Love Stories

St Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, and I have to say I do enjoy the romance associated with this day.  I do recall receiving a few Valentine’s Day Cards myself, many moons ago!

What’s wrong with celebrating love?  I  love hearing about how couples met, their ‘back story’ if you will, that’s why I really enjoyed the movie “When Harry Met Sally”; the little moments where couples – old and young share their first date and how they knew they had met the ‘one’.

St Valentine’s Day is a busy time in the store with many a romantic partner purchasing a heart shaped piece of jewellery; It’s an absolute treat when my customers share their stories about love and the inspiration behind their gifts.

The heart symbol has universal appeal, the jewellery pieces with this symbol have a strong following not only with lovers, but with family and friends too.

For example, recently a Mother bought her daughter a You and Me Bangle – by Flick Pope, as a symbol of her beating cancer and her daughter’s unwavering love and support during this stressful and challenging time.

Another customer purchased for herself the Heart of Gold Necklace – by Jessie Turner, because for her, this necklace epitomized her triumph over adversity, overcaming emotional pain and heartache; she did indeed have a giving heart of gold, the necklace became a talisman of hope, strength and triumph.  The greatest love of all, loving your self and being at peace.

Another sweet story was a young man, who enlisted his Mother’s help to purchase a gold heart pendant by Yasuko Azuma, for his sweetheart.  His Mother obligingly made the purchase on his behalf, he was under 18, and she did tell me that she was expecting to be reimbursed – pronto!  Apparently her son’s girlfriend was a gem and the Mother was delighted to help her son who had saved up for this special present.

I feel very privileged to hear the love stories from our customers, and as I always say, there never can be too much love, joy or peace in the world, Happy St Valentine’s Day!

Santa Express and Gift Certificate Sale

Christmas is only 36 sleeps away!  We would like to give you some Xmas cheer with:

  • free gift wrap;
  • free domestic shipping (this will happen automatically as you proceed through the order process);
  • International customers with purchases over $150 in one transaction (and one destination) will have their shipping fee refunded!

Some important dates for you to be aware of:

  • For orders within Australia, our Xmas shipping close off is the 18th December;
  • If you are shipping outside of Australia you will need to place your order by the 10th December;
  • If you are planning to purchase a special order item, you will need to have your order in by the 20th November.

Selected Gift Certificates are on sale @ 20% off!

  • $300 certificates can be purchased for $240; and
  • $100 certificates can be purchased for $80;
  • please read our terms and conditions, below*

*Terms and Conditions for Gift Certificate Sale*

  • There is a six month expiry on this Certificate; however the certificate will only be active from the 25th December 2013, onwards.
  • You can purchase as many items as you wish, however you can ONLY use one Certificate per transaction.
  • You can elect to receive your Gift Certificate by mail, or we can email it to you or your intended recipient – please see the picture of the Certificate below.
  • The Certificate is as good as cash and you should keep it safe; however it cannot be redeemed for cash.  Lost, stolen, or misplaced Certificates will not be replaced.
  • You can only use the certificate once.  Unused credit at the end of the transaction is forfeited.
  • To use this Certificate, just select your items and add them to the cart, as you review your order input the unique code (you will be given) into the Gift Certificate Redeem box.  The credit will be applied to the total payment due, no change will be given. If the order is great than the Gift Certificate amount, you will need to use your credit card for the balance.
  • This offer can not be used with any  other Store offer/promotion.  This offer can not be used in conjunction with the newsletter promotion (subscribe and win $50 gift certificate).
  • This offer is available up to the 24 December 2013, however we may cease this offer earlier at our discretion.
  • Please note that purchases of special order items , received on the 25 December 2013 or thereafter, will only be shipped late February /early March 2014;  Our jewellers, designers and metal smiths tend to take January off to spend with their families.

And now we are 3!

Three years have flown by! It’s been a wonderful journey, hand selecting unique pieces from around the globe for their new homes with you in Australia, NZ,  the US and Europe.

