Getting Crafty With Clay
Updated: Nov 12, 2021
When Jamie Olivia Le Roe was younger, she wanted to be a successful TV personality and even daydreamed about being the next Top Billing presenter, or having her own talk show. Today, she is the owner of Pretty Gifted by Olivia Roe, and produces handcrafted, bespoke clay jewellery – and we couldn’t be more excited by her creations.
Mom of three (boy, aged 17 and two girls, aged 5 and 3), Jamie is also a freelance art facilitator of a non-profit organisation. She describes her design style as rustic and authentic.
“I like earthy, natural elements with a hint of quirkiness and originality,” she continues.
The talented artist draws inspiration from nature and natural designs and elements. She also admits to being drawn to interesting people who are not afraid to set trends. “I spend a lot of time outdoors and love reading old magazines and exploring second hand shops. I found many interesting ideas from these sources, which set my creative spark alight.”
When Jamie started playing with the idea of creating jewellery from clay, she also turned to other artists’ for inspiration, such as Simone Meyburgh (Sim Ceramics) whom she admires for her design simplicity. “Her [Simone] love for clay and attention to detail gives her work an exclusive edge. Looking at her work pushes me to improve on all the pieces I create.”
Jamie is also very in tune with her spiritual side and cites the Biblical book Jeremiah, chapter 18: the story of the potter and the clay, in her own life. “Working with clay allows me a deeper understanding and insight of how God moulds us. Every piece that I make looks similar, yet is unique in its own way and this excites me. I also believe that I was gifted to do this, hence the inspiration for choosing my business name, Pretty Gifted,” she shares.
A few weeks ago, Jamie saw a social media post about a tailormade coat by TV personality and Executive Director of Mikateko Media, Ingrid Jones. “I was immediately drawn by the story as well as the design of the coat. I love pretty things that draw the eye and design elements that carry a story of sentiment. The story of kindness attached to this post resonated with me because I have been the recipient of so many acts of kindness, especially during challenging times.”
After seeing a picture of the coat and reading the story, Jamie immediately knew she had to create a matching pair of earrings and a necklace for Ingrid to complete the look. “Coincidentally, I was going to meet her [Ingrid] the following week and I knew this would make the perfect gift, as I had also planned on gifting the five Tussen Ons women with something special. Everything fell into place and I knew it was destined to be.”
Jamie named the bespoke hand-painted set ‘Kids of Kindness’.
“I loved creating this set. Another favourite was ‘My Heart is South of Africa’, a piece I made for Zelda La Grange. I thought it was so appropriate and something that would make her feel sentimental. I loved working on the design; moulding the piece, hand sculpting Africa, and adding the beads.”
“My vision for this brand right now is to remain exclusive and small. I would love to see my merchandise being sold in exclusive boutiques or small online stores. I am currently responsible for everything from the design and moulding to painting and packaging. Going forward, I would like to train one or two young women, so they are able to help me grow my business and empower themselves with a new skill.”
Author: Candice Landie