We spied this bright Furrow South jewellery range back in November at the Young Blood Designers Market held at The Powerhouse Museum, and had to share! Graphic designer Jac Gaal, creates the geometric gems as a creative outlet to her — funnily enough — already artistic field. We’re drawn to these earthy pieces that have a zing of juicy hues for a few reasons: they’re handmade, sustainable, and one-of-a-kind as professed by Jac. So we had a quick chat with the designer to discover more about her style, the designer jeweller, and sustainable design.
Describe your personal style?
White with a pop of colour and earthy undertones. I’m a sucker for on-trend looks and I’m loving neon mixed with white and wood. I live by the ocean and lecture most days in a design college so I tend to have a daily battle with style: beachy and cruisy comfort, or on-trend, edgy professional.
When did you launch Furrow South? Is there a story behind the brand name?
Furrow South was launched only three months ago, and the brand name the reason it was held launch off for so long! I’m the worst decision maker and, being a graphic designer, the hardest thing in the world is developing your own brand, nothing seemed right — I was my own worst client! I ended up deciding on Furrow South as ‘Furrow’ means trench or groove which, as most of my pieces are made from recycled timber floor boards, they possess the trademark grooves and character on them. The ‘South’ came about because I recently moved to the south coast of Sydney and that’s where the necklace making began.
How did you get involved with jewellery design? Are you professionally trained or did you just fall into this creative sphere?
I completed a Bachelor of Industrial Design and have always worked within the creative/design industry. Despite working within an artistic industry, I needed a personal creative outlet (yes, I know that sounds crazy!). You need a place where you can design for yourself and not to a specific budget-driven brief. I also own a product design business, making lamps, mobiles, candle holders and origami artwork and, after doing this for sometime, I wanted to create something different from homewares, something more me.
What are your designs made of? Tell us about the creative process for developing them.
My range is made from recycled timber floorboards with their shapes and designs dependant on the repurposed timber that I come across. I develop the angles and shapes based on what best suits that particular piece
Do you recall the first Furrow South piece of jewellery you made? What motivated you to experiment with this sustainable idea?
Yes very clearly! I embarked on a massive project of building a custom timber feature piece in my home to cover an ugly brick wall. Once I was finished there was all this beautiful timber left over that I couldn’t bring myself to burn or throw away. That was when I started experimenting with the left over pieces and realised there must be so much of this lovely material going to waste on building sites. So I went to see what I could save from the landfill pile.
Why is sustainable design so important to you?
I acknowledge that we already have so much ‘stuff’ in our part of the world compared to others, and there is something fulfilling and rewarding about saving something from turning into landfill and giving it a new lease on life. Just the other day I found some great timber drawers from my local recycle depot tip and transformed them into a neat little shelving unit in just a couple of hours. It was great to stand back and marvel at my very simple, but thrifty creation.
Which other sustainable designs do you admire at the moment?
I’m in love with the Re-Ply repurposed cardboard recliner chair by Dan Goldstein. It’s such a simple design that’s very aesthetically appealing, and very practical
Is there a source you can suggest creatives visit if they wish to learn more about sustainable design?
As I’m only very new to the world of sustainable design, I can only suggest to keep your eyes open to all the items around you in your world. Think before you just dispose of things, there may be another life you can create for the items around you, so don’t thoughtlessly chuck out!
You’ve just released a neon range of ‘furrows’. What are you planning on doing/designing next?
The beauty of the Furrows is that there is no real set plan with how they are created. I am really dictated on the different types of timber that come my way and the unpredictability of the shapes that will form. I look at colours that are on-trend but also colours that work well to complement the natural tone and lines of
Where can we shop Furrow South?
We will be launching our online store very soon and have had lots of retail enquiries. We will have a full list on our website soon so check-in or like us on Facebook for regular updates.