I’d like to thank you for supporting our independent store as we’ve grown and expanded our showcase. We love what we do here, and an important part of that is providing a personalised shopping experience for you.

One of our favourite things to do is keep up to date with new designs. We’ve added gorgeous bangles, elegant earrings and statement rings by talented designers by  Louise Douglas, Joli Jewelry, & Mary Odorcic.

Our random, lucky subscribe and win newsletter winners for June to October are:
• Sasha Rayner
• Megan Norbury
• Helen Humes
• Leonie Ravell
• Bronwyn Bowcock

Congratulations and please contact the store to claim your $50 gift certificate.

Stay tuned—we’re excited to be unveiling two new designers shortly! And you can always catch up on the latest news via our  facebook page

As always, we welcome  your comments and feedback.

Best wishes

Charmaine

Image R:  New bangles, earrings by Louise Douglas

Expect lots of lovely new pieces over the coming weeks. Please stop by with your favourite brew and enjoy a leisurely browse.

Items above L to R: Aria Necklace, Mah Jong Earrings, Silver Haze Charm Bangle, Aria Earrings.

Three years have flown by! It’s been a wonderful journey, hand selecting unique pieces from around the globe for their new homes with you in Australia, NZ,  the US and Europe.

I’d like to thank you for supporting our independent store as we’ve grown and expanded our showcase. We love what we do here, and an important part of that is providing a personalised shopping experience for you.

One of our favourite things to do is keep up to date with new designs. We’ve added gorgeous bangles, elegant earrings and statement rings by talented designers by

Bangles

At Lobo Luxe we love selecting unique bangles, recently we had some new work in by Mary Odorcic.  We love these bangles, they add movement, vibrance and tinkle to your arm.  The bangles in this range are made of sterling silver and highlighted with semi precious stones, freshwater pearls and Mary’s signature O charm.  Just click on the images and you will be taken to the details on these stunning bangles!

Love Story : Out of Africa

In keeping with our LOVE theme from our newsletter, I’ve styled some contemporary pieces from the store to compliment one of my favourite love stories “Out of Africa”.

You might already know, that “Out of Africa”, is an auto-biographical account of Karen Blixen’s experience in Kenya (circa 1913). Her story was made into a magical film in the 80′s and it is certainly an epic piece of filmmaking; perfect for curling up on the sofa next time you’d like to unwind.

One of my favourite scenes unfolds when Karen (Meryl Streep) has her hair washed by Denys (Robert Redford); you’ll never think of a shampoo and rinse the same way again!

Jewellery clockwise (from top L): Image Earrings with Red Sapphires by Caroline Bassett; Past Tense (double sided) Pendant by Shauna Mayben; Aurora Bangle by Priya Himatsingka; Soraya Ring by Katie Diamond.

The Passionate Collector

An Interview with Clare Hillerby

I think I have more than my fair share of ‘collecting’ genes in my DNA, I love calligraphy, and I have a large collection of vintage stamps and postcards from my youth.  These items are like a time capsule that transports you back into yesteryear where people relied on the written word and the postal service to communicate, they had beautiful penmanship and maps were hand drawn with pen and ink; a GPS was not even on the horizon!

I discovered Clare Hillerby’s work a couple of years ago and was in awe of how she captured many of my favourite things and transformed them into highly desirable contemporary jewellery. Clare has a passion for ephemera; she collects old papers, handwritten pieces and extracts from postcards, stamps, postal markings and old maps.

Clare says of her work: “handwriting forms the starting point for my work. Old papers featuring handwritten messages by unknown characters are sourced, interesting sections are extracted; messages become ambiguous, they are then combined with new metalwork, and contemporary stories emerge.

Silver is often oxidised for a depth of colour and to allow papers to become the highlight. Details of yellow gold tube riveting are used to construct parts of the work to reference an industrial landscape; our new history being created daily. Semi-precious beads are added for texture and colour.”

Interview with Clare:

Charmaine: What led you to jewellery design?

