The Caesars referred to our staple condiment pepper as ‘black gold’. Traded for precious metals, the commodity’s rare status transformed it into a currency, which, by swapping hands and traversing seas, could buy food, cloth and shelter.

Silversmith Lucy Folk is preserving this rich history in her new collection, Pepper. Using what is now a staple on every table in every home, cafe and restaurant in the West, Folk has cast a range of clever pieces from peppercorns. The finely creased metal beads have been fashioned into bracelets, rings and hoop earrings in precious metal. Using squashed, stamped and pickled corns, Folk has crafted another diverse collection of food-inspired jewellery.

Combining her love of food and art – from humble beginnings as a pasta-necklace stringing toddler to her last Mexican inspired range Taqueria – Folk has imbued her line with foodie passion. From taco shaped earrings to crab claw cufflinks, Folk’s craftsmanship permits her creativity free reign.

“The Caesars traded gold and silver coins for peppercorns, which is the inspiration for my use of multi-hued metals,” says Folk. Fine bangles, cast in gold, silver, black and powder coated green and pink can be worn in combination or alone. The King of Spices necklace features as a larger piece with a double layer of silver and oxidised beads strung on Folk’s signature diamond-shaped chain. The yellow gold squashed pepper ring stands out as the glitzy piece in a delicate, feminine collection.

Like pieces from past collections such as her popcorn rings and taco shell bangles, the appeal of Folk’s new collection is in its subtlety. Only upon close inspection are the peppercorns evident, emboldening the wearer with a story to tell.

Lucy Folk pieces are sold through Pieces of Eight Gallery in Melbourne. Other stockists include Alice Euphemia and Arabella Ramsay. Lucy Folk will be opening her own boutique store in Melbourne next month.

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