Lorne x A Bird Named Frank

Lorne x A Bird Named Frank
July 14, 2017 Curio

Collaborations are not easy to pull off, however, Cape Town based jewellery designers Gillian (of LORNE) and Caryn (of A Bird Named Frank) have the winning formula. We had a chat with the two creatives about their new collaboration and their passion for beautiful and authentic craftsmanship.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

GILLIAN | Honestly, it all almost seems quite spontaneous. I studied jewellery design on a whim (I had no idea if I’d like it or not) and then for the four years of studying all I could picture as a career or business is this.

CARYN | After studying clothing design I started making accessories and costume jewellery and selling them in stores. I thought it would be a nice introduction to the local design industry before starting a clothing label, which requires a much larger capital outlay.  The accessories did well and I never got around to making clothing, haha. Peter has a background in sculpture and experience with a greater variety of materials, so when teaming up with him we started including metals and cast components and the brand and products developed into what they are today.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

GILLIAN | I kind of just went with it. I had an idea in my head that I was going to have fun with jewellery and make things that I enjoyed and hoped that the market would enjoy it with me. I wanted to instil freedom and expression with the pieces I created.

What made you choose your current location?


CARYN | We are currently based at Hope Street Studios in Gardens. There are about 20 designers in the space – jewellers, ceramicists, illustrators, clothing designers etc. Everyone encourages and supports one another and it’s a great space for collaborating! Gill and I both have a spot there. We were wearing each other’s earrings, started to mix and match them to make asymmetrical pairs, later started joining them together to create bigger pieces with more movement (ear bells) and then decided to put a collab range together. We think that my straight lines and her organic shapes complement one another well.

To what do you attribute your success?

GILLIAN | Strong emotional support system, followers and supporters, sharing and collaborating (like you), optimism, persistence, enjoyment and and and and…

CARYN | Perseverance & fortitude! Having your own small business is amazing but you can feel quite isolated, overwhelmed and despondent at times! Consistency in quality has always been important to us so as to develop trust with our customers.

Models | @na_khensa @yitingxho @lolo.x.n
Photography | Aletta Francina de Kock
Art direction | Chulekazi Makapela