Introducing Vermeer Studio
December 6th, 2021
Vermeer Studio is the creation between two best friends, Gabriel Krestensen and Tané Meiring who sculpt stones, beads and metal into subtle adornments that take in the light as you move, or frame your clavicle or nape just so. The beauty of their pieces is the way they drape or dangle next to your skin, riding the wave between playful, sexy and feminine. We chat to Tané to find out more, and celebrate Poepke’s pop-up with Vermeer Studio.
When did you begin making jewellery and how did you get drawn to the process?
We began creating jewellery a few years ago in 2018. The skills were taught and passed down to us from Gabriel’s mum and we fell in love with the design process right away. There was something so therapeutic about choosing colours and designs that really spoke to us, it was a process we both really enjoyed.
2. What was the impetus of starting Vermeer Studio and tell us the story of how it began.
We had dreamt of creating together since our early teens as we felt our styles really complimented and inspired one another. As we got older these dreams only matured and we would talk endlessly about different ideas whenever we had a chance over a vino or two!
It was when Gab became a mother herself that we really felt ready and motivated to pursue something and it just happened that her mum was willing to teach us about jewellery and we fell in love! The rest is history.
3. You craft all your jewellery from carefully sourced natural materials from all over Australia and the world. Name a material you have sourced that you are especially fond of and tell us why.
Natural materials always have us in awe, the array of colours and textures are endless that it really is impossible to choose a favourite. We are uniquely fond of each piece as all of our materials inspire us in different ways and evoke different feelings in us.
4. How do you name each of your collections and pieces?
After we have designed a piece and know how it makes us feel, we love to choose name’s that we think match the character and personality of each piece. It’s such a fun process!
5. Tell us a book, a movie and a song (or just one) that has moved you, or has inspired your work.
Music is definitely the media that most captivates and moves us. You will always find us listening to Jazz or Classical music in the studio as we find it the most grounding and calming, especially in these uncertain times.Tags: Interviews, Poepke Projects, Projects | Comments (0)
Poepke Projects x Alex and Trahanas
November 2nd, 2018
For Poepke’s new edition of Poepke projects, we’re lucky to feature Alex and Trahanas, a lifestyle brand of treasures crafted by artisans and hand-picked from around the world. The duo’s first collection is informed by the outdoor living of the Mediterranean; think linen dresses to toast wine in, hand-made ceramics to eat olives from, and sculptural gold jewellery to glint in the setting sun. We talk to the designers behind the local label ahead of their arrival in store.
Alex and Trahanas is described as a lifestyle project. How did the project come together?
ALEX AND TRAHANAS was born out of a joint love for the Mediterranean way of living. Sun-filled terraces, seaside trattorias and tavernas; entertaining with delicious food, wine, surrounded by friends and family. Our lifestyle project is fuelled by the garments, accessories and entertaining pieces that enrich and create more of those experiences.
How did the two of you meet, and as a duo how does your relationship translate into your work?
We met in the world of magazines, (over 10 years ago) working for titles such as Vogue Australia, GQ, Vogue Living, Vogue Entertaining + Travel and delicious to name a few. We went our own ways and kept in contact via each other’s travel pics and upon reconnecting decided to create a lifestyle project, for the person who loves style, food, entertaining and travel – is full of life.
Your first collection ‘Aperitivo Hour’ has close ties with Puglia, tell us about your connection there?
Upon travelling to Puglia, we experienced the warmth of Italian hospitality and the quintessential Mediterranean Summer lifestyle. These experiences are at the heart of our project. On our travels, we discovered some beautiful ceramics, produced by artisans in a small village. We enjoyed the most delicious Italian meals and aperitivos with these ceramics. They brought fun, personality and life to the table, we instantly wanted to bring them home with us and give people the chance to experience a touch of Southern Italy in Australia. It was incredible to witness the creation of these pieces. The ceramicists sits on a timber stool with shutter doors that open to the cobbled streets and white painted village, whilst listening to opera and drinking espresso. Each piece is one of a kind, they are like little works of art. We have since been back to shoot our most recent linen collection ‘Apulian Summer’ in amongst the ancient olive groves. It is a truly inspiring and magical place.
The collection features Italian linen dresses made in Australia, and hand painted ceramics. Why these pieces in particular?
