Snippets Issue 19 : The Glitz & Glam Issue


Competition and interview with RockLove jewellery designer Allison Hourcade.


RockLove is the place to go for “vintage meets rock n roll glam” jewellery, and RockLove pieces have been worn by a host of celebrities. Polly Noble spoke to owner, designer and jeweller Allison Hourcade.

What made you want to become a jewellery designer?
When I was a little girl, I always toyed with beads - made the most hideous jewellery for my mum out of neon plastic Lisa Frank kits and rubber string. Throughout the 90's I would craft gaudy colourful creations from seed bead loom weaving and glitter resins, to paper rolling projects and lanyards. I even made bracelets by deconstructing plastic toothbrush handles which I heated and shaped into cuffs. Never did I consider it a career path until on a whim in college I decided to study abroad in Italy as a jewellery apprentice. Came as quite a shock to my family since I originally went to university as a violin performance major!

"Jewellery is like a chameleon... Edgy, flirty, innocent, sexy, sophisticated - it all depends on how you make it your own."

Can you tell us about your training to become a jewellery designer?
I always wanted to be an artist, but wasn't really good enough at any medium. I could draw, but not well enough to be an illustrator. I liked pottery but wasn't good enough to be a sculptor. Preferring functionality, I would get quite frustrated with my classmates, whose crazy existential pieces never seemed to make sense. In college when I started toying with the idea of crafting jewellery, they would say "Why not make a Bjork styled headpiece out of paper? Then you could wear it in the rain and as it disintegrates off your naked body you can dance around while videotaping the performance." Appalled by these types of suggestions and the lack of jewellery program at my school, I fled to Florence, Italy where I worked full time in a little studio as an apprentice.

All of your metal pieces are cast in silver. What attracts you to this material?
Silver has been my favourite material since the beginning - its heavy and grounding, affordable, malleable, and best of all... SHINY! Plus I have a terrible allergy to base metals and even react to mass produced silver made overseas. No matter how cute it looked, about five minutes into wearing a cheap piece of jewellery, my skin would boil and peel like a leper. This was one of the greatest reasons I started making my own silver pieces - to help ensure the quality of the metal so that I wouldn't look like Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Do you find it limiting using only one type of metal, or can you create different finishes and looks using silver?
I do work in vermeil and gold, but typically the RockLove collections are in hand cast sterling silver. My style includes frequently oxidizing and re-polishing the silver in various gradients of tones from bright, gunmetal, all the way to black - this increases the contrast and depth of colour. I’m currently working on a new top secret collection which will be sold in silver and 14K accented by semi-precious gemstones.

"Two artists who find each other mutually inspiring can be considered "rock loves"."

What is the story behind the name RockLove?
My family is part Russian and Romanian, so I was raised as a bit of a gypsy. Violin, belly dance, fire eating, juggling... and in the performance community, two artists who find each other mutually inspiring can be considered "rock loves". That creative respect is what coined RockLove since not only do I make my own collections but collaborate with many inspiring bands, movies, authors and organizations to craft their own signature merchandise.

What inspires your designs?
Eras of history tend to inspire various collections, fused with my own rocker style... though I do prefer to be abstract and feminine with the designs.

You are one of the creators of the official merchandise for Repo! The Genetic Opera. How did that come about?
Before the movie was even released, I was contacted by Darren and Terrance, the creators of Repo, to make them a custom piece of official jewellery merchandise. Thrilled to purchase a special limited edition collectors item, fans could show support for their favourite film while the proceeds helped to fund the Repo Road Tours. I hand crafted 1000 numbered Repo Scalpel Necklaces which sold out immediately - and now after about a year of desperate requests from die-hards, I am finally about to release a brand new Zydrate Gun pendant.

Do you have a certain type of person in mind when you design your jewellery? If so, can you describe them?
Each piece is something I myself would wear. I feel that as long as I'm true to my own sense of "vintage meets rock n roll glam" style, the creations will be a sincere expression of RockLove.

"Being alternative means that though you don't just follow what magazines say is in style - you think for yourself."

Your alternative lifestyle and your jewellery seem to be very much entwined. What do you think makes someone truly alternative?
Being alternative means that though you are aware of the current fashion trends, you wear what expresses your own unique personality.  You don't just follow what magazines say is in style - you think for yourself.

