Rumble Sky: Earrings that pay tribute to the Australian Bushland
“I love the shapes and textures of the Australian bushland; it's unlike anything else in the world. It is uniquely ours and feels like home to me,” says Serinda Tronc as she displays her stunning range of handcrafted creations. The 36-year-old jewellery artist from Brisbane uses native Australian Bushland plants and flowers - like Wattle and Eucalyptus, among others- to create vibrant and quirky earrings. Her love for these particular botanicals is rooted in their ability to be multilayered, and when taken apart, look beautiful standing alone. She offers an example, “The Grevillea looks like a huge flower, but broken down, every piece of the flower is like a little masterpiece.” It is this distinctive aspect of the Bushland plants that Serinda celebrates and pays tribute to through Rumble Sky.
In a conversation with TAL, the mother of two speaks about her adventurous childhood that helped lay the foundation for her love of nature, the process of jewellery making, and Rumble Sky’s future plans.
Before we get into Rumble Sky, please tell us about yourself, your adventurous childhood and your love for everything quirky.
I am 36 years old, and when I'm not creating beautiful Australian botanical jewellery, I'm a stay at home mother of two. I have a six-year-old son Aari and a two-year-old daughter Delphi who comes with me on my walks to find flowers that go into the jewellery I make. When I was three, my family moved from Tasmania to the Sunshine Coast hinterland. We travelled up the east coast of Australia looking for a place to call home, and after many months of camping and exploring small towns, my parents finally settled on a beautiful acreage black at Black Mountain in the hinterland of Noosa. My mum was about to give birth to her fourth daughter - my little sister Jeunae - so there was no time to keep looking. The block we moved into had a one bedroom wooden shed with a loft room and veranda. We lived for many years like this with a bathtub under the stars which is still there to this day.
My parents still live on this land, and it's a such a lovely escape for my kids and me to go to. My home ground is where my mind feels free, and there is also space to go wander down at the creek or make a fire and feed the tiny horses.
When I finished school at 17, I moved to Brisbane with my best friend and started studying film and television at the University. There I met some girls with whom I started an all-girl punk rock band. We toured the country for many years until one of the girls went overseas and I moved back home to Black Mountain to clear my head and find a new life path. I got my licence and started a TAFE course in fashion design, where I learnt pattern making and how to properly sew. I used to make a lot of my clothes before that but didn't have the technique I needed to sell my clothing.
After meeting my future husband, I came back to Brisbane where I started a kids clothing line, selling at the markets and to a store in West End. Soon I got a full-time job managing a clothing store in Fortitude Valley, and my sewing took a back seat for a while, and my music started up again. I always seem to have a creative outlet, one takes place over the other, and I pour everything into it. I've always had hobbies and have been creative from a very young age - learning macramé, knitting and sewing. Creating jewellery just seemed like a natural progression from making clothes.
What prompted you to start Rumble Sky?
I started Rumble Sky with the idea of creating bushland beads that I could sell to jewellery makers. Initially, I looked at using resin and wanted to do a course on the same. But the nearest course that I found was almost an hour away. So I started experimenting with local botanicals, and practically self-taught myself by experimenting with various shapes and designs. That phase made me realise that I could create jewellery on my own!
Soon, I ditched the beads idea and became a jewellery and accessories maker. I've always been creative and therefore it wasn't hard for me to pick up the techniques that I needed to finish the pieces myself.
Why this fascination with native Australian bushland? How does it inspire you?
I feel at peace when I am amidst nature - it's like a big breath of fresh air that gets right to the bottom of your lungs, and you can see your mind letting go of all stress.
As a kid, my sisters and I loved the adventure that came with being in the Bushland – exploring, playing games, and carelessly walking through the long grass. The fearlessness you have as a kid is so extraordinary! I guess I'm a bit more aware of the animals that live in those long grasses now and would probably choose a path more travelled instead of exploring unchartered pathways.
Thus, given these childhood adventures, nature – Bushland in particular – has always held a special place in my heart. And, I wanted the jewellery I create to reflect that sense of peace and beauty of the Australian Bushland.
Also, the flowers of the Bushland are so unique, and I feel this endeavour of mine has brought me closer to it. Today, I know the names of flowers I'd always admired and the months in which they bloom.
Coming to your jewellery, please tell us how do you think and create a particular design?
Often I'll start with a single flower and then depending on the colour and size, other flowers fall into place. It is like putting an outfit together, I create one part of the jewellery and then make the other section to match it.
The size of my jewellery fluctuates according to the seasons. For example. I work on larger pieces depending on the flowers in the season. When eucalyptus was in season, I just knew I had to get them into some of the pieces. Thus, I started making bigger pieces to accommodate them. And, I liked them so much that I want to make them all big now.
Please take us through the creative process of making a particular piece.
The first step is to preserve the flowers I find on my walks or drives. Then I work out which coloured flower I want to work with and from the first flower I pick, the other flowers are chosen to match.
Working with resin has been a massive learning process for me, and I'm still learning and experimenting with new techniques. I did look for courses but no course taught what I had in my mind. So I started to experiment with different resins and techniques myself.
I found that different resins reacted differently to the botanicals used and also some would yellow more rapidly than others. I made a lot of mistakes, but I learnt from them and persevered. Slowly, I learnt how to work with my medium with successful results.
The name Rumble sky is quite different. Why did you choose this name?
When I started Rumble Sky we were in the middle of a drought, and everything was dying. The only flowers that were alive and well were the native flowers. I remember thinking how amazing our bush flowers are and how they are the only ones that know how to deal with Australia's extreme conditions.
And, Rumble Sky, was me telling the sky that it was time to give the plants some much-needed rain.
Is it difficult to maintain these jewellery pieces? Or can we go about wearing them like conventional pieces?
I use sterling silver in most of my pieces so that they can be worn comfortably without irritation. The resin is durable, especially when worn as earrings or a necklace as those areas are not banging against hard surfaces. I like to think that my pieces will be comfortably enjoyed for many years with some silver polish on the silver and microfibre cloth on the resin.
How has the reception been for your creations?
People love the native flowers! They love to wear something that reminds them of this beautiful country, and what can be more Australian than a piece of the Bushland?
Do you ship your pieces outside Brisbane as well?
I ship my pieces worldwide. Once the botanicals are encapsulated in resin, they are safe to post anywhere.
What other type of jewellery do you make?
I also make sterling silver necklaces and chokers with kangaroo leather, as well as some kids' hair clips and necklaces.
Finally, what is Rumble Sky's future plans?
Hopefully, to continue to grow and expand while creating new and exciting pieces that make you gasp.
Follow Rumble Sky on Instagram.