For us, timeless linen garments and beautiful hand-made ceramics are the tools which inspire social Summer experiences and a rich lifestyle. Our aloe-vera infused Italian linen, is sourced from one of the finest and most luxurious mills in the world, Solbiati and then made in Australia. Our ceramics are sourced from local artisans in Southern Italy. We wanted to bring a taste of the Mediterranean to Australia; where effortless garments can take you from day to night. We think about the ALEX AND TRAHANAS woman who lives for a warm summer of rolling long lunches, enjoying our pieces.
You’ve also just released a jewellery collaboration with Louise Olsen. What was your inspiration behind this?
Louise Olsen is one of Australia’s most recognised designer’s and artist’s, the collection features earrings and a bangle inspired by the beauty of olive trees, the backdrop for our Summer edition photo shoot. The organic curved olive leaf forms bring a touch of the Mediterranean into each piece, where golden leaves hang from the ear or wrap gently around the wrist. They make the perfect summer jewel to accompany our classic Italian linen garments.Tags: Alex and Trahanas, Interviews, Poepke Projects, Projects | Comments (0)
Poepke Projects – Stephanie Said
May 11th, 2018
Our new edition of Poepke Projects features local jewellery-maker Stephanie Said. For Stephanie, the fluidity and mechanisms of her geometric jewellery begins with a humble piece of paper. Used to using this blank slate as a starting point when she worked in fashion, it’s sculptural malleability informs her work, as does the desire to evoke curiosity in the wearer of her creations. Stephanie’s collection at Poepke over the next two months, features her foray into working with 18k gold and limited designs in soft blush and soft matt yellow. We spoke to Stephanie about her concepts, motivations and influences for the collection.
A lot of the sculptural shapes of your jewellery have evolved from playing with the shapes and folds of a plain piece of paper. Tell us about how the piece of paper became your starting point and what it reflects in your jewellery’s forms.
I studied and worked in fashion, and to create clothes, we would often start with paper to map out the form the fabric would take. I guess paper became the way for me to visualise in 3D what something could look like on the body and it was a natural process for me to be able to visualise jewellery this way. You can cut and fold and see how the shape feels in relation to the space of your hand or neck before beginning to work in metal. It has a definite affect on the evolution and feel of my collections and has allowed me to create some interesting pieces because of the movement that can be created with paper as opposed to metal. My pieces are often very simple geometric shapes but the detail comes through in the angle, or fold of the metal, and the way it is able to reflect light and create sounds with the movement. There is a pureness to the pieces, much like a blank sheet of paper. It is calm and ready for your own sentiments.
There is an aspect of the hidden with some of you pieces which you can open up to find hidden diamonds or unfold to create new forms. What is your inspiration behind these?
There is often so much sentiment in a piece of jewellery, so it feels more true to me this way, that there is an element which is private and personal created by the design of the jewellery itself. I am really interested in creating objects that have a curiosity to them, or a secret pleasure – When you pick up one of my pieces for the first time, you will often discover something unexpected. That discovery creates an instant private experience between you and the jewellery. There is something quite beautiful in being able to keep precious things close to you and create this curiosity for the people around you who may see you wearing them.
In using diamonds, they create a really beautiful light when subtly revealed which I find much more exciting that when they are so obvious.
There’s a musicality to wearing your creations, they often make sound when you move. Was this something you intentionally wanted to capture?
Yes, it feels quite perfect to be able to have the extra sensation to hear your jewellery, and be reminded of its presence when you can hear the piece moving with you. They can make the most delicate sounds depending on the combination of pieces and where it is worn. The sounds become a part of you.
You use 50% of recycled material in your designs. How do you manage to achieve this?
We use a minimum of 50% recycled sterling silver and are always aiming for 100% recycled metals. We do this by asking the questions to our suppliers and only working with those that can we can trust, ensuring we have that guarantee. They will refine pure silver and copper from various industrial users of precious metals to create silver that is as good as new.
You can view Stephanie’s collection at Poepke here.Tags: Interviews, Projects | Comments (0)
Poepke Projects: Jodie Boffa
July 26th, 2017
Jodie Boffa has been designing clothes both here in Sydney and in London since the mid 1980’s. Over the years, numerous trips to Japan for work helped to forge her love for vintage kimono fabrics, of which she amassed a number. Finally the time was right for her to put her hand into designing a capsule collection out of these vibrant fabrics, giving them a new lease of life. Poepke is proud to be the exclusive stockists of her range, as part of our Projects at Poepke, an initiative which heralds the work of Australian designers. We sat down with Jodie to ask her about how it all began.
