Jewellery maker Elizabeth (Liz), from Argent Silversmith joins us to share a behind-the-scenes look at her creative small biz and give us a preview of what we can expect at her Finders Keepers stall this Spring! We can’t wait to catch up in person at the Melbourne/Narrm Design Market on 13-15 October! But until then, read on for our Creative Catch Up and learn more about this beautiful small business!
Can you share the story behind your label, when you started, and what you love most about being a designer?
I started making jewellery in my free time about six years ago when a friend taught me to make a plain silver ring. I spent my next paycheck purchasing basic metals and tools to start creating in my spare time and just loved experimenting with how the metals move, bend, melt and form. I decided to start a little business about a year later. The demand for my designs was growing, and I was ready to invest and dedicate myself to creating jewellery and growing a little handmade business so I quit my job and started working full-time for Argent Silversmith. I love being able to dream up a piece of jewellery and make it come to life with my hands and tools – the best part, though, is hearing the stories behind our creations from our wonderful customers, what it means to them, who the jewellery or birthstones represent, what milestone they are celebrating, etc.
What influences your work, and what sparks your creativity?
The metals and gemstones mainly influence my work, how they interact with one another and the simple beauty of recycled silver & gold in its purest form. I also get inspired by my surroundings, the different textures, reflection and light in nature.
What can shoppers expect from your Finders Keepers stall?
We are hoping to bring a LOT of stock and a range of ring sizes in most of our designs; we will also be offering advice on necklace and ring stacks or birthstone combos, as well as ring sizing (and free ring sizers) for anyone looking to find that out. We don’t often get the chance to display our whole collection, so it will be a chance for our followers and customers to see and try on the designs they have been looking to purchase. We will also be offering personalisation and jewellery cleaning when we have the opportunity.
What’s the most special piece of jewellery that you’ve created?
Very tricky question – Designing and creating my sister’s engagement ring was incredibly special, but most recently, probably the love heart fingerprint pendant in recycled gold featuring my little girl’s fingerprint and my partner’s birthstone, such a special piece to be able to immortalise a loved one’s prints.
When you’re not making jewellery, what do you like to do for creative play?
I spend most of my free time playing and adventuring with my daughter and partner. We love heading out into nature and the incredibly beautiful surrounding hills. I am also an avid salsa dancer and seize any opportunity to get my boogie on in the big smoke!
Tell us about your recycling program!
We launched our Recycling Program over a year ago, which has been so successful! Anyone can send us their unwanted, broken or discarded jewellery in exchange for a store credit. Once we receive your batch of recycling, we sort it into metals, process it and weigh it, then calculate the amount of precious metals and work out a recycling credit, which we then send out as a digital gift certificate. It allows our customers and followers to turn their unloved jewels into new pieces of jewellery that will be worn and loved daily. We collect all your recycling and add it to our jewellery-making scraps & offcuts and take them in for refining, where they get melted down, refined and turned back into wire & sheet for jewellers to purchase as recycled metals – closed loop at its finest!
Are you bringing anything new to the market?
Our engagement range! Something we’ve been working towards for a VERY long time. The range will be officially launching in November so if you’re in the market for an engagement or wedding ring (or just an epic ring), make sure you come to this market because you’ll get a sneak peek of some of our samples in the flesh before we release this collection to the world. We’re also taking custom orders and can help with ring sizing or share instructions on creating a fingerprint piece.
What pieces of jewellery can you not live without and why?
My Gold Italian Hoops! I wear them 24/7, and they make my outfit daily; I add gemstone daisies or other charms to them for a night out. The other pieces I never take off are my wide molten gold band (coming very soon), my gold paperclip chain + chunky belcher & my personalised love heart necklace stack (it has my bubby’s name, Yüna, engraved on the large and my partner’s birthstone, emerald, in the mini).