DCA Shop Designer Q&A: Genna Design


10 April 2018

Dundee based jewellery designer Genna Delaney has been a firm favourite in the DCA Shop jewellery cabinets since 2010. Creating under the name Genna Design, she's always experimenting with new methods and technologies to come up with new and interesting collections. We caught up with her to find out more about her inspiration, her journey into jewellery and her new 3D printed collection...

Hi Genna! Your work has been stocked in DCA Shop since 2010, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started making jewellery?

I'm originally from Largs and was always interested in drawing and making things. I loved to comb the beach and pick up unusual shaped stones, rocks and sea glass. These elements are big inspirations in my jewellery. I did 6th year studies Art and Design with a focus on jewellery at Secondary School. Then I got into Cardonald College, just outside Glasgow and studied NC and HND jewellery and Silversmithing. A few years later I got into 2nd year entry at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee in 2003. I graduated in 2006 and set up my jewellery brand Genna Design and have been based at WASPS Dundee ever since.

You use a variety of materials to create different collections, what's your favourite method of making?

"I'm not a jeweller who likes to make the same pieces over and over..."

I'm not a jeweller who likes to make the same pieces over and over, so this is why I love to create jewellery in a variety of materials. It depends on my mood. I love making pieces from perspex and silver as the perspex is soft and easier to file than metal. It also adds a bit of colour to my day! When I'm feeling technical and want to challenge myself, I love to design and create one off statement rings with unusual, rare stones. I also enjoy melting down my clients' old gold and turning it into a new piece of jewellery which carries memories and meaning unique to them. 

We love your new 3D printed jewellery, how does the process of designing and making these pieces differ from traditional jewellery making techniques?

I'm super excited about my new Gothic Cube 3D printed Collection. It has taken me a few years to develop and launch it. Creating my new collection is very different from my traditional methods of drawing designs in a sketch book, then making the piece with my hands, layering and shaping materials as I create the piece. With my 3D collection, I am designing the objects on my laptop using Cloud 9, a 3D design software. It's a totally different way of working for me. The software has a haptic function which when you put the cursur of the mouse on the object, you can feel a sensation from the mouse when you touch the object that you are designing. So it feels like you are sculpting the object in front of you and it is a very playful serendipitous, creative process and is not technical like CAD programmes. Once I am happy with my design, I turn the file into an stl file and upload it into a 3D printing company's website where I can adjust the scale and select a material and colour that I would like the piece to be printed in. Once I get the pieces delivered to me, I can begin work on the pieces, filing edges, applying handmade silver elements and set stones onto the Polyamide pieces. I have recently expanded the collection to having various silver components which can be combined and layered with the Polyamide pieces. This makes the collection modular, allowing you to select which shapes you want to wear, mixing between the lightweight and colourful Polyamide pieces, contrasting with the silver elements.

"It's a totally different way of working for me."

What does a typical day at the studio look like for you?

Normally I work from my studio at WASPS, Dundee, Meadow Mill, just down from Verdant Works. However my routine has changed quite a bit as I am currently doing an accelerator business course which is taking up 3 days a week. When running a creative practice you need to spread your time between making, research and development, marketing, admin, exhibiting, networking, the list goes on. You need to allow time to work on your business and not just get tied up running the business which is really hard when you work on your own. The course is allowing me the time to focus on growing my business and take it to the next level. In a normal day I reply to emails, do my social media and marketing, design and make my pieces, meet clients in the studio and discuss commissions. I could be teaching a jewellery class. Every day is different!

Are there any other processes you'd love to try?

I always want to expand my creative skills and would be interested in collaborating with other artists. I'd also like to try a ceramics workshop.

Thanks Genna! You can find a selection of Genna's silver pieces alongside her new 3D printed collection in DCA Shop now. And if you're interested in finding out more about 3D printing you can find out more in one of our drop-in sessions in DCA Print Studio or join us for one of our new Print Studio Tours.

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