Being a jeweller can be a lonely profession, so when Victoria Mason and Ewan Tremellen struck up a friendship working together in a jewellery store, the relationship lasted well beyond their terms of employment. Years later, a decision to combine studios and practices was “nothing short of life-changing”, Mason tells Broadsheet.
“So much of jewellery making is solutions-focused, and involves a lot of problem-solving. Since joining forces [with Tremellen], it’s been so delightful to be able to bounce ideas off of somebody who intimately knows how to work and rework pieces to fit what the client is after.”
Creo Melbourne is the name of their shared studio, workshop, gallery and retail space, perched at the foot of The Malt District apartments in Cremorne in Melbourne's inner city. Inside, traditional jewellery techniques meet modern experimentation.
Gift them their favourite dining experience. The Broadsheet Gift Card can be used at thousands of restaurants around the country.SHOP NOW
Though the initial intention behind the space was for Mason and Tremellen to collaborate, it’s since transformed into a place to celebrate all the best parts of life – things like birthdays, engagements, anniversaries and milestone events.
“People come to us for all the joyful moments, whether they’re getting married, they’ve been gifted an heirloom or they want to add a little glamour to their Friday night,” Tremellen says. “At Creo Melbourne we want to create a space that inspires people, even if they’re not entirely sure of what they’re looking for.”
Working in the same studio has “helped them step out of their comfort zone” when it comes to creating, Mason says. To accompany their co-created jewels, the duo now makes and sells bronze pieces, handcrafted barware like silver cocktail stirrers and picks, and collections of sculptures made from hand-selected Australian minerals.
“We’ve been making pieces for over three decades and we’ve seen all the trends come and go,” Mason says. “Even though we’ve branched out with what we create together, we’ve still kept things simple, because simple never goes out of style. Consistent, classic designs made from good quality materials will always last the longest.”
Before partnering with Tremellen, Mason worked independently as an artist and jeweller for much of her life. She describes her creative style as “simple and classic”, specialising in engagement rings and pieces made in close consultation with clients, though she has released limited ranges here and there. Like Mason, Tremellen’s independent work is built around creating lifelong bespoke pieces like engagement rings, wedding bands and anniversary gifts.
“We’re so similar in the way that we create pieces, and that’s why collaborating works so well,” Tremellen explains. “It’s all about consulting clients properly, choosing the right gemstones and materials, and maintaining attention to detail.”
When it comes to reimagining pre-loved items, both Mason and Tremellen say the key is working with good materials and understanding the history behind them. “Working closely with clients is my favourite part of the job,” Mason says. “Being able to take someone’s story and turn it into a keepsake that can continue to be passed down a family is so special. We get to see so many amazing old gemstones pass over our bench.”
The duo has big plans for Creo Melbourne, some of which are already well underway. They want to eventually host events and workshops in the space, and they’ve recently collaborated with Melbourne-based boutique alcohol delivery service The Local Drop ahead of the holiday season.
Partly inspired by Mason and Tremellen’s habit of mixing Friday night knock-off cocktails for each other, the partnership will see them sell pre-packaged drinks alongside their handcrafted freshwater pearl stirrers and silver sculpted lemon pip cocktail picks for all those big (and small) life moments that need celebrating with fancy cocktail accessories.
“We’re focusing on equal-parts classic cocktails, like a Negroni and Martini,” Mason says. “The packs will be very minimalistic, very beautiful single-serve cocktails paired with our accoutrements.
“I hope these pieces form part of a get-together with friends and make their catch-up just a little more fancy. Creo specialises in celebratory gifts, and these cocktail pieces are being purchased as special birthday gifts for friends or by clients who see the fun in adding some extra glamour to their home. Pride in presentation always gets noticed.”
Visit Creo Melbourne at Shop 4, 154 Cremorne Street, Cremorne, 10am–4pm Thursdays and Fridays, or by appointment. Or shop online at creomelbourne.com
This article first appeared in Domain Review, in partnership with Broadsheet.
Keen to discover more local jewellery makers? Head here.