New items have hit the online store and are available right now!
Even more exciting are the plans underway for a shiny new, fresh & coastal inspired lookbook being photographed later this month. It will feature all of these new items and so much more, we can't wait to show you.
In the meantime head over to the store for the full descriptions and prices of these fresh pieces...
hand stamped disc studs in sterling silver
Have you been thinking of commissioning a bespoke piece, but you don't live anywhere near Noosa? We are so fortunate to live in this technological era where a global access to anything you want is practically at your fingertips. Getting something hand made from a distance is not as difficult or as risky as you might think.
Establishing my jewellery business and gold smithing education roots in Melbourne, I was so lucky to have developed such crucial ties and relationships to really what is considered the epicentre of manufacturing jewellery in Australia. Initially I assumed that the majority of my private commission jobs would come from personal interaction with local Melbournites. Granted, a significant portion of my clients were local, however I was surprised at just how many people were from interstate and were willing to be guided by correspondence to commission a special piece of jewellery.
Making the big decision to uproot and move to the sunnier shores of Noosa Qld was certainly made easier with the comforting fact that these special, supportive, and trusting types of people would still be around, and these long distance commissions would only continue to grow.
It's really so easy to initiate the process. A simple email or phone call will do. The chain of emails that then follow are filled to the brim with ideas, pictures, sketches, ball park quotes, alternatives, and lots of technical information ('cos that's super important to me ;) and all of this is of course completely obligation free. There is nothing to pay until the final design and final quotes are all agreed upon.
I have heard from some people that this type of process has been somewhat more beneficial to them than talking to someone in store and being bombarded with information overload. The option to be able to read and re-read the information and digest it in the privacy of your own abode can be really helpful in determining what it is that you really want.
If you have any questions about the process, don't be shy, ask away!
Here are some of the more recent commissions that were all done by correspondence
Recently I had the opportunity to work with some of Australia's iconic Argyle diamonds. Famous for their fancy colours, notably the pink, these just happened to be in my favourite diamond colour of all, the champagne & cognac variety.
My client wanted a clear conscience when she embarked on the journey to have engagement rings made for herself and her partner. After all the initial discussions and design talk, the decision was to go with the Argyle diamonds, of course for their spectacular colour and quality, but primarily for their ethical standards when it comes to both the mining & cutting practices. In fact, the entire ethos of this particular Argyle diamond company is this:
source - ethical.traceable.responsible
Together with the ethical, Australian based, small business, & sustainability practices of a manufacturing jeweller such as myself, and you have an end product that you can truly feel good about.
Here are the results, two very striking designs that subtly compliment one another, and also compliment the personalities of each woman.
Ok friends, this is probably one of the most epic rings I've made to date. This piece was born out of a few key elements - it was to be designed for a dear friend of mine as a surprise engagement ring. Knowing her so well, I was pretty confident that it had to be bold, rich in colour, completely and utterly unique, and in general have lots going on. Only she could pull off wearing this miniature sculpture on her hand.
So off to the sketchbook I went, and working closely with my main gem man Paul Fenselau, together he and I came up with this incredible selection of Australian green, teal & parti sapphires to combine into the spread that you see in the finished piece. With the addition of some champagne diamonds to tie in that cool/warm contrast, and hand constructed in entirely 18ct yellow gold, the final piece developed along the lines of my initial sketch but also in a somewhat organic make-it-up-as-you-go-along fashion. Pretty much my ideal way to work.
What a pleasure it is to create these treasures.
I consider it a privilege to create something for someone which can hold so much meaning for them. In the case of this latest commission, a surprise 30th birthday present for his beautiful wife, the incorporation of the three birthstones for husband, wife & son, seemed the obvious yet perfectly simple solution to create this special ring set.
One ring is comprised of the recipient's birthstone- diamond (lucky girl!), and her husband's birthstone - garnet, though in this case we decided to go for the rarer colour type called Demantoid Garnet, a shade of olivey-limey green which has fire like a diamond when it sparkles.
