Julia Burness

Julia Burness is the recent eclectic gem in the jewellery sphere and circuit, except she also establishes herself in a unique bracelet bracket. The art of recycling becomes a modern work of art to wear. The stunning collection ‘Lost Lace’ plucks vintage lace from forgotten moments and casts it into delicious metal medleys for a bespoke and utterly dramatic array of cuffs, rings and earrings. With fans including Eliza Doolittle, and magazine bible Vogue taking note, now it’s Spindle’s time. Charles Matthews chats to Julia to find out more about the unique accessories…

I love the attention to recycled metal and materials in the collection, what prompted this choice?
“I have always been interested in using recycled and environmentally friendly materials where possible, and if not environmentally friendly then at least Fair Trade and artisanal. Before starting my collection i looked into whether gold mines were environmentally responsible, and I was lucky enough to be introduced to people in Peru who demonstrated this awareness.”

Can you explain a little more the story behind ‘lost lace’
“I’m obsessed with giving old things new life, and this collection totally represents. I love to find gorgeous pieces of old lace and then completely transform them to the point where they are no longer soft material.. I absolutely love it because it satisfies my obsession of not wanting to throw anything away! Seeing an old, discoloured lace collar in a vintage market come to life as a modern piece of metallic jewellery is simply magic. I see this collection as age-less – it fits in to any era, where some pieces feel nostalgic and almost Medieval, and others seem futuristic.”

You’ve created a fresh take on vintage. Do you think the ‘vintage’ feel and trend is going from strength to strength?
“It’s no secret we live in a disposable society, so I think vintage items therefore hold a certain reference for people who care about quality rather than quantity. The items I want to hold on to are the ones which have some history to them.”

Who do you picture wearing your jewellery?
“I think the women that are drawn to my jewellery are strong within themselves and comfortable to experiment with their style. They also appreciate the hard work of the hand-made aspect of the jewellery. Someone such as the gorgeous Alicia Keys maybe…?!”

Is ‘drama’ important in an overall look?
“No, I don’t think drama is important; sometimes all you want to do is blend in! I think feeling comfortable in your own skin is important, as if you feel good you generally look good too..”

What’s next for you?
“Expanding my collection – taking it to a new level is very much my focus for now. Collaborating with a fashion designer would be fun as well. I’d love to see my lace work on handbags and as part of a piece of clothing. I am currently making a pair of silver lace lamp-shades – so I suppose jewellery for the home is a future possibility!!”

Words: Charles Matthews