A fan of collecting souvenirs, she first delved into jewellery design as a teenager, making jewellery from glass beads collected during her family's travels. After her second child, she left a career in interior design to become a metalsmith. Alongside her souvenirs, Thomas has also 'collected' ancient artisanal techniques from different cultures which she references in her jewellery. Particularly influenced by the shapes and patterns seen in nature, motifs like shells and cowrie beads feature prominently while Thomas' favourite materials include silver, wood and mother-of-pearl.
While collected items and souvenirs have influenced her designs, Thomas also sees the items themselves as memories of a place and journey. "I compile these little souvenirs in travelogues which will go on travelling with someone else, around their neck, their fingers or on their boutonniere."
Once a derelict complex of light industrial buildings, this sprawling site in Lorentzville in eastern Joburg has undergone a spectacular re-imagining. Underlying this development was the vision for a complex of makers, artists and artisans, that has infu