Projects at Poepke: halfnoon
May 18th, 2016
Nicole Sudjana first started playing around with jewellery making as a way to occupy herself in the early hours of the morning, when she suffered from insomnia. She then studied gold and silversmithing and fell in love with the silent process of creating, which differed greatly from her day job as a hairdresser and its constant chatting. Nicole describes her jewellery, as ‘understated and on the masculine side’ The pieces are all simple but with a twist; the Edamame Pendant, Wiggle earrings and an oversized Fob Chain and are all hand crafted in sterling silver.
We spoke to Nicole about her journey into jewllery making, her aesthetic and her key influences.
What first drew you to making jewellery by hand and how long have you been making?
I have always been one of those people that are into making things. I originally started making more DIY style jewellery because I went through a long phase of having problems sleeping and needed something to do late at night to occupy myself. As far as halfnoon goes, I have been studying and making jewellery for around 2 years. Prior to halfnoon, I was a hairdresser of 10 years, so I have always been about keeping my hands busy- halfnoon has been another venture to challenge myself and learn a new skill set to experiment with.
How would you describe halfnoon’s aesthetic to someone who has never seen your pieces?
Understated – probably on the more masculine side at this point. I wouldn’t say I have a set aesthetic with halfnoon- I expect it to be something that is forever evolving. I’m really into the formation of shapes and want to get more into the relationship between colour and shape.
Do you work primarily with sterling silver?
Your Instagram beautifully meshes kaleidoscopic images of your jewellery with the work of photographers and other artists. Who have been some of your key influences?
I don’t really have specific people whose work continuously influences me…. I like looking at colours, shapes and shadows and the relationship between the three. Sometimes there’s just one moment in one photo that I’m into and am inspired by.
Tags: Interviews, Projects | Comments (0)
Projects at Poepke: Everyday Needs
November 12th, 2014
Read more about our current Project, a collaboration with New Zealand-based Everyday Needs, in Broadsheet here.Tags: Projects | Comments (0)
Projects at Poepke: Everyday Needs
October 12th, 2014
Based in New Zealand, Everyday Needs is a store for people who want to make informed decisions for their way of living. Carefully sourced and personally curated by stylist and interior designer Katie Lockhart, Everyday Needs offers products that please the eye and are made for everyday use, with a thoughtfulness and quality that will last the test of time.
Over the next two months, Poepke is collaborating with Everyday Needs to present a pop-up in our Sydney shop as part of our Projects at Poepke. We spoke with Lockhart in the lead-up about the concept behind Everyday Needs, her background and what to expect from the pop-up.
How would you describe Everyday Needs?
Carefully sourced, thoughtfully designed and goods of a quality that will last the test of time.
What kinds of producers do you work with? How do you find them and what kinds of attributes are you looking for in products?
We work either directly with artisans or with companies who work directly with a stable of artisans. Often I find products whilst I am travelling for my design work but really it just happens quite naturally. We are really focused on sourcing products that are an Everyday Need, that are well crafted and that we would like to live with.
What kinds of connections do you see between your work and what we do here at Poepke?
I think that we focus on the same sort of curation for our customers, as said above a carefully sourced and thoughtfully designed selection of good goods.
Katie, before your forays into the design world, you came from a fashion background – in part, the beautiful cashmere label To Sir With Love. How did this shift come about?
I studied Textile Design at the School of Architecture & Design (in Wellington) which covered off aspects of both Fashion and Interior Design. In my final year I created a collection of head scarves which I showed to Karen Walker upon my course completion and she hired me as her design assistant. I stayed with her for just over two years before moving to Milan to shift my focus more onto interiors. After a few years of working in Milan and London as an Interior designer and Interior stylist I returned home to open my Design practise in New Zealand. At around the same time Margot and I had the idea to create a range of cashmere basics which we named ’To Sir with Love’, the concept really revolved around what we wanted for ourselves.
Are there connections between the ways you approach fashion and design, and your Everyday Needs ethos?
I am not really interested in fashions as much as making choices that will be long lasting. I like to think that the interiors that I create will last for years and that the paint colours will look even better when a little sun faded. Similarly I hope our Everyday Needs customers will get enjoyment from our pieces for years to come.
