create eye-catching original handcrafted accessories representing true individuality. We spoke to Lizzie to discover more about her creative process.
MX: Tell us about your background in styling and fashion design and how it has evolved into your career as a jewellery designer.
LB: I loved working as a stylist, in particular making stage outfits for performers. You learn how to make so many things that eventually you define your style. I loved (and still love) making intricate panelled and embellished clothes and I guess that has lead eventually to jewellery…the embellishment without the clothes!
MX: You don’t have formal training in jewellery design, do you think this has given you a unique approach to jewellery making?
LB: Yes. I’ve had to make things up as I go along which has led to a unique process and means that no one else makes the same sort of Rhodoid or leather jewellery as I do.
MX: Your brand focuses on sustainable luxury by using reclaimed materials. What materials feature in your new collection ‘Second Sights’ and what makes them ethical?
LB: We take great care and put a lot of time and effort into choosing our materials. for us it’s the most important part. We use Rhodoid, a bio-plastic manufactured by traditional craftsmen in Italy using renewable plant based materials.
Our Precious metal jewellery is made from Recycled sterling silver, is hallmarked and made by skilled craftsmen in the heart of London. Our Diamonds are sourced directly from an ethical mine in Australia, are fully traceable and come with certificates of authenticity and origin.
MX: Where do you hope to take this exploration of ethical materials in the future?
LB: We’re always on the lookout for new technology and material development which we can use. There’s a lot out there but it’s not yet accessible to a small business like mine yet.
MX: Your jewellery is a continually evolving exploration of materials with a strong sense of form and shape. What was the process behind designing ‘Second Sights’ and where did you look for inspiration?
LB: The collection is inspired by an amalgamation of ideas and influences. The first stage is process; because I work ethically the first thing I think about before anything else is material. This limits my design as I experiment with what is possible first and apply my design influences second. This season I’ve redeveloped the way I make the Rhodoid pieces, buying thicker material and CNC cutting it (whereas before I was hand forming) which has allowed me to create a wider variety of shapes, and fully cover one side in brass sheet creating a sleeker more minimal look. I’d say design-wise my influences would be a combination of modernist design, tribal patterns and minimal lines.
MX: What other projects are you working on at the moment?
LB: We have a new collaborative collection with fashion accessories brand Made which is coming out in February 2015, which we’re really excited about! They make all their pieces from reclaimed brass in small communities in Kenya. It’s a real pleasure to work with them and I can’t wait to see the designs in real life.
MX: You have a very active and busy lifestyle – what is a typical day like for you and how does your Michaux Lightning rucksack fit in to this? Tell us a bit about how you use it, where you go with it and what you carry in it?
LB: I’m a bit of a late to bed late to rise type, so I’m usually out of the house by 10 either on my bike or walking and tube, but always with my Michaux Lightning rucksack. I tend to have a lot to carry so my Lightning rucksack is perfect to fit my laptop along with samples and materials. I make all my precious metal pieces in Hatton Garden with 3 or 4 different makers so I always need to run by there to pick something up or drop something off. While I’m there I’ll pick up lunch on leather lane (the best and cheapest salad bars), buy some chain and supplies from the specialist shops, pop them in my rucksack and then head to my studio. Once I’m at my studio I work solidly on orders or commissions until about 7 when I head home.
Find Lizzie’s latest collection online at www.eaburns.com
Photography of our MICHAUX WOMAN series by Rosie Holtom www.rosieholtom.tv