The second ring is set with an amethyst, the birthstone of their son. The beauty of fine stacking rings such as these is that they are fun to wear as you can swap them over to create different placements, and also this particular set allows for the addition of more should their family continue to grow!
We are back up and running in the new Noosa surrounds! Susan Ewington Jewellery Headquarters is now operating from the glorious coastal Noosa-Tewantin area, it kind of feels like a holiday! The online shop is now back to normal, with some items available to buy straightaway, and the made to order items back to their normal lead times.
As always, Susan is available for private consultation, whether you're lucky enough to be local to Noosa/Sunshine Coast (or here for a holiday!), or via email if you're anywhere else!
Some photos of the new studio/worskhop to follow, once it's all set up juuuuust right...
We are currently in the midst of moving life and business from Melbourne to Noosa Queensland! My workshop is undergoing a massive transition so any items purchased in the shop from now until March 20th 2016, will not be able to be posted promptly in the usual 2-3 business days, but later in March.
Please contact me directly if you have any queries or would like further clarification on order lead times.
I will still be available to contact regarding special commissions and general inquiries so please don't hesitate to send me an email in the meantime.
Alternatively, if you are Melbourne based then you can view my work at these three stockists:
Thank you for your patience and understanding!
A couple of new items have landed in the shop, they form part of the newer line of twisted rope style pieces that have been materialising at my bench.
See the items in the online shop for more pictures and all the details.
Here's an interesting one, a renaissance of a ring, when the wearer used their ring to stamp into a wax seal to use as their signature for binding documents. It's a style of ring that dates back to ancient eras, but was probably most predominantly used during the European Middle ages and Renaissance.
This one was hand made using 18ct yellow gold, the central seal in the form of a horned goat, was masterfully hand engraved here in Melbourne by a local trade hand engraver, whose skill is beyond that of most, especially here in Australia. It is truly a dying art form, where most of this level of detail up until now could have only been hand done, it is now being lost to the arguably more efficient and cost effective methods known as CAD/CAM in the industry, to everyone else, computer aided 3D technology. Whilst this new technology certainly has a place within the broader spectrum of mass jewellery manufacture and even more importantly in my opinion in the contemporary art scene, it is sad to think that this type of skill, centuries old, will become very nearly obsolete.
There is certainly a fiery debate within the jewellery trade about the merits of the increasing CAD/CAM products, a veritable "old school VS new school" argument (I have to say I definitely lean more towards the "old school") and I can't see it dying down anytime soon. In the meantime, continuing support to the tradesmen and the handmade in general is the only way to keep these incredible skills alive and in Australia.
Well 2016 is in full swing and I've hit the ground running with plenty to do in the next month or so. As I prepare to take my family and business on a new adventure, to live by the sea on the Sunshine Coast in Sth East Queensland, back to our roots after 11 years in amazing Melbourne, the enormity of what we are about to do has sunken in. With any luck, the community will be as wonderful and supportive as what I have experienced here in Melbourne with my humble little jewellery business, and I am fortunate that we live in a time where small businesses and sole traders such as myself can survive and flourish with the support of the internet!
In between all the moving plans, I have dropped off a few new pieces to Arbor to refresh the collection I have there.
Well the silly season certainly lived up to it's name this year. The end of 2015 saw me receive many beautiful and very individual special commissions. All of them rings, all of them very different, naturally, all of them handmade by me. For my own sanity I have decided to put them into one post as opposed to separately, but at least this way it gives great scope to the variety of styles I have been asked to design.
This job was such a pleasure to make. Clusters of granules and sapphires and diamonds in 18ct yellow gold. The best.
A milestone also achieved in that it was the first time I've had a tear-jerk reaction from the customer at glancing upon their precious piece. What a lovely feeling, all warm and fuzzy.
Made from the stones in her old unworn rings, they all came together in a rather organic order of construction, working out the visual balance as I went, my favourite way to work.
It's not often I get to design and make a special pair of earrings by commission, that is usually reserved for engagement and wedding rings. So it was a pleasant change to make these special modern girandole style earrings (a nod to the large teardrop shape cluster pendant earrings of yesteryear, so popular in Europe during the 18th Century).
