Sitting Down with The Beside!!!!

     I have interviewed my good friend Bernice Kelly of The Beside, she makes gorgeous, smart, cool, rock-and-roll jewelry that is enjoyed by a loyal following(myself included).  You can find her Etsy shop here.  I particularly like her stud earrings (perfect for my second hole) and her rings!  I was privileged to be her Bust Craftacular NYC partner-in-crime(or just table partner)!
Here goes:

The designer herself, in all her rock-and-roll glory! 

Where do you like to work? What time of day do you find most productive?
     I work from home but I spend a lot of time in the city, researching and visiting suppliers.  I'm probably most productive in the morning, usually when I have organized my work the night before I can get straight into it!  A normal working day usually involves checking emails first thing, a little production work/ finishing off until noon, then I'll prepare whatever I need to drop off or pick up in the city.  In the evenings I get a little time to work on new projects and research. There honestly aren't enough hours in the day.

What materials and techniques do you use and most like?
     I work mainly in silver, I find I can be creative with it without the product becoming to expensive for the client.  I've been working in silver for over a year now and have gotten used to how it handles.  Soldering is a lot of fun for me, I guess I like to melt stuff, and it's fast.  I find it hard to focus on any one thing for a long time but when I get my act together for example with a wax project, that can be totally rewarding.

What is your workspace like?
     My workspace is a messy little corner of my apartment, very make-shift but it works.  I surround myself with all sorts of junk that inspires my work and use it for display purposes.

The Beside's Work Space.

What is special and inspiring about where you live?
     I love where I live, on the border of Williamsburg and Bushwick , my favorite kind of place as it's in touch with the art/ fashion scene but still in an area that has a community, lots of hidden treasures.

Where do you get your supplies?
     Most of my suppliers are in Manhattan, I love that they are local, it's good to be able to turn things around quickly as well as being able to learn from them and support what they do.  The jewelry district seems so decadent and dying, it would be a shame for it to disappear.

Example of The Beside's Inspirational Images from Christmas '08

Where does your source material come from?
     I'm inspired by all sorts of images.  I'm addicted to collecting them, the best are the kind that make me laugh, usually at some sinister misfortune.  Most of my research nowadays is on the internet or in stores/galleries.  My background is fashion design and still a lot of my inspiration comes from shopping!  Not necessarily looking at products, but at store design, display, and decor.  Inspiration can really come from anywhere though, as much from what the guy on the corner is wearing as the display units at Marni, I love that contrast.

Who are you favorite jewelry designers? 
     I can't say I have many favorite jewelry designers, I'm inspired more by industrial design... Jason Miller at the moment, also photography, and artists... Louise Bourgeois.  To be honest I try to avoid studying other jewelry designers, after working in corporate fashion design I'm well aware of how strong that influence can be unconsciously or otherwise.