What should we expect from your collaboration with Poepke?
We hope to be able to present an edit of our Everyday Needs that will introduce the Poepke customer to what we consider essentials for the home.
Photography: Harriet Were.
The Everyday Needs Project begins on Thursday 16 October. If you’d like to attend the opening, please subscribe to our email list at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.Tags: Interviews, Projects | Comments (0)
Projects at Poepke: Joao Vaz
July 19th, 2014
Joao Vaz creates strong architectural jewellery with an almost microscopic attention to detail. His Dark-Matter collection is a careful balance of opposites: fragility versus strength, bold minimalism versus delicate detailing, metallic versus synthetic, past versus future. In terms of production there is again more to Vaz’s work than meets the eye, with the use of new jewellery technologies, such as 3D printing and acrylic tension setting, alongside a strong dedication to sustainable and responsible practices. Creating work that has an impact while respecting the fragility of our world and its people is Vaz’s signature; a message which, viewed through the lens of the Dark-Matter collection, has a poetically sci-fi ring to it.
We spoke to Vaz about his earliest experimentations with jewellery, the development of this collection and his practices in the lead up to his Project at Poepke.
Joao, how long have you been interested in making jewellery? How did this begin for you?
I’ve always loved jewellery and fashion, since I was a child. My first pieces were rings made with paper and buttons. It became more serious when I was planning on moving to the UK at the age of 18 to study and had to chose between the two. This was 12 years ago. I chose jewellery then and I would choose it now.
You have a very particular aesthetic – to me, there’s a lot of tension in your work. Is playing different elements off of each other something that particularly interests you in the making of a collection, or is this just something that emerges after the fact?
Dark-Matter was about trying to define what my aesthetic looks like. I guess it just takes a very long time for all designers, artists, jewellers, to finally arrive at a place in their work that somehow starts to really look like ‘their’ work. Dark-Matter is a very important collection for me because achieving this sense of truthfulness was the main objective. I never thought about it in terms of ‘tension’ between elements, but you might be perfectly right. I find it difficult to narrow down my visual language because there are so many things that I’m interested in, and so many of them are contradictory. Perhaps these conflicts managed to persist all the way to the end.
Could you give us some insight into this collection in particular, Dark-Matter? What sorts of reference points were you working from in conceiving of these pieces?
I’ll try and keep this short. The main objective was to create a collection that exposed my ‘true’ aesthetic. I had to do a lot of investigation to get to the final result. I looked at all of these things that had always inspired me: Bjork, Gaudi, Queen Elizabeth I, etc.; then I wrote down all of these words that are important to my work and that I want to achieve with it, like narrative and craftsmanship and technological developments. I then looked at my sketch books and collected different ideas and concepts that I had thought of before.
I tried to really understand what has always been a constant in my work and then exacerbate it: the fact that no surface is left untouched (all the metal pieces), developing existing jewellery techniques (acrylic tension setting) and imagining an emotional landscape for the pieces that contemplates on the extraordinary (Landscape choker and Cathedral necklace).
You are very particular about your practices: where you source from, who you work with. Could you offer us a little more insight into your processes?
All of the pieces are done in my studio in Sydney, with the exception of the 3D printing which is manufactured in the Netherlands. All the metal is cast in Marrickville by a company called Pure Casting using Australian sourced brass and silver. The laser cutting cutting is done down the road from my studio by Modelcraft. I don’t use natural gems, which are extracted from countries I believe can’t truly regulate the processes involved, which led me to use Australian sapphires (sourced in Australia), hydro rubies (manmade) and cubic zirconias (manmade).
What is the philosophy behind this?
Responsible manufacturing is really quite important to me and there’s so much more that I can do. It’s definitely a work in progress, much like everything else. Ultimately I want to create a business that as it grows it considers more and more aspects of the surrounding social and environmental landscape. I dream that one day we’ll only use pure organic beeswax for all our castings!
I believe that if the thought is there from the outset and you remind yourself everyday that there’s really no point in creating beautiful pieces of jewellery at the cost of the planet and the people in it, it sort of becomes part of the design process, another creative challenge that must be accomplished.
For those who aren’t as familiar with your work or this collection, what should they expect to discover in your Project at Poepke?
A world of beauty, elegance and decadence. The beginning of something truly incredible in a store that believes and supports Australian design.
