Featured Maker: Patrice Raisin - Be Twisted
Hi I’m Patrice, and I’m the artisan behind Be Twisted Bracelets.
After years spent tinkering with wood, metal and various found objects to solve household problems in unexpected ways, I fell into jewellery-making serendipitously….
What inspired you or influenced you to get started in jewellery-making?
It was in the wilds of country New Zealand of all places. I met a local man selling simple jewellery, and inspired, I observed that what these pieces lacked in bells, whistles and fanciful details they more than made up for in heart and artistry.
How did you find your niche?
It was in 1981 when the first model of a simple design having a catch incorporated into the overall design instead of an add on, came to mind.
After much experimenting and innovation, the base for our many variations was achieved and since then, has been proved over and over again.
From this inauspicious start, my debut collection of earthy pieces quickly earned me a cult following and it was clear that jewellery making was more of a vocation than a hobby.
"I believe a piece of jewellery made by hand is like a handshake between two people, the creator and the wearer, a sign of recognition and mutual appreciation.
No matter that sometimes the distance between the two is great, the link is still there."
What do you enjoy most about making / creating?
Each Be Twisted piece is created with heart, by hand, expertly twisting the delicate materials, setting the stones precisely and assembling the fastenings with a level of care that can come only from a true passion.
I believe a piece of jewellery made by hand is like a handshake between two people, the creator and the wearer, a sign of recognition and mutual appreciation. No matter that sometimes the distance between the two is great, the link is still there.
Tell us about your technique - what materials do you use?
Good quality beads is something that we insist upon, so much time is spent sourcing either semi-precious stones or glass, sometimes polymer or metal.
When my wife Dianne and I lived in French Polynesia the beautiful black pearls of that region were used as the centre gem to wrap with 18k gold wire.
Often we only have one bead, sometimes antique, so I will change the design or create a new one to accommodate its features.
Besides making my own designs I will often work on a design exclusively for a client when they are looking for a distinctive piece to call their own. Sometimes this is with their own stone, and sometimes it’s with one we’ve sourced.
What keeps you motivated?
The eighties boomed with handcrafted jewellery produced by many local artisans. Sadly the pool of artisans is disappearing as more and more craft/business people give up the struggle against cheaper imports.
My aim is to bring stylish folkloric bracelets to our customers, designs that show the warmth of each one being handled by the creator of the item, not stamped out and picked off a production line.
Every twist and every curve is individually shaped resulting in an item that is truly a signature piece.
Do you have any interesting anecdotes you can share?
I make my bracelets in in different sizes to fit different sized wrists. We use a little coloured piece of plastic tubing on each bracelet so we can easily identify its size. Normally we remove it when we sell a bracelet to a customer.
Recently, at my regular markets I had a customer who was adamant that I leave the green piece of plastic tubing denoting her size in place as she liked the effect.
Well I was not going to disagree! So off she went happily sporting the size tag J
You can find me online at:
- Website – Be Twisted Bracelets
- Facebook – Be Twisted Bracelets
- Instagram – Be Twisted Bracelets
- Makersville Gallery, Montville QLD
I also exhibit at the Southbank Markets in Brisbane