RillRill is a Portland based jewelry brand that was created by Katie Freedle. She didn't want to follow what she studied, but instead chose something that will bring her the joy whilst working. Although she can see almost nothing without her contacts, she’s known to have a sharp eye, proof being found in the styling of the shootings made by her. We have a closer look to Rill Rill's background and the founders point of view about life and work.
Could you tell me a little bit about yourself, your background?
I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. All my family is also here and has been FOREVER, my roots are deep. It's a hard place to leave because its a rad place with tons to offer. I studied Journalism-Advertising, Business, and Multi-Media at the University of Oregon. They wouldn't let non-art majors take metal smithing back then… So I started studying jewelry post college. I didn't want to become part of the cultish advertising life, it disenchanted me, so I starting my own jewelry line soon after working as a studio assistant for an awesome little production house in town. It took off pretty quickly because no one was really doing what I was back then. It continued to evolve into what it is today and have enjoyed every second of it.
At which point in your life did you decide to become a designer? Why jewelry?
I studied journalism, multi-media and business in college, then ended up making jewelry after I graduated in 2010. It was slightly random but I was always told I had a good eye, its ironic because I can't see worth shit, i'm nearly blind without my contacts.  I'm strongly drawn to aesthetically pleasing things and always find myself mixed up in some sort of creative project.
How did you start Rill Rill? What does it stand for?
I started out making these silly hand pieces that everyone makes now. The name came from a song by Sleigh Bells. I wore one of the bracelets to their show once and thrashed so hard that I broke it. Looking back, I’ve grown exponentially, it's almost humorous looking back at my first works.
What inspires you? What makes you turn your face the other way?
I'm mostly inspired by spontaneity and playful design sessions. You have to fuck around with a lot of different ideas until you come up with something that gives you that AWE moment. I like to put as many random things in front of me, experiment with all of the options. Mass production and rip offs turn me off.
About your working process, what starts the idea and how does the finished item look compared to it?
The process is the most enticing part of creating. I usually start with material first. Experimenting with all the different varieties and designs. Lots of sketching and illustrator files. The first samples are always pretty funny to look back on after the collection is finalized. I usually find myself tweaking the concept before coming to something I love.
I noticed you were also doing the styling for the shooting of your latest SS14 collection, what inspired the theme?
The aesthetic of the lookbook was directly influenced by the pieces themselves. The marble walls, the big copper pipes leaning next to the model, the symmetry in the architecture. I strived for a modern structural look. Lots of black on black and white on white against beautiful marble buildings. My goal for jewelry lookbooks is to choose wardrobe that will slightly disappear, in order to keep the focus on the jewels, but when you look closely it is actually very planned out and adds a quite subtle detail to the overall photo which is important for the overall aesthetic.
Would you consider to move into other areas of design outside of jewelry? Fashion etc.
After 2 years of cultivating the line I started a boutique called Backtalk where I sell my designs and about 30 other independent artists's jewelry and clothing. I'm a vintage fanatic, so we have a lot of that too. The shop is my ultimate labor of love. We are going on our third year now, it has grown into an amazing space that I put most of my time and energy into.
What do you want to achieve with your brand?
I always strive to bring something new to the table, I hope to push the boundaries and inspire others to make unique work.
What are RillRill's next projects?
I have some new marble designs brewing, i've also been experimenting with casting concrete.