The Manufactory was founded by four friends in November 2013, when they had just finished studying jewellery design together at the Ruth Prowse School of Art. Their fresh Woodstock studio and shop now hosts their hand made jewellery, and showcases how it’s made.
Here’s how they made it all happen:
What’s the story behind the name?
The name manufactory is a combination of the words “manufacture” and “factory”. The shop doubles up as a studio space and we wanted a name with an industrial feel. The name focuses on the fact that all the jewellery is hand made.
What’s the concept behind Manufactory?
Manufactory is a collective of jewellers, each with their own unique style. It is an operational space where we have come together to do what we are most passionate about. We have a shop front where jewellery is for sale and behind that is our shared studio space where we work every day.
Who occupies the space?
Sharon Botha, from Cole Jewellery, works with the intentional as well as accidental damage to metal, while simultaneously exploring the juxtaposition between silver and thread. The work evokes a personal journey.
Ruby Baillie’s Glamourat collection embraces and combines two opposite aesthetics; glamour and the industrial. The range is also a narrative whereby each piece tells its own story in a playful and original manner.
York van Rheede van Oudtshoorn’s range is called VRVO Adornments. It is a representation of the world around him in the process of enlightenment. Using metaphorical elements of his natural surroundings, he has fused them together to create an allegorical bridge of understanding between the two.
Patricia Davis’s Caracal Jewellery is not just a means of beautification, but a tool of unspoken communication. Her pieces are created mainly in warmer metal tones such as gold and brass. Some pieces are combined with other media to marry the styles of the classical contemporary with that of a unique and curious exoticism.
How do the individuals and their labels contribute to the dynamics of Manufactory?
As a group, we have developed a successful and positive work dynamic and help fuel each other’s creative drive. We share the common ground of being very hands-on with our work and have a mutual admiration for each other.
How did you choose a location, and how does the space compliment the nature of your work?
We happened to come across a space in the Salt Circle arcade- a beautiful building located at number 374 Albert Road. Our studio is very close to where we went to school together, so it is nice to be in a familiar place. Woodstock is developing quickly and has an amazing bustling, industrial atmosphere. It is always buzzing with people and it is nice to have an open studio space where we can share what we do and how we do it with the public.
What’s a day at Manufactory like? Any interesting team-building rituals?
No rituals. Just loads of coffee. And biscuits. When it comes to work, we put our heads down and work- but we have fun doing it.
Any exciting plans for the future?
Buy new equipment and perhaps expand the collective.
Find Manufactory on Facebook, and visit them at Salt Circle Arcade, 374 Albert Road, Woodstock.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm, Saturday 9am – 3pm.