Jewellery designer Rowenna Harrison established the Rosita Bonita brand in 2010.
With a love of the surreal, Rowenna creates tactile printed leather statement jewellery, which is at once nostalgic and novel. Her themed collections begin as illustrations and find physical form in surprising materials. Drawing inspiration from glamorous fantasies of faraway lands, folklore, myth and legend, her work is both glamorous and fun.
We have worked with the Rosita Bonita collections for around 6 years now and when the designer relocated to Margate a couple of years ago we sadly thought we would lose contact. However, Rowenna still returns to us from her seaside studio, where she lovingly handcrafts each piece of her unique collections.
‘Early on I tried many different laser-cutters in London’, she said ‘but cutting leather (well) is difficult and Swordfish always gives me the best result. When I moved out of London 2 years ago, I tried a company close to my new home, but they just weren’t up to scratch. Now, I either travel to London to visit Swordfish in person or I work with them by post’.
Rosita Bonita designs are mostly made in leather and foil embossed on to cut-out shapes. Some pieces are screen-printed on to soft leathers then cut by hand before being joined to sturdy, thick leather backing. She also produces a range of sculpted soft leather flowers and foliage, which are also laser-cut, before being stiffened & shaped.
Along with the leather work, some elements are cast/constructed from metals and resins, and in her new collection some designs are laser cut and engraved in acrylic.
The new Rosita Bonita collection, alongside existing works, will showcase in Osaka’s Hankyu Department Store in October 2019. The pop-up will feature as part of their “British Week” campaign.
This latest mini exhibition is part of a cultural exchange with a group of Japanese artists where each designer was asked to create an “identity box”. The box had to contain different images, objects and fragments explaining and expressing who the artist was. Each ‘identity box’ was then posted to an allotted partner for a response.
The whole cultural exchange experience has influenced and inspired Rowenna to incorporate new materials, (some natural, some man-made) into her new collections. And, in response to a number of requests over the years, she is also trialling some vegan alternatives to her leather designs!
The new Japanese mini-collection will be launching in London at the end of October 2018. Plus, we’ve heard on the grapevine that she’ll also be designing 4 new pairs of earrings in response to specific requests from customers. They’ll be available from her on-line shop mid-September and as big fans of her jewellery we simply can’t wait!!