All images are courtesy of Joao Vaz, with lookbook photography by Eleanor Ackland and behind the scenes photography by Catherine Buman.
Joao Vaz’s Project at Poepke begins this Monday 21 July and continues through the coming months.Tags: Interviews, Projects | Comments (1)
Projects at Poepke: PoyserPoyser
April 8th, 2014
This Thursday, we welcome a new Project to Poepke: intricate and unexpected jewellery from artist Helen Poyser. Here, we speak to Helen about her home, her creative process and what to expect from her PoyserPoyser Project at Poepke.
You’re a painter as well as a jewellery-maker. Could you tell us a little bit about your different modes of practice and how you’ve come to be doing the things you are now?
My practice involves drawing and painting in watercolour. Before jewellery I worked on small sculpture projects, but I never really exhibited the sculptural work, it was definitely for my own and my partner’s enjoyment. I created rough little “gods” and effigies using whatever I had at hand in my studio – which since I’m an op shop pillager included all sorts of second-hand craft materials, wool, thread, feathers, beads, etc. And clay. The sculptures were designed to inoculate or guard against various ailments like customer service fatigue, Sunday lethargy, troublesome real estate agents – whatever might be bugging our souls. The god statues morphed into something that could be carried out of the house and they became jewellery.
You’re based in the beautiful surrounds of the Blue Mountains. Has this had an effect on your painting and jewellery-making at all?
City air seems almost solid, especially in Sydney’s inner west where we lived before moving up here. Being able to breathe definitely helps me with my work, it’s easier to view things from a less rigid perspective when you have space and air. I’m also more comfortable on the outside, observing when I feel like it, rather than being frantically involved in the thick of things. So the mountains are perfect for my practice and their beauty is always motivating.
So you share this home with your partner, who is also an artist and a musician – is that right? Are you involved in or do you feel a particular connection to each other’s work?
My partner has been showing at gallery9 in Darlinghurst for the past 7 years. We both work and live on top of each other in the same house. I tell him when his paintings are finished and he does the same for me, although I’m much more stubborn and don’t always listen – to my own detriment sometimes. He plays classical guitar providing our daily soundtrack of scales and arpeggios hour after hour which I think helps maintain the rhythm of jewellery production.
All of your jewellery is handmade, but can you tell us a little more about your process?
I made all the pieces in the collection myself, they developed intuitively without any kind of preconceived design – which is how I usually approach painting as well. Often I’ll have someone close to me in mind while I’m working, forming the piece in my hands while it forms around their neck in my imagination. Production involves lots of digging around in op shops, then de-stringing, beading and lots of winding. I use a hair thin needle most of the time and I’ve got some useful callouses.
What materials do you use? Is reusing materials important to you?
Every piece in this collection is made using at least 80% reclaimed materials. I’ve focused on glass seed beads and embroidery thread mainly with the odd semi precious stone accent. Practically all of it comes from charity shops but occasionally I’ll find someone wanting to get rid of a private stash on ebay. I’ve found the best fabric to use as an underlying structure to bead over is old t-shirt cotton, which fortunately I have in abundance already. The ethics of recycling appeal to me very much, I’m a hoarder and I love to hunt and gather but the limitations and challenges of this approach are very stimulating too. Having boundaries placed on my creativity is incredibly helpful, the structure helps me focus.
What can we expect to see as part of your Project?
I aimed to imbibe all the pieces with a sort of life force of their own. I want them to feel like talismans, as if they could give you super powers. Expect to see loads of colour, intricate detail, loose patterning, sort of wearable pagan Pop Art .
The Poyser Project begins this Thursday 10 April.Tags: Interviews, Projects | Comments (0)
Projects at Poepke: Bird & Knoll
February 17th, 2014
Read more about our latest Project in Broadsheet. Photos by Fiona Susanto.Tags: Projects | Comments (0)
Projects at Poepke: Bird & Knoll
February 17th, 2014
Thank you to everyone who joined us to launch the Bird & Knoll Project last Thursday evening – and to our sponsors, Rochfort Rees and Antipodes. We look forward to hosting the collection over the next two months.Tags: Projects | Comments (0)
Projects at Poepke: Bird & Knoll
February 11th, 2014
Beginning this week, our next Project at Poepke is trans-Tasman duo Bird & Knoll. A juxtaposition of fashion, travel and photography, Bird & Knoll’s luxurious cashmere-blend scarves, printed with photographs of iconic and exotic destinations, are a narrative of the modern woman’s contemporary lifestyle and travel aspirations.