Clare: When I started studying I first specialised in fashion. Then I noticed in my fashion designs that I was more interested in the details so I decided to change direction, applying to Edinburgh College of Art; the jewellery course was so well respected and such great people were graduating from there. I appreciated the way you design in fashion though, I think I took that with me into jewellery, and I love the creative process of  jewellery, from the designing through to making and selling.

Charmaine: Tell us about your passion for postcards and stamps from yesteryear…

Clare: I’m inspired by the everyday, people, the city – perhaps from coming from a small compact town to Edinburgh.  The city is full of layers of history merging into the way we use it today, narrow closes and roads beneath roads, I have been really inspired by my time living here.

The postcards I use have been sourced from old bookshops in Edinburgh, while I was studying I collecting them for inspiration.  The postcards weren’t really valued or appreciated at that time, which is what I liked, people’s lives intrigued me; little pockets of stories from decades ago, and you can’t help but imagine the lives the writers of the postcards had and that of their intended recipients.

Gradually the postcards became part of my work. I see them as a precious material, more than the silver in some ways as they are so unique. I discovered a shop to buy great postcards which also sold stamps so I gravitated to other forms of ephemera to make some interesting contrasts, I like variety (I get bored very easily!)

Charmaine: How do you source your materials what aesthetic do you look for?

Clare: People used to write so well, there’s a certain time in the mid-20th century were people perhaps stopped taking so much care, condensing their narrative to ‘having a great time/weather is good’ kind of a postcard, I suppose the more ways to communicate and the busier we get, the more watered down they each become.

I like the older postcards, where people were more likely to take their time using real ink pens and it was a treat to buy, send and receive a postcard.

Having said that, back then, there were more mail deliveries throughout the day, you do find postcards with a quick one liner ‘meet you at 6′.  We do the same now electronically –with our mobiles.

I’ve become more particular with the ephemera I choose over time, searching for interesting, characterful handwriting. The writing has to be quite compact to get a lot into the ovals I cut out for the jewellery; each has to say something about the writer. They always have to feel nice too, although they are trapped between silver and perspex for practical reasons, the feel of the paper is just something special I get to enjoy!

Charmaine: Do you share your work space? How would you describe it?

Clare: I have a studio on my own in a building full of artists and makers. So it’s a completely dedicated studio space to make and design and think. One side of the studio is making and the other is the thinking side with a wall full of pinned ephemera (Charmaine: see image below this wall is like a work of art). It’s a very practical space, brick and concrete which only opens to the public once a year. I’m lucky to have a window which gets lots of sun and a view of roof tops with a million chimneys and a sky that constantly changes; it’s good to look at clouds when you’re trying to think!

Charmaine:  I can see where you got your inspiration for the silver lining and rain cloud earrings (see image right and  below)!

Charmaine: What tips would you give on how to wear jewellery?

Clare: I like to see people wear my work quite casually and regularly, rather than just for special occasions, and mixing things their own way. Although I do make bracelets to wear with particular earrings for example I think you can mix anything together to your own preferences, postcard necklace with stamp earrings for example work really well. I like the way people pair them up, it’s often in a different way than I imagined. People gravitate to certain materials too, (I sold to a geographer recently who wanted mostly maps!).

Charmaine: If you had an opportunity to meet anyone who would it be and why?

Clare: There are so many well-known and interesting famous people to choose from but I would really prefer to visit a regular someone in a time and place very different to what I take for granted, seeing how they live and work, it would be far more interesting.

Some new pieces from Clare:

In store we have some new pieces by Clare, including several charming cufflinks featuring maps and stamps.  In addition, we are stocking some new pieces with the option of customising her necklaces and a bracelet with your choice of semi-precious beads (just check out the options tab under each item).

Image Above L to R:  Line of Colour Necklace in Labradorite, Postcard and Oval Earrings, Bangle Wound Quiet.

