The last time I interviewed Alice she and her husband Jules had just gotten married and launched their jewellery label, The Line of Sun. Their first range of rings – some hand stamped with cyphers, others set with semi-precious stones – was a promising beginning from a duo whose only prior jewellery experience was the guesswork of one another’s ring sizes.
“With no formal training, our first range was the first time I had ever carved jewellery from wax,” Alice says. “I was immediately obsessed with the process and immersed myself in learning and experimenting.”
Fast-forward three years and Alice is working on the brand solo with their son Van, now two, in the fold. Each of her timeless and textural designs is handmade with gold and sterling silver in her Melbourne studio.
“Becoming a mum has been a huge catalyst for the evolution of my work,” she says. There’s the expectation that having a child stamps out your time for work, though for Alice it was the perfect time to delve into working on TLOS full time.
“Once Van came into the world, I knew there was no way I would go back to working for someone else. I wanted to structure my own time, spend as much time with him as possible and work for myself on my own terms.”
“I actually felt like I had more time [to work on TLOS] than ever. Before he was born I was working part-time [as a graphic designer], so I didn’t have much time to spend on my business.”
“Suddenly I had a few hours to myself every day [while Van slept] to spend either working, or figuring out my next steps with the business.”
In these quiet hours Alice tinkered away in her home studio, and soon learnt the cast-in-place stone setting – a method whereby precious gemstones are set directly into wax, rather than a final metal casting. The process is touch-and-go, as stones can end up trapped under the metal or lost completely. It’s this unpredictable process that makes every TLOS piece one-of-a-kind.
Alice’s patience for the unpredictability that comes with making each piece is paralleled in her every day as a mother and business owner. “Some days I feel like I have it under control and others I’m all over the place wondering what on earth I’ve gotten myself into!” she says.
“I think most mums running their own business would agree that it’s near-impossible to get the balance right. I want to spend more time with my son, but I also want more time in the studio working on my passion.”
Today, she divides her days between caring for Van and working in her Melbourne studio. “Change is constant, as his routine changes and my work fluctuates, so as soon as I feel like I’ve got things sorted it usually changes pretty quickly.”
Though working full-time on what was once a passion project, and raising a child can’t be too far from the dream. “Working for myself gives me the ability to spend the morning with Van, drop him at day care and pick him up as early as I like. It’s a massive motivation to get through my workload as efficiently as possible.”
The most rewarding part of it all? “Days when I’m able to finish earlier than anticipated, take him for a babycino and not have to make excuses to a boss for leaving early makes it all worth it.”
Van and Alice wearing the Wave One Piece
Words by Holly Bodeker-Smith