Natalie Knoll – the creative eye in the duo – is a well-regarded photographer who has worked in both London and Sydney specialising in portraits and events. Her love of travel (with camera in hand) produced an amazing archive of images that she had been looking to do something with for sometime. The idea of her images of iconic and exotic destinations printed onto cashmere–blend scarves was the perfect way to blend with her two loves, travel and photography. We spoke to Natalie about the collection, her passions and her favourite spots in Sydney.
How long have you two known each other and how did your collaboration begin?
We met each other about two and a half years ago now, at our kids swimming classes, and bonded over a mutual admiration of each others fashion sense (and the boredom of watching laps in 30 degree plus heat). We just clicked and even though Macayla moved back to NZ shortly after, we stayed in regular contact. So when I had the scarf epiphany on a sun lounger in Hawaii I knew that Macayla would be the perfect partner on the new project, especially given her previous experience in the fashion and editorial industries in NZ.
Natalie, it seems like you’re quite the intrepid traveller. Can you tell us a little bit about your time spent travelling and your photography?
I have had quite a nomadic life – I grew up in South Africa then lived in London, New York and Sydney and was completely bitten by the travel bug at an early stage. I have always made the most of using the cities that I have lived in as a launch pad for quick trips, extensive intrepid travels (not always glamourous) and weekend getaways. I used to work in investment banking but photography was always my passion and travel photography in particular. Capturing the details and every day rituals of new and old favourite destinations is what I love the most. My passion soon evolved into my career after moving to Sydney – it seemed like such a natural progression.
Each scarf and each image has a very particular story behind it. What is one of your favourites?
How do you pick a favourite? They are all my favourite at some stage or another, depending on what mood I am in, where I am going and what outfit I am co-ordinating it with. A scarf is such a versatile piece and really is the final edit to an outfit. I have been wearing a lot of the Medina Motorcycles scarf lately – I love how the colours and “textures” change depending on how it is wrapped. The story is also special – Lost in the alleyways of Marrakech on a romantic weekend from London with my husband and stumbling across the workmen tapping away at their copper, their motorbikes parked next to them. A vignette of a craftsman in Morocco…
You offer much more with each scarf than simply the scarf itself. Could you tell us a bit about this?
Right from the beginning we were aware that our scarves were much more than merely a fashion accessory … they are a juxtaposition of fashion, photography and travel and we wanted to ensure that the Bird and Knoll experience was about all of this. To inspire and aspire with our product, packaging and the story behind it was always key.
What are some of your favourite places in Sydney?
Bondi Beach – goes without saying really but the rugged beauty of the ocean, the colour palette and the light are three things that make us adore this city. But more so are the places off the tourist track – those little gems that you stumble upon even after having lived here for so long. E.g Chowder Bay – the coolest little coffee spot built into the rock cliff is there with striped deck chairs outside looking onto the bay; Haberfield – Sydney’s own Little Italy for the best Italian deli cheeses and meats; Nielsen Park’s fish and chip kiosk is heaving with beachgoers enjoying the balmy summer evenings. (You can tell we like our food too!)
Bird & Knoll’s Project launches this Thursday evening and continues through the next two months. To keep up to date with our Projects at Poepke, join our email list at email@example.comTags: Interviews, Projects | Comments (0)
Projects at Poepke: Henson
November 12th, 2013
Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Henson Project launch last Thursday – and congratulations to Henson on an amazing Project. The Henson pieces will be available in store over the next two months.Tags: Henson, Projects | Comments (0)
Projects at Poepke: Henson
November 5th, 2013
In our next Project, Poepke introduce Henson’s distinct jewellery. Described as having ‘a highly conceptual and detailed approach to design’, Henson’s creators Andy Henson and Brent Gold will often leave ‘traces’ of themselves on each piece. They play with notions of beauty and the idea that something untraditional, unconstrained and maybe even a little bit ugly can be coveted and therefore become beautiful. Their creations are organic, raw and aggressive and often speak of different times, places and cultures.
How did you two first begin collaborating together?
We had been friends for a while and were living together at the time. We were both really interested in making all the things that we imagined but couldn’t find, and the house slowly transformed into a working studio.
With one of you living in Sydney and the other in Melbourne, do you find the distance challenging?