Your designs have been worn by many celebrities. Can you drop a few names? And who is your favourite celebrity to have worn your jewellery?
My personal favourite celeb wearing RockLove is tattoo artist and photographer Kat Von D - she has a Rufina Onyx Rosary, among others. A perfect example of the term "RockLove" since she is a fellow artist whom I find inspiring, talented, and eloquent. Some other A-listers who have popped up in my work range from Courtney Love and Lindsey Lohan, to bands like Skinny Puppy, The Creepshow, and Ministry.

Do you think jewellery is a good way for people to express more subverted aspects of their personalities? For example, Miley Cyrus, who generally has a very squeaky clean image, recently wore some of your designs, hinting at a darker side.
Miley has worn RockLove everywhere - The Today Show, her music video "Party in the USA"... even just to get a Starbucks coffee.  Jewellery is like a chameleon - one necklace can present a different attitude depending on how it's worn.  Edgy, flirty, innocent, sexy, sophisticated - it all depends on how you make it your own.

Finally, what plans do you have for the future with RockLove?
Looking forward to more collaborations in addition to this new RockLove collection in gold and gemstones. I've also just finished a new catalogue, so my jewellery will be expanding into many more stores internationally. Direct purchases can still be made online at with new pieces, sales, and discounts updated frequently. Keep an eye out for new magazine press and photo shoots too!

RockLove Competition

Here's your chance to feel like a superstar and win a Heart Lock & Key Charm Necklace, as worn by Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan.

How To Enter:

For your chance of winning, simply leave a comment below telling us who your "rock love" (creative person who inspires you) would be?

Good luck!

You can find out more about Allison and RockLove, and pick up some jewellery from


My rock love would be myself,nobody influences what I do better than me.
MARK RYDEN,is able to,excel , mobilize Ideas all his, become amazing designs
.In any matter,the fact is this. EVEN PACKAGING IS A TREAT

