Megan Collins Unviels Her 'Succulent' Collection


A Fab Boost For Megan Collins and Her 'Succulent' Collection

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When Megan Collins arrived in London from South Africa in 2012, she wasn't sure what path her career would take but she knew she had an opportunity to try something new. She enrolled on a week-long course at Vannetta Seecharran School of Jewellery and "totally loved it".

So much so that she embarked upon the year-long diploma course and soon found herself making jewellery that spoke to her South African roots, based on the shapes of native succulent plants. Since completing the course in 2014, her creative career has been constantly evolving.

Along with teaching Art and Design four days a week, Megan has exhibited her jewellery at Craft Central, New Designers, the London Illustration Fair and Made in Clerkenwell, been a finalist in the E.C.One Unsigned awards and is establishing a strong retail presence with numerous stockists, whilst also managing to squeeze in a trip to Cambodia. "I just say 'yes' to everything, and work it out later," she says with a laugh.

An opportunity arose in July to enter a competition run by Fab Atelier, in partnership with Swarovski, and Megan jumped at the chance, uploaded a design onto the website and quickly secured the 50 "likes" required to participate. Along with 20 other finalists, she was flown to Austria for two days of workshops, talks and oneto-one feedback on her designs and will soon be launching a crowdfunding campaign to have three of her pieces produced for sale by Fab Atelier.

She is also in the running to win a year's mentoring with the trend forecasters Maia Adams and Juliet Hutton-Squire of Adorn Insight. It was, she says, an amazing experience. It seemed almost too good to be true, 

"None of the participants expected to get so much out of it," she says. "And we were surprised that there seems to be no catch, no fine print that we hadn't noticed, but it is just a really great team who are motivated to share their knowledge from Swarovski to help new designers and fill the void between leaving college and starting a jewellery business."

The participants in the Fab Atelier competition made promotional videos and had professional photographs taken of their work which will be presented on a crowdfunding platform. Megan must then raise 70% of a funding target and Fab Atelier will provide the rest in order to put the pieces into production ready for Christmas sales.

As well as meeting fellow jewellers from all over the world, Megan says that the experience helped her boost her confidence in her abilities as a designer and maker, giving her that extra push to get her creations out into the world even more.

"The pieces in my SUCCULENT collection are designed around succulent plants, abstracted and simplified down to their purest geometric shapes," she says. "I studied fine art yet became quite disillusioned with the whole art world, as an artist would spend endless time and energy making pieces of art and put them on the walls of galleries where they would become inaccessible and removed from the general public. I wanted to break that divide. I was always more interested in sculpture so jewellery was a natural link for me to bring art closer to the public, to make it more accessible. To make sculptural little artworks to be worn that anyone could wear and enjoy."

But beautiful as the pieces are, it's not just about aesthetics, there is an emotional element too: "Each piece to me has a feeling, you wear a particular piece for an occasion or feeling. Creating these minimal, streamlined pieces, to me they evoke a sense of calm, they give you a sense of focus. I want to offer that to the world. It's all about making art accessible."

Megan has a good home-studio setup but also continues to rent a bench at Vannetta Seecharran School of Jewellery. She has numerous projects in the pipeline, including an exhibition with her cohort from the school, who have remained in close contact. The group operate under the name Flo and their upcoming exhibition ‘The Jewellery Edit 2016’ will be held at Craft Central from 1st until 6th November.

Megan will also be exhibiting her work in conjunction with Form&Seek, Material Driven and CROWDYHOUSE as part of The London Design Festival 2016 in a pop-up shop in BoxPark, Shoreditch, from 20-25th September.


Sarah Salmon


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