I think at first it was a challenge, but now I’d say we both thrive on it. Over the years we have both tuned in to each other really well. So while the distance has given us space to really develop our own specific styles and ideas, we often find that we are thinking the exact same thing. It also means that the energy we have when we meet up feels fresh, kind of like a long distance relationship. [laughs]
Your design aesthetic seems to be composed of concurrent opposites – minimalist and raw, masculine and delicate, strong and luxe. How would you describe what you do?
We are really focused on hand made, and we really like our work to feel hand made. Often we leave little marks on the jewellery to highlight that. I think that’s where the organic and raw feel comes from. A challenge for us is to retain that raw feel but also create objects that are both unisex and really wearable, and I guess that’s where the minimalist and refined side of our aesthetic comes into play.
For your Project at Poepke, you’ve chosen a particular focus point. Can you tell us about that?
Well, our new collection is called Regenesis and the idea behind it was to build a collection out of all the fragments of old work in the studio. We re-smelted silver, pulled apart chains and really focused on beating and carving the silver back into shape. To juxtapose the heavy feel to the collection we added black diamonds and pearls – and that is the focus for the Project at Poepke. There is an American poet called Aberjhani that wrote ‘at the edge of madness you howl diamonds and pearls’, and that’s where the name for the installation has come from.
What pieces can we expect to find from you at Poepke over the coming months?
Lots of rings, necklaces and cuffs. We have made quite a few one off pieces as well. Black diamonds and japanese black pearls and lots of hand carved pieces.
Henson’s Project for Poepke begins this Thursday 7 November. To stay in the loop with Projects at Poepke and other happenings, join our email list at firstname.lastname@example.orgTags: Henson, Interviews, Projects | Comments (0)
Projects at Poepke: shuh.
July 4th, 2013
shuh. is a Melbourne-based illustrator and jewellery designer. Shuh Lee’s work has always evolved with colours and reusing unwanted or recycled objects. She likes to create bright, colourful and fun objects that people can wear, use and love. shuh.’s Project at Poepke will include handmade bracelets and necklaces, printed tea towels and homewares, and framed illustrations.
We chatted to Lee about her past, her bright, beautiful pieces and her upcoming Project with us.
Hi Shuh! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
Hello Poepke! My name is Shuh Lee. I grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My father works as a commercial silk-screen printer. Being exposed to paints and printing at an early age has influenced me to pursue work in the creative field. I left home to finish my degree in Melbourne before deciding to extend my stay.
I think my work is a combination of my experience growing up in Malaysia and living in Melbourne. I am very grateful to able to work in the creative field. Being in the environment I grew up in, I find I don’t have a lot of role models in the creative arts. Most people I grew up with were encouraging me to pursue a more conservative career. Staying true to myself was definitely one of the challenges that I have faced. Currently, I am juggling between a full time job and my own creative work.
What is your background and how did you come to be making these beautiful pieces?
I took up an arts stream in high school and did a Fashion Design Diploma in college before completing a Fashion Degree at RMIT. Throughout my studies, I tended to experiment with colours, hand stitching and drawing. Although every assignment is different, these aesthetics always seem to appear in my work unintentionally. I think that is probably the starting point of my work.
Your work has many different dimensions: you work in many forms (jewellery and illustration among them), and have collaborated with different people. How do these new ideas/forms/collaborations come about?
During my studies, I would find myself wandering into the fine art/silversmith faculties. From then, I knew I wanted to work with and explore other mediums and forms, but while maintaining the use of hand stitching or a raw touch in my work. I am always in search for new materials or products to work with.
Collaboration with other people is probably an extension of this exploration. The collaboration normally starts with conversation over a cup of coffee or a couple of emails, getting to know the other artist before working together. I love working with other people. Sharing ideas and learning something new is bliss!
What inspires you? Tell us about a few of your favourite things.
Inspiration comes to me in everyday life. It could be anything, anywhere, anytime and anybody.
However, having/doing my favourite things helps with the process. I love going to new places, listening to beautiful sounds, watching foreign films, trying new workshops, being surrounded by other creative people, checking out works/exhibitions, foggy/rainy days, long evening walks, swimming in a quiet pool, reminiscing over old memories… to name a few things.
What will you be bringing to Poepke for your Project with us? What should we expect?
Colours! I will be bringing a combination of my current accessories, framed illustrations and homewares to Poepke.
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