These were a surprise 60th birthday gift from her family, and the brief went something along the lines of "large, not too heavy, dark silver, colorful stones in peacock tones".
I think these fit the bill. Oxidised sterling silver petal shaped clusters, star set with multi toned sapphires and green garnets.
Well I'm off overseas for most of September, lucky me!
But you can count yourself lucky too, because from this day until Monday 28th September 2015, at 9am AEST, any item purchased from my online store, including made to order items, will be 20% off! Simply enter the coupon code - spainspecial - at the checkout to receive your discount.
It's just my way of saying thanks for your patience whilst you wait for your items. Any purchases from the online store completed during this time will be packaged and processed by me after Monday 28th September. This means that any items in stock at the time of purchase will be shipped on Tues 29th September, and any MADE TO ORDER items will be commenced from Tues 29th September and shipped upon completion.
Any queries please feel free to drop me a line, I will still endeavour to answer them promptly between sips of sangria and plates of paella.
Here are some recent wedding rings I made which incorporated a twist (literally, although the pun "with a twist" is also relevant in this case) whereby the metal strip was twisted at one point then rounded up to form the rings.
The result was such a lovely subtle detail, and helped emphasise the soft organic feel they were after. His was plain 18ct yellow gold with a secret champagne diamond set on the inside, and hers had scattered white and champagne diamonds in 18ct white gold.
This recent commission for Arbor proved to be a wonderful exercise to showcase "all Australian made".
It is a little known fact outside of the jewellery trade, that the absolute majority of Australian mined gemstones, such as sapphires, are shipped offshore, usually to Asia, to be cut and then re-sold back to us. The simple fact is that this works out a lot cheaper for the consumer, as there are not many Australian gem cutters or lapidarists (stone-cutters) who specialise in this high end market. The issues surrounding the sustainability of both the environment and the Australian economy are obvious, so I will not delve into that here. However, I would like to point out that for the local manufacturing jewellers, such as myself, to maintain a competitive price point and provide the plethora of gemstones that are in demand, many of the stones used are indeed from all over the world and even if they are Australian stones, they are most likely processed overseas. I will also add that it is absolutely understandable from the Australian miner's point of view, that the majority of the material gets sold overseas because that's where the market is and there just isn't enough demand from inside Australia.
However, it is just so lovely when I have the opportunity to create something truly Australian made. This ring was a bit of a process to complete. The customer had originally seen a similar ring of mine which had sold, but contained a pentagon shaped green sapphire. It was a total one-off, but alas, she wanted one too! So after some investigating I managed to find a local Victorian gem cutter who cut me a selection of these freeform sapphires for her to choose from. The one she picked was a gorgeous deep green with some interesting natural inclusions, mined in New South Wales. It was set into a simple box bezel and offset on the band, with the addition of some fine chased lines, all in 9ct grey gold.
This year's winter exhibition, Generic Ethnic, at Arbor in Brunswick is a pearler. It is currently on until Sunday 30th August, and there are truly some gorgeous and very wearable works on display and for sale, by some very talented Australian jewellers.
If you happen to make it down there, I encourage you to read the artist statements that accompany the works, it is full of some great information about many traditional and ancient jewellery making techniques.
Here's the lowdown on the pieces I contributed to the show:
"For this exhibition, I was interested in exploring ancient metal beadwork across the many cultures which are considered to have an ethnic aesthetic. From the earliest periods such as the Bronze Age, to the ancient civilisations such as Egyptian, Roman & Byzantine eras to name a few, metal beadwork has been prevalent, and in most cases the predominant basis for jewellery items. For these cultures, the significance of the beads often outweigh the details of their design, they may represent social status, were used as currency, or used to commemorate a milestone. For each of my pieces, I have streamlined a small selection of forms to keep a minimal aesthetic, so that the bead itself becomes the main focus."
All of the necklaces displayed are for sale, so if any take your fancy, forward any inquiries to Arbor