,if you placed Mr Mark Ryden,in front of tools and materials, said make me something I could use to adorn myself , I TELL YOU, this I would want to wear it,posess it and tell him. thank you..
in a very nice dream,i would be wearing a ryden original,looking at a mark ryden painting, sitting next to one of his many packages,and holding a copy of HI FRUCTOSE,in one hand and the WHYH. TOY IN MY OTHER. YES A RYDEN BONANZA......GETT UPP
Rock love would be my mom. She was always encouraging me to be nobody but myself, to embrace the way I feel, and always loved my sense of style. She was my friend and made me feel pretty when I didn't feel pretty. I never left the house looking cheap, she always inspired me to be a woman, a lady who crosses her legs and re-touches her lipstick. I think that is the vein standard for women but because of our cultural heritage that gives our identity it means something to us to be proud strong women that take pride in our appearances. She taught me how to sew, we started beading, but I found comfort in my scissors and sewing machine that helps me relax, take my mind of the mind numbing nothings, encourages my patience and allows me to explore my creativity. When I think of creating more articles for wear I always think of her she was my best encourager and I miss her.
If thats too cheesey for you I'd also like to credit all RIOTGRRL's for keepin it real and encouraging us to be us. You are my rock loves Happy
My 'Rock Love' Is audrey Kitching, She sees the sparkle in thrift items, and loves punkish things like me. Also, Audrey loves Studs and spikes. Something I cannot get enough of. So someone else who isnt afraid to go crazy and act freakish, Im inspired by Audrey.
luv the jewelry. luv that its silver and not gold.
Hey,the jewellry is good,but hana montana,I really dont think so!
hmmmmmmm my rock love person would be coco channel not because she is this amazingly popular fashion designer that everyone talks about(she is though iv seen her workHappy)but because she learned to sew when she was abandoned in the orphange by her father when her mom died and because when everyone else was wearing these tight fitted corsets and obnoxiously big dresses she dared to be different and she not only refused to wear a corset but she also started to wear mens clothing in a time which women didnt wear pants or shirts instead they just wore big pufy dresses. basically she was her own person and didnt let anyone influence her discesions thats why shes super awesome!
such pretty jewelry!!XD
...hmm Avril Lavigne seems to inspire me fashion wise....I draw alot so alot of manga artists and their mangas inspired me to draw. People on Youtube that make tutorials on how to draw or make things and even nail art have taught me alot of things so i wudnt get bored over the summer..songs that artists sing have a huge impact on me too....and most of friends and family....lolz everyone of those ppl are my rock ove XD
I would have to say my mom! She is an artist and very creative, and my big bros whos seem to laugh bout everything. really inspires me
My "rock love" is Lady Gaga. She inspires me to go bigger, go bolder, and go crazier. I love that she pulls her inspiration from theatre, and fashion, and unusual accesories. When she does something creative and unusual with a piece of fabric or an appliance, it challenges me to create something just as interesting using my passions.
My rock love is most definitely Elvis, he inspires almost everything I design and listening to his music just gives me motivation when I'm loosing the will to create! It also probably helps that whenever I watch one of his movies the costuming is so epic I pull out my sketch pad and start drawing out violently printed sun dresses...
My rock love is the one and only Joan Jett. She helped pave the way for me and every other female artist out there who aspires to do amazing things. Her intelligence, beauty and sheer talent never cease to amaze and inspire me. She took a risk by forming the first all girl rock band and inspires me to take similar risks in my art. Whenever I doubt myself, I blast some Joan Jett ( my true rock love) and i feel on top of the world.
My "Rock Love", no doubt about it, is my boyfriend Michael. He encourages me to keep being creative. He is always supporting my ideas and no one else I know does that for me. He is amazing and teaches me so much. Everything I make is inspired by him.
.`·.¸ ن٥ﻻ ﻉ√٥ﺎ................. ♥
My rock love is the art I see/hear. I don't have a single creative individual around me that has inspired me but when I hear a song by my favorite band and I instantly feel my heart speed up I know that I want to do that same thing one day. I want to sing a song that can bring someone to tears for no reason or that can make thousands of people sway together in an arena. When I see the things that people have made here on this site I want to make something of my own as well.
My rock love is my black kitty cat. She's very mysterious but deep down she's sweet. Sometimes I design collars for her!
I have many "rock loves." But my main ones are Bettie Page and Lady GaGa because they're so unique and inspirational. Happy
My Rock Love is my best friend, Laura. She's always there making me try new things and inspiring me. Another one would be Audrey Kitching.
My best friend J is my "rock love". We tend to feed off of each other's creativity. So when I'm stuck she'll pipe up with "STRIPES!" and when she has an issue I'm right there with "MORE GLITTER!" And it's never ending. We make each other want to create, and hold each other to actually finishing our projects. Happy
My Rock Love would be my mother. She is a professional seamstress, sculptor, painter, and all around artist. She truly rocks in the world of the arts.
also: my most recent rocklove has to be tarina tarantino, because, i love her SPARKLE, and fashion ideas... and... her pink hair is so cool and daring!
I have two rockloves,
the first being kristen chennoweth, who origianally played Galinda in wicked, because of her 'always happy' attitude, and acting style. My other rocklove would be a mix between PR contestant Kit Pistol, and Katy Perry, because of the vintage vibe in fashion, mixed with a swirl of funky, yet cool jewlery and hairstyles. also: all of my rockloves arn't afraid to let their inner style's shine, even if it is the exact oppisite of what most people like!