Image Below L to R: Stamp Earrings, Silver Lining Earrings, Clare’s creative visual board from her Studio, Viewfinder Brooch & Circles Bracelet.

From the Newsletter : Interview with Rebecca Overmann

Timeless Elegance

It was great to catch up with Rebecca in New York, in February this year, and I relished the opportunity to feast my eyes on her entire range, I am in awe of her skills and the beauty and elegance of her collection. There is a sense of understatement in Rebecca’s work, soft lines silhouette dreamy moonscapes, diamonds are added to highlight and each piece has a tactile quality, a textural finish; it makes you want to reach out and touch, to wear and claim as your own!

Rebecca re-invents and designs jewellery in a way which is not fussy or over the top;  a touch of colour and sparkle - with a champagne (briolette) diamond to a necklace, or a sprinkling of diamonds to 14ct gold or sterling silver,  her work is highly polished and luminous. Rebecca also uses bi-metal in her pieces, for example, her double lily pad earrings are made of 18ct gold, fused to sterling silver, this reduces the price point and gives you the luxe of gold but not at a solid gold price.

Lobo Luxe stocks one of her Rebecca’s favourite bangle designs from her collection, the ‘Spine Bangles; she wears them in a stack -of different metals and finishes - as shown in the image below.

We have some new work of Rebecca’s in store including the Full Moon & Diamond Ring (shown above top right), the Celestial Flower with diamond pendant (shown above lower right), the 14ct Gold Full Moon & Diamond Ring (shown image below ), the 14ct Water Circle Necklace with Champagne Briolette Diamond (shown image below) and Spine Bangles (shown image below).

Below is an interview with Rebecca, you will find out that she is passionate about designing and making jewellery and is obsessed with rough diamonds; more power to her  - I say!

Charmaine: What led you to jewellery design?
Rebecca: I started Savannah College of Art & Design as a photography student — by chance, I signed up for a beginning studio class in jewellery as an elective. In this first class, I found that I really enjoyed creating dimensional objects (probably more than I enjoyed creating photographs), and got caught up in all the excitement of the contemporary jewellery movement that was happening in the US at that time — artists like Thomas Mann, Paloma Picasso, and of course my first teacher, Julie Mihalisin (who also happens to own the very first piece of jewellery I made). In retrospect, I think what I was first drawn to, was that at the end of the day, I could wear what I had created — I love the idea of an ornament or decoration that’s both an accessory and an art object.

Charmaine: What inspires / influences you?
Rebecca: Ultimately, I’m most influenced by natural forms — rather than designing pieces that are literal representations, I tend to create pieces that are loosely based on reality rather than something specific. I’ve also found myself a little inspired (obsessed might be a better word) with raw diamonds. I can appreciate the perfectly cut stones we’re all used to seeing, but for me the imperfections and array of colors in the raw and antique cut stones are infinitely more interesting.

Charmaine: How would you describe your collection?
Rebecca: I’m not interested in ‘fussy’ jewellery — too much detail and clutter. My collection is about form and function — something inspired and interesting, that someone would feel comfortable wearing everyday. When I create new pieces, it’s important that they ‘say something’ about the process and inspiration, but also that they could end up as that favourite piece that never sees the inside of a jewellery box.

Charmaine: How do you plan your collection, ie how do you decide on themes and does one inform the other – are there links?
Rebecca: I wish I could say that my collection is planned, but it’s really more a series of happy accidents, a lot of trial and error, and maybe even a little intuition. Most of my great ideas come in the weeks before a show or a new collection is launched — my instinct and the reaction of buyers, customers and friends steers me towards the creation of a larger body of work. As far as themes and connections in my collection, the more I create, the more I believe that everything I do is related — the themes of texture, mixing of metals and stones, and a love of things in their raw form are evident in all of my work.

