Revolutionary Resin at Pip and the Sea

il_570xN.592059722_ihkf il_570xN.602145521_qhct il_570xN.607739808_n46h il_570xN.626673410_tnb8 il_570xN.660060166_if5a il_570xN.661432003_v00z

After hand-crafting a bracelet for her Mother containing photographs of her Grandchildren embedded in resin, Nicola Taylor struck a keen interest in creating eco-resin jewellery. What started as a small production of custom-made jewellery for her friends and family has now expanded onto popular online store Etsy where Nicola runs the store Pip and the Sea and sells a wide range of almost 120 different designs of earrings, rings, bangles, necklaces, pendants, and custom photo-embedded bracelets. Nicola has found Etsy to be a useful and informative setting to sell her craft in, as she is offered a great deal of educational tools that are designed for sellers who have limited marketing and sales knowledge, as well as the encouragement she receives from people that shop and browse on Etsy who value original and lovingly handmade items. Nicola has also created an Instagram account where she has an avid community of loyal and supportive followers from across the globe, and occasionally attends local markets where her work is put on display and sold to the community.

Nicola has always loved crafting and jewellery making and she worked with silver-smithing before she moved onto using resin. “Resin is my favourite medium as it is so versatile. It’s corny to say, but I feel as though I am only limited by my imagination when I am creating new designs with it.” She has found that designing and making jewellery is a hands-on experience giving her an outlet to be creative and express her own personal taste, as well as giving her the opportunity to develop her own techniques.

When Nicola first began working with resin, she felt uneasy about using materials made with non-renewable fossil fuels. After embarking on some research, she found a plant based resin made using the by-products of paper pulp and bio-fuel developed by Californian surfers wanting to build their surfboards from environmentally-sustainable materials. After doing a number of trials and experiments with the eco-resin, she found it was incredibly high quality and maintained its vibrant colours over time. Moreover, Nicola is always trying to find ways she can reduce, reuse and recycle in her workshop, and many of her earrings and rings are made with leftover waste resin from her past orders. “I am always thinking of other ways that I can improve my products, my customer service, and how I can reduce my footprint on the planet.”

For anyone wanting to get into eco-friendly jewellery, Nicola suggests spending an ample amount of time researching materials, trialling creations, and finding out what is appropriate for what you want to create. Using eco-friendly materials has the capability to make your product stand out from the rest, and can be used as a great selling point as it is something to be proud of!

“I think it’s important to spend time paying attention to the natural world and understanding how we depend upon it, how vulnerable it can be, and how we can best protect it.” says Nicola, and it is no surprise that she has such a passion for using eco-friendly materials in her unique range of jewellery, as she greatly enjoys getting in touch with nature: her family regularly embarks on weekend bushwalks, and keeps both a hive of bees and a worm farm to help with the pollination and growth of the herbs and vegetables in their back garden.

In the future, Nicola is hoping to develop new products and strive to create affordable pieces for everyday wear that are made with environmentally responsible materials. “I feel that creating eco-resin jewellery is an ever-evolving process and I feel excited to think about what discoveries or techniques I will be making or using in the future that I have yet to discover.”

Check out Nicola’s Etsy store at and give her a follow on Instagram @pipandthesea


The Beautiful Patterns of Andrea Carew-Reid

Photo_Andrea Carew Reid Photo_Art1Photo_Art3

An artist’s signature style can tell a lot of the person’s character by the colours and elements they use and Andrea Carew-Reid’s illustrations are indicative of her strong love for animals and colours. Her success on social media has spearheaded Andrea to pursue her own online store that sells originals and prints as well as lovely home wares. There’s definitely nothing stopping this girl chasing her love of animals, cultural designs and art and Vashti had the chance to speak to this amazing artist about her love affair with all things beautiful.

VM: What got you started down this artistic/creative path?

ACR: I have loved art since I can remember. During high school art was the only class I put 100% effort into and I knew that was the only path for me, so after school I continued my arts study at TAFE then University.

VM: What would be one of your fondest moments of art?

ACR: I have many fond moments of art as it brings me a lot of joy, one of my most memorable would be when I was 13. I did a little watercolour painting of some puffins that my mum had framed and entered it into the local show. It won its category and also most popular in show. I got a gift voucher and I spent the entire thing on a very expensive set of watercolour paints that I treasured.

VM: There is a hint of tribal influences in your paintings. Is that deliberate?

ACR: I just love the intricate beauty of patterns and pattern is a strong element in tribal art. I love the extensive and precise detail in indigenous Australian artwork, the geometrical balance of African and Aztec art, and the organic shapes and bright colours used in Turkish and morocco design. I guess I am influenced by traditional cultures from all over the world.

VM: Why did you decide to branch out into homewares?

ACR: I love interior design, my dream is to renovate an old character home and although I primarily paint and illustrate I still enjoy creating in many different ways. I guess it’s my way of changing it up while still being able to embody my signature style, and I have so many ideas! It allows my art to reach a larger audience to.

VM: Your debut solo exhibition, “COEXIST”, was a huge success. What’s your next big creative goal?

ACR: In the long term I would like to open my own homewares store that has a gallery space within, it would provide an outlet for me to sell my art alongside other artists work. Currently though I am focused on doing some group exhibitions with other west Australian artists.

VM: What would you say were your biggest challenges?

ACR: Anyone wishing to pursue a career in a creative industry will tell you it is a HUGE challenge. It takes a lot of hard work, time and dedication. For me working full time during the week in another job means giving up weekends, evenings and social events so I can work on my art. I am happy to do that as I love making art but it is always a constant battle with time.

Andrea Carew-Reid is all about making that is fun, and quirky, “I like art that can tell a story and also look great on the wall. I hope to be able to provide art for a variety of people, I am forever experimenting with new ideas”. So, drop by her website and check out the one-of-a-kind beautiful art pieces and maybe pick up a retro phone cushion! I can bet you as much that you’ll definitely fall in love with eclectic bohemian pieces.