My LoveRock would have to be Henri Mattisse just because the Fauvist movement was so ahead of it's time. The designs are still fresh today and are easily transfered from print to 3 dimentional. The artistry is in the simplicity.
My LoveRock would have to be Henri Mattisse just because the Fauvist movement was so ahead of it's time. The designs are still fresh today and are easily transfered from print to 3 dimentional. The artistry is in the simplicity.
My RockLove would have to be Henri Mattisse just because the Fauvist movement was so ahead of it's time. The artistry is in the simplicity. The designs still have a freshness today and are so transerable from print form to 3 dimensional pieces.
My rock love is the music I listen to which is almost everything from Phish and Mike Doughty to Glee, Phantom of the Opera, and almost anything Indie-Rock. As cheesy as this sounds, the melodies inspire shapes and styles and movements for me. I can SEE the music in the jewelry and clothes I make. I also take mainstream fashion into account and take what I like from it and add a personal dash of Victorian style to my favorite hippie accents. That is my rock love.
I have too many rock loves to choose! I'm a rock love polygamist. Most recently I'm rocking and rock loving out to Amanda Palmer.
My business partner and best buddy JC. Whether shes making jewelery, clothes or painting shes got the most rockin style while doing it. She is always the gril I bring up when anyone says big girls cant have style. She rocks anything from 50s pin up to 80s raver and looks and is awesome doing it.
My business partner and best buddy JC. Whether shes making jewelery, clothes or painting shes got the most rockin style while doing it. She is always the gril I bring up when anyone says big girls cant have style. She rocks anything from 50s pin up to 80s raver and looks and is awesome doing it.
My rock love would be my friends at school, they are always supporting me with what I make and are always giving me ideas on what to do next. They usually give me something random and say make something out this or they give me new ideas on what to make next!
My rocklove is totally Mother Nature! She is always insipiring, sunshine or rain. She always gives me something beautiful to look at be it the pattern on a leaf or the song of the bird outside my window. I am consitenly insipired to create beauty when I am outside! Mother Nature is truely the "key" to my creative "heart"!
my rock love is my dog! he makes me smile and inspires me with his endless energy and adorable personality.
my kids are my 'rock loves' they always inspire me with painting, drawing, sayings, everything. The world is still new to them and so every "Guess What?" is exciting and inspiring to me!
My Rock Love would totally be Michael DeMeng. I love his grungy tribal style. I have learned so much just by seeing his work.
My biggest rock love is Cut Out + Keep crafter(and friend) Ariel Grimm. She has an interesting, whimsical outlook on life, this world, and making fantasy reality. I think I've always had a secret of thinking about things the way she does, but never thought to show it, and tell it. Because of her, I look at found objects, recyclables, thrift store finds(the kind nobody else wants), and life in general in a fun, oddball new way.
my rock loves are my family - they inspire me constantly.
I am all about the Austin Craft Mafia!!! Jennifer Perkins, Tina Sparkles, Vicki Howell, etc. My saddest day was when DIY network killed Styleicious (their show!!!) I love their stuff!!!
i think everyone on cut out and keep is my inspiration! whenever i come on someone has made something... and i think god i need to make that too!
so thanks to everyone who uses cut out and keep, you are my muse's xx
Rock is my rock love. I can't say anything that inspires me more than all those people who speak their hearts out with a guitar on their hands or screaming in the front of millions and millions of people.
Slash, Axl Rose, Cherrie Curie, Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Ozzy Osbourne, Sid Vicious, John Bon Jovi, Bono... all those people I do really admire are the ones who inspire me and light the rocker fire inside of me Happy
My "rock love" would have to be my mom. If it wasn't for her introducing me to jewelry design, scrapbooking, and a whole bunch of different creative things, my creative gene probably wouldn't have been "activated". Therefre, I would have never found this website which its completely awesome!! =] So yeah my mom would with out a doubt have to be my "rock love"
My "rock love" was most definitely my Floral teacher in high school. She was always inspirational in every way and always taught her students on how to improve what they were working on. She taught me new creative outlets I never thought I would try. She even helped me improve myself on things I was already into. She opened my eyes to the crafty world and showed me other mediums that I could use to express myself even more. I will never ever forget my floral teacher, Mrs. Johnson.
My RockLove would have to be all the DIYers and independent artisans. I get so inspired every time I browse Etsy or read the latest blog post from the DIY artists I am following. Its very inspiring and its my motivation to do everything I do. Seeing their creativity with their projects and products make me think in new ways which then leads me to think up a new idea to create and fit my interests.
Mine is Lady Gaga! She is AMAZING and she really inspires me with her outfits! She is so creative and original and she makes me think that you should always make a statement and show the world who you are!
My rock love would be a mixture of P!nk and Amanda Palmer...
My rock love is my sister, she is retraining as an artist and has a fanastic ability to take ideas and turn them into pieces of work.
My rock love was my partner John. he told me over and over to go for it, and to try to do something new and being myself, not listen to what other people will like or think of art;-D. Having fun and humour in all your art work. He was a great artist himself.
He told me too don't take it all to seriously, it still helps me a lot to see the fun in my work or give it a hilarious glue. Its beautiful when people can laugh about your work. i think. and i learend of John to. too work with colours very strange and bright ones.:-D