Charmaine: Do you share your workspace ?  How would you describe it – organised or organic?
Rebecca: I’m lucky to have a beautiful (and spacious) studio space in a great neighbourhood (in San Francisco)— sure I have to contend with the occasional leaky roof, but I can’t imagine a better place to be. I’d say that structured chaos describes my studio fairly well — I’m a bit of a neat freak, but as an artist, those two parts of my personality frequently do battle. If I had it my way, I’d be at the bench full time. I currently share with another designer which provides a little bit of a reality check once in a while, and of course keeps me from turning into a hermit.

Charmaine: What are your passions outside jewellery?
Rebecca: What do you mean ‘outside jewellery’?

Charmaine: What tips would you give on how to wear jewellery?
Rebecca: This is a pretty personal question — it’s a different answer for everyone, so I can really only speak as to how to wear my jewellery : )  Everyone has a couple pieces that are those ‘special occasion pieces’ — maybe because they’re a statement, or maybe they’re sentimental. For everything else, I like the idea of wearing it every day. Wear it in the garden, to work, or out to dinner. The greatest compliment is when someone comes back to me and says that their ring needs some cleaning or repair — because they never take it off and it got little scuffed while they were out pulling weeds. The thing I try to show my customers, is that the jewellery should belong to them — it should become a part of their own signature look — and that they don’t need a piece of jewellery to define themselves.

Charmaine’s Note: Does anyone wear  jewellery to do their gardening?  Clearly the lovely Ms Overmann has not read the Lobo Luxe care of jewellery section ; )

The image above includes a picture of Rebecca and her studio in San Francisco.

From our newsletter: Interview with Susan Fleming

Wearable Treasures

I have always been a big devotee of Japanese papers, especially the hand silk screened variety – Chiyogami; I believe each piece is a work of art – good enough to frame!  So when I discovered Susan Fleming’s collection I was thrilled to see these beautifully made papers framed in sterling silver and ready to wear.   Susan has a talent for designing and creating complimentary, gentle, organic shapes that capture the Chiyogami papers and transform them into wearable art.

There is a strong whimsical and almost zen like quality to Susan’s work, which captures your attention and draws you into her pieces.  Susan’s work has been very popular at Lobo Luxe and it was great to catch up with her in New York and stock up on some new pieces in her collection.

Susan tells us about her inspiration for her collection:

LL: What led you to jewellery design?
Susan : My initial interest in jewellery making came via an interest in rocks and geology. I kept a rock collection from the age of six which later translated into a love of semiprecious stones and jewellery. My interest continued as I got older and was fueled by some jewellery making courses offered at the high school level. I took all the courses that my school had to offer and finished my senior year with further independent study. After studying political and environmental science in college, I returned to jewellery making the summer following graduation. I apprenticed with Sam Shaw on the Maine coast and it was there that I really honed my skills and began to establish my own body of work. I stayed on with him for seven years and then moved to the Rocky Mountain West area  in 2000, and have maintained a jewellery studio ever since.

LL: What inspires/influences you?
Susan: Many, many things: living in the mountains, the vast sky, architecture, simple lines, paper, texture, shadows, Ray and Charles Eames, crafty friends, conversations, things old and new, and more.

LL: How would you describe your collection?
Susan:
Modern, organic and colourful. I set hand silk screened paper in sterling silver settings and protect them with a thin waterproof layer of resin. the paper patterns are based on prints that date back to the Edo period but they still have a wide ranging appeal today giving them a classic as well as modern quality.

LL: How do you plan your collection?
Susan:
Most often it is the patterns in the paper that drive the design of a piece. Whether it is the scale of a floral pattern or the repetition in a geometric print, it dictates or speaks to a specific shape. For example, I recently acquired a new paper with a large sunflower type print and created a bezel to perfectly frame a specific flower from the paper.

LL: Do you share your work space? How would you describe it?
Susan:
I share a workspace with my amazing assistant, although we each have separate work benches. I think I work better in an organised and tidy environment although you would not gather that from looking at my desk. I usually work on multiple projects at once and so my desk often appears to be in a chaotic state, but there is an organisation to it even if only apparent to me.

