Ada Hodgson’s jewellery is the stuff of celestial dreams. Otherworldly, fanciful and enigmatic, her collection ‘Imaginary Planets’ has quickly been winning the hearts and eyes of girls across Australia. So, if you’re not following Ada Hodgson on Instagram, you really should.
Born in Queensland, Ada Hodgson has been creating jewellery and trying at her hand at business since the very tender age of three when she started selling beaded bracelets and rings out of her mother’s naturopathy clinic. Now based in Collingwood, Melbourne, Ada sat down with me to talk about her collection, ‘Imaginary Planets’ and what she’s learned since her precocious beading days.
Ada, do you have any strong memories of jewellery from your childhood? Why yes, funnily enough! My mother had a beautiful old dresser with crystal dishes, lace doilies and it was full of curiosities — precious beautiful things as well as costume pieces. It’s all sentimental and she remembers all the stories that go with each one. Jewellery can be imbued with so much. Even if the material isn’t precious, the piece always is.
Tell me about Imaginary Planets. Everything I make starts out as a technical or conceptual exploration rather than an aesthetic. At school, we were always taught to have a reason to make something. I was experimenting with enamels, which all react differently. After a while, my experimentations translated into these little planet-like pieces. I started to see things as though they’ve been zoomed out. When I’m flying, I like to look out the airplane window and see these beautiful images of the land below. I draw them and they look like the same little specks I’ve put on my jewellery.
Which materials do you use and where do you source them? I use sterling silver, copper, enamel and precious stone. I go to jewellery supply stores in Melbourne CBD, which is just rife with them. The jewellery industry was huge in Melbourne back in the 80s, and it was a hub for gold-smithing.
Which have been your most popular ‘Imaginary Planets’? A lot of people really like the peppermint-coloured pieces. Perhaps it’s a more subdued colour?
What has been the biggest challenge so far? Creating something that I like and hoping other people will like it, too. As a designer, I need a reason to make the jewellery, but I also need to give the world a reason to adore it.
What kind of jewellery do you normally wear? Well, I’m working with chemicals and soldering all day so I can’t wear anything that will get caught in a gas masks or tools. But my personal style is go big or go home. I have this magnificent pair of Anna Darvern earrings I bought after a breakup. I wore it every day for six months and I remember feeling like, yeah I’m killing this. In a good way.
Who is your favourite jewellery designer? Philip Sajet — he’s Dutch. His pieces inspire me to create more beauty .
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To see more of Ada Hodgson’s jewellery, her website and stockists are listed at the bottom of this post. Images of Ada’s jewellery are courtesy of Ada Hodgson and Jeremy St Quentin.