Lucy Folk

Lucy Folk

Frozen cherries and peanut butter. Hot chips and chocolate sauce.  Cold watermelon and cracked pepper.

Of all people, Melbourne-based jewellery designer Lucy Folk is well placed to tell us about strange but delicious food combinations.  After all, this is someone who dips crab legs in 18 carat gold, electroplates Doritos and moulds pretzels from pure silver for a living.

“Oh god…” she muses.  “I mean, Vegemite and avocado on toast is pretty delicious.”

For the uninitiated, Lucy Folk’s fondness for food might seem a little over the top.  (And for those who’ve never tried avocado and vegemite toast – you haven’t lived.) 

But not only is Lucy the daughter of a restaurateur and a passionate lover of his chicken sandwiches, but food is also the source of inspiration for every single one of her highly coveted pieces of jewellery – and has been for the past seven years.  Think cucumber slice earrings with pearls instead of seeds, glacé orange cast in solid silver, and wrinkly raisins transformed into yellow gold studs.

Cheezel rings, pasta necklaces, cherry earrings… everyone with a memory of kindergarten can relate to the idea of ‘wearable food’ and Lucy has said that the idea of food-inspired jewellery actually started out as a bit of a joke. 

“I wanted to make something that was fun, and food is something everyone can identify with,” Lucy said back in 2011.  “It is almost absurd to wear a very expensive corn chip around one’s neck, but that is what I love about it!”

Since launching in 2007 though, Lucy has gone from just another one of Melbourne’s quirky jewellery designers to lusted after by the likes of Lily Allen and Snoop Dogg and stocked in the best boutiques in Paris, LA, Milan and Dubai. And the whole way through she’s stuck to her recipe of transforming delicious tidbits into jewellery.  

There’s been a Mexican taqueria range with silver taco-shaped clutches, solid silver crab claw necklaces in her ‘Seafood’ collection, the sesame seeds and grains of rice made from 18 carat gold for her ‘Bento’ collection that propelled her into the Asian market, and who could forget her debut ‘Nibbles’ range, featuring popcorn necklaces, solid silver pretzel brooches, and precious metal burger rings?

Obviously, Lucy’s chosen method isn’t without its challenges. 

“From casting sugar cubes that degraded in the process to carefully selecting Dorito chips that then break in the mail before they have been covered in metal to preserve their form…. The highs and lows of my foodie filled world!” she says.

“It’s all part of getting the results we need.”

Lucy first learnt her craft under the tutelage of revered silversmith Patsy Meares over glasses of cordial after school, and then went on to study a Bachelor of Fine Arts at RMIT majoring in gold and silversmithing.

“I made some cool stuff but a lot of experimental things that I cringe about when I look at them now,” Lucy says. “I did love the pistachio nut necklace that I made in silver and the tea pot project was testing!”

Released this week, Lucy’s latest collection ‘Sugar’ is all rainbow candy necklaces, teeth chattering sugar cube and pink musk clutches, and giant pearl gobstoppers.  It also marks Lucy’s first foray into sunglasses – a design process she describes as lengthy, technical and drawn out. 

“However I have loved the journey and I am thrilled with our first [sunglasses] collection,” says Lucy.  “The approach is different as I do not have control of the entire process so it is a learning curve for me!”

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Check out Lucy Folk's newest collection here.