LL: What are your passions outside jewellery?
Susan:
Spending time with my husband Doug, daughter Finna, golden retriever Pema, family and friends, playing in the mountains, especially hiking and skiing, traveling(wherever), baking, eating yummy food and designing interior spaces.

LL: what tips would you give on how to wear jewellery?
Susan:
Wear it often!

From our Newsletter: Interview with Louise Douglas

Inspired by Nature

Inspired by the forest and sea, Louise Douglas from Nelson New Zealand, shares with us her passion for jewellery and gives us an insight into her collection.

Louise’s work has a strong feminine aesthetic, softly formed pieces that echo organic shapes found in the forest or beach.  It is charmingly nostalgic, reminiscent of holidays, sun, sand and surf.  Her work also reflects a gentle tactile quality, a feature that resonates beautifully with Lobo Luxe clients.

There are some new stunning pieces from Louise’s collection in store: the Leaf Lariat, Leaf Earrings and the Branch Bangle/Peacock.

Louise tells us more about her inspiration and her collection:

LL: What led you to jewellery design?

Louise: I have been fascinated with jewellery since I was a little girl, my mother and grandmother both loved jewellery and I was always digging through their jewellery boxes and dressing up. So, I started making jewellery when I was 18 years old and selling it to fashion and design stores throughout New Zealand. I then moved to New York when I was 21 and started to work as a designer for large fashion jewellery houses. I took a few classes along the way, but really I learnt most of my skills on the job or from experimentation.

LL: What inspires / influences you?

Louise: I have always been inspired by the intricacies of the ocean and the natural world in general. I love art and fashion too, but the truth is what I am always most inspired by stems from nature in some way.  I look at a lot of old scientific botanical style drawings when I design but I stylise things to fit my aesthetic. The main aim of my work is for people to feel closer to the beauty of nature when they wear it.

LL: How would you describe your collection?

Louise: Feminine, delicate, nature inspired, unique, personal, fashionable, yet timeless!

LL: How do you plan your collection, i.e. how do you decide on themes and does one inform the other – are there links?

Louise: I might see a plant or a texture or a scientific drawing of something organic and it will inspire me to build a collection around it.  I see jewellery possibilities in a lot of the natural things I find out there. So from here I start with a few rough sketches of how the collection will look as a whole and then I do a finer sketch for the carving – which I make from wax. I then create wax moulds and casts using the lost was casting process.

LL: Do you share your workspace?  How would you describe it – organised or organic?

Louise: I have a workshop at the back of my home which it is surrounded by mountains and native birds that sing away all day! I am a typical messy artist but I can usually find everything in my studio when I need it.

I also work at a local workshop in town. It is a great place to chat with other jeweller’s and get feedback etc. I sell my work there too, so it is a good way to keep in contact with some of my clients. I am a really social person and sometimes jewellery can be a bit of a lonely profession so being part of a greater community of jewellers and artists is really important for me. Nelson is great for that.

LL: What are your passions outside jewellery?

Louise: I like to abstract paint and do arts and crafts. I also love movies and the outdoors. On my days off I like to go second-hand shopping with my mum and sister. They just opened a cool little vintage shop up the road from me!

LL: What tips would you give on how to wear jewellery?

Louise: I love long earrings but sometimes people are afraid to wear them…I think they can frame your face, lengthen your neck and just make you look glamorous in general. Sometimes it pays it to move a little out of your comfort zone when it comes to jewellery. Experiment and have fun, it will get you noticed and add interest to your style with only a little effort and risk. You’re worth it!

Image below: clockwise starting from lower left – Leaf Lariat, Long Sea Lace Necklace, Leaf Earrings, Caviar Ring, Sea Lace Ring, Branch Bangle – Peacock and Caviar Necklace.

Thank You

Thank you to everyone for their positive feedback on the store, I am glad you like it!  Lots of comments have been made about the uniqueness and vibrancy of the jewellery, and the site design.  I would like to acknowledge the great effort of my web designers Clever Starfish, thank you very much.