i think i have learned from him too to work with strange materials.
Not everybody can appreciate that of me, but a lot of them do, and when i see their smiles i remember johns lessons.
The creative person who inspires me would have to be my grandmother. Although she has since passed on she continues to inspire me to strive to be more and more creative and be true to myself in this endeavor.
My grandma painted everything, murals, paintings, scenes on antlers, even the rock doorstop in her home had a painting of mountains and trees on it. She loved music and creating; everytime we saw her it was a new creative adventure. I have one of her paintings in my dining room and whenever I see it I am inspired to uphold my families traditon of craetivity. I only hope that I am making my grandma proud!
My RockLove would have to be my mom, always inspiring with her music and collages and free spirit. She keeps me going, always positive.... and most of my art work and designs have always been shown to her first.
My rock love is anyone who can create something so amazing out of anything useless.
I must say that I have three rock loves. They inspire me, and I look up to them in many different ways. The first one is John Lennon. I love his music. It is beautiful, and he was an amazing songwriter. The second is Tavi Gevinson. It really amazes me how someone the same age as me (three days younger!!) can be so successful in... life. I am very much inspired by her. The third is closer to home, my friend Louise. She has ideas and ideas overflowing from her brain! She is a lover of fashion, and together, we make a great team for making things! I value our friendship very much.
My rock love is my fiancee. He's a web designer, a graphic artist, and a DJ. He makes the most interesting things and has the coolest concepts. He's my everything. He's an amazing person and he completes me.
My rock love would have to be Melora Creager. From her music, her fashion, her crafts, and just her all around person, she is the epitome of creativity. I learned to be my own person from her music.
My Rock Love is my friend, Katie. We go crazy with revamping our t-shirts, using everything from puffy paint to lace, and our collaborations are awesome, if I do say so myself. We have the best time creating and sharing together, and some of my best ideas have come from our crafting sessions! =]
I LOVE all your jewelry by the way. Its all so lovely ...being a poor starving artist at the moment, i sadly cant get any of it.
But its amazing. =D
My "Rock Love" is anyone who is an individual, who stands out from all the rest, who everyone says are crazy, but really wishes they could be their friend....And also have a dark side.
Like genius's Tim Burton, Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, Vivienne Westwood, Kurt Cobain, and Frank from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. XD
Also mythical creatures like vampires and zombies. <3
My rock love is Lizzie Siddal, I know she isn't really what you would call a 'rock chick' but she stands out for me as a strong women who inspires me. Lizzie was a brilliant artist and poet and her beauty inspires me for all things Victorian.
My rock love is Natalie Portman--I think she's a great role model and reminds me, personally, that I don't always have to do or say what everyone else is doing or saying. I might even shave my own head one day!
My inspiration changes consistently. Mark Ryden has been popping up for me lately.
my rock love is Debbie Harry from Blondie, she is the ultimate blond powerhouse, she teaches us to be individual, be strong and do what you love
My rock love is my friend Grim (real name Graeme.) He's a 30+ artist with hair he can sit on, a plaited beard down to his belly button, and loads of piercings. Whenever I go to his house I feel inspired - he always has some furry creature around, I believe the most recent is a kitten named Loki. He creates sculptures, paints, and I once went to an exhibit where he presented a ton of fairy-themed art which was terrifying. Oh, and an entire wall of his room is covered in books.
Just hanging out in that dimly lit, shabby room with pizza boxes and cans of paint everywhere makes me feel inspired and want to do something exciting, make something.
my rock loves are sylvia plath and emily dickinson.
my rocklove is my younger friends who remind me when I was 20 and the music I listen to now may not be Bon Jovi so much now its more Sum 41, Finger Eleven and varitity of music and all varitity of style of clothes and goth, punk skater girl, night club look. I have so much fun being who I am I love my pink hair and I love my black hair too, that's who I am, rock with me. Love me or loose me
My RockLove is my beautiful 21 year old daughter Jessie. She inspires me by her creativity. Once day it is blond streaks, the next she is dragging me to a crazy concert. She dragged me kicking and screaming to see Repo, I thought I would hate it, but I loved the movie and meeting everyone. Without my RockLove my world would be boring.
I wear my RockLove religiously! Allison is amazing and her stuff is out of this world.
my Rock Love is my boyfriend Jim, I'm always creating jewellery and gifts for him! <3 you Jim ^___^!
luv the jewely
It would definetly be my twins! They inspire me to create and go beyond what I think I can do!
My "rock love" was be the beautiful, talented and crafty Emilie Autumn!
She has inspired me to create punktorian jewelry, and clothing. And made me really open my eyes to not caring what I wear as long as I love it!
My rock love is definitely my ex-boyfriend,Stumpie.Stumpie was my arts teacher,he showed me all the diffrents painting styles,took me to various exhibitions,crafted with me all the things I wanted to.
He passed away three month ago,but he is my good spirit now and I know he'll help me through my whole life.

About Snippets

Snippets is the free online magazine from Cut Out + Keep featuring the best in indie & DIY.

Exploring the worlds of music, fashion, art & craft, our writers cover the things they love and we're always on the hunt for new contributors.

If you'd like to take part or just have an idea for a cool story we should cover, get in touch!