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Featured Shop: Gudbling

Sep 4, 2015

by Christine Hornicke

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hi! My name is Christine, and I’m the head and the hands behind Gudbling. I create sensual statement jewelry with a textile touch in Berlin, Germany.

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Life’s not always a straight road, and I must admit that I never thought to become a jewelry designer. I studied graphic design, then spent five years working as a travel agent in Hamburg. During that time I felt unfulfilled, and I dreamed of selling my own handmade goods. In 2010, I decided to turn my life around, and I relocated to Berlin to start over. As it turns out, one of my first friends here works as a fashion designer, and she invited me to share her studio space. I instantly fell in love with all of her colorful scraps of leftover cloth. That’s when I got the idea to make fabric jewelry.

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I’m an introvert, but my jewelry is not. This outlet gives me the opportunity to express my feelings. After all the years I spent working a corporate job and being told what to do, I wanted to create something meaningful by my own standards. As much as I’m inspired by traditional folk and tribal art, I’m also inspired by my own personal development. Growing up, you try to get to know yourself; for me, I found that knowing who I am also means embracing that I’m changing all the time. That’s what statement jewelry is about: it gives you the possibility to explore yourself, and you’re allowed to be bold or reserved, colorful or monochrome. You can reinvent yourself, and whatever you’re feeling, the jewelry can reflect that.

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I’m a completely self-taught jewelry designer – I don’t have any training, and I’ve never taken any classes. I learned how to crochet from my mother, and aside from that, I just have this urge to create something with whatever is lying around. When I work, I hardly ever make a sketch of what I want to create – after all, fabric is quite unpredictable! Instead, I spend a significant amount of time figuring out how to get the perfect combination of thread, jersey, chains and beads; I often use crochet techniques to create designs that will fit nicely around the neck or wrist, while still being comfortable and durable. It’s not just about the looks – the fit is also important.

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To me, Etsy means community. Moving to Berlin all alone wasn’t easy: I was a total newbie to both self-employment and the city. When I was looking for connection, guidance and inspiration, I was lucky to find the Etsy Berlin Street Team. There, I found many like-minded souls – some of whom have become dear friends. I honestly think I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. My plans for the future are to continue broadening my artisanal skills and refine my work. I want to offer my customers a unique experience along with unique products.

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Main image by Detlef Honigstein; maker and studio photographs by Gudbling and Alex Bender.

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