Head to any market around town, and you’ll quickly realise that Adelaide is full of talented jewellery designers. In the past few years, established and emerging names alike have been creating some of their best work, and launching or refreshing their labels. Here are four new or revamped labels that have caught our eye recently – and they all ship around Australia.
Tattoo artist Jaya Suartika (XO L’Avant) is inspired by symmetry and negative space, and makes rings that feel strong yet subtle. “My music teacher once told me, ‘The silence is just as important as the music’… that is something that has stuck with me,” he says. His new series of rings were created by wax carving the pieces before setting them in solid silver. Suartika likes to add details where design elements are usually forgotten, such as the underside of the finger. And his “floating rings”, such as the Twin or Tuba, achieve an illusion of two pieces floating on either side of the finger.
Days of August
After 10 years, local jeweller Marie-Pier Labelle has refreshed her Days of August concept with a renewed focus on sustainability, durability and timelessness to encourage consumers to “buy better and wear forever”. This more considered approach has resulted in a collection of simple, clean, architectural designs: in other words, pieces designed to last. Labelle transforms industrial stainless steel (sourced from the small offcuts of a local machinist) into lightweight, minimalist earrings, brooches and hair accessories. “The sustainability and durability of stainless steel made it much more appealing to me than precious metals,” says Labelle. “At the end of the day, I wasn’t going to make traditional or trendy jewellery, so this alternative metal was a perfect fit.” Labelle has also partnered with Ecologi to offset her environmental footprint and make Days of August a carbon-neutral business.
Epsilon the Brand
This elegant new jewellery brand is the side hustle of Kris Lloyd, cheesemaker at Woodside Cheese Wrights. Lloyd says there’s a synergy between her enthusiasm for food and fashion, and that some of her pieces were directly influenced by Australian native flora. “I love natives and use them extensively in my cheeses, so I am no stranger to their beauty,” she says. “I feel incredibly inspired by what I can see around me in the Adelaide Hills.” Alongside an all-female team, she’s created a collection of solid sterling silver finished with 24-carat gold plating. There are both delicate and statement pieces – from zodiac-themed necklaces and a wattle range, with pieces textured like the bark on a wattle tree, to pearl drop earrings.
Memories from overseas travels are the major influence Heather McNab draws on when creating designs for her jewellery label, Fencesitter. Handmade wire earrings Vitamin C are an ode to limoncello and lemon-printed linen in Positano. There are also earrings shaped like wine glasses, monstera leaves and femme bodies. Other pieces, including delicate rings, bracelets and necklaces, are either gold-plated or made from stainless steel – meaning they’re safe to swim or shower in. “We’re striving to fill a gap in the market for young people who want jewellery that won’t turn their skin green, but also won’t cost them a month’s pay,” McNab says.