If you look up jewellery designer By Nye, you’ll find some strange stories about how it all began. You might read about travellers who “destroyed the pyramids and used the rubble to create a necklace”. Or maybe you’ll find that a “sad chant of desire” echoed throughout the lands and ushered forth the Melbourne-based designer. In reality, founder Nye De Marchi launched By Nye in September last year in the studio at the back of her North Carlton home. Regardless, a sense of magic and myth pervades De Marchi’s designs. Her rings, necklaces, and bracelets use vibrant stones, individually moulded by De Marchi. Each piece is one of a kind.
“I like the idea of creating an alternate world for my designs and giving them a life of their own,” says De Marchi. “I think it’s fairly common to form a bond with a jewellery item – it becomes quite an intimate relationship, so the idea of characterising each piece, and almost humanising them, interested me.”
De Marchi works with silver and stones to create new forms. The result is her upcoming collection, Modern Relic. Sharp onyx crystals shoot upwards from an open-ended bangle as if they are growing from the silver. Necklaces are decorated with pearls and heavy stones. The collection plays on a sense of mythical wonder, but with a strong focus on modern design.
Alongside By Nye’s newest collection is a set of pieces made in collaboration with award-winning sculptural artist Alice McIntosh, called A Mind of Its Own. The pair explored different material forms, then transformed these objects into wearable jewellery. “Alice came into the studio and we attempted to adopt a similar process to the one she uses in her own art practice,” says De Marchi. “We used all my tools and materials, but in ways I’d never used them before.”
This is just the beginning of collaborating with other artists – De Marchi is currently working on a collection with filmmaker and photographer, Freya Esders. “Working with artists from such different fields allows me to shift the way I design – I create something different with their influence, but it’s still By Nye.”