Are you an accessory aficionado? If the answer is yes then turn your jewel adorned ears here and listen closely. Imagine you had a personal accessory curator who travelled the world in search of one-of-a-kind, hand-made, global keepsakes. Clutches from Columbia, necklaces from New York, rings from Brazil, earrings from the city of love and light, you name it. Well, in a glorious stroke of new year luck, she exists. Her next stop? Brisbane!
It’s Thursday and we’re excited because 1, tomorrow is Friday (!!) and 2, because we’re featuring a very special lady in Spotlight On this week. Without further ado, please give a hola to Samantha Anderson, established jewellery designer of Stone And Metal and Brisbane maker of all things beautiful.
If you wind back the clock to March 2014 and you’ll find this post I wrote (one of my first for BT in fact!) about the brand when I first laid eyes on it through a shopfront window on trendy James Street in Fortitude Valley. Fast forward to August 2015 and a lot has changed, although the beautiful jewellery remains the same. Stone And Metal have now opened a second store in Westfield Carindale with a shopfront that is a beautiful display of the brand, complete with a swish showroom that transports you to another world from the minute you walk through the threshold. There’s also a brand new collection for your eyes to ogle at, titled Sticks And Stones, that features a mix of whimsical fine jewels and chuncky statement pieces, all oozing with love and begging for your attention. We caught up with Samantha this week to chat about the last 18 months and take a glimpse into the new collection, so stick around and have a peek too! Brisbane Threads: Hi Samantha – it’s been awhile since we last spoke! Tell us, what’s been happening in the last 12 months?
Samantha: A lot! It has been a very exciting time for Stone And Metal. We opened our second store at Westfield Carindale where the focus is on my own handmade collections and jewels I have gathered from all over the globe. Since the majority of jewellery we carry is one off pieces, both stores are filled with different treasures but all with our delicious, unique and earthy flavour.
BT: That’s brilliant! So lets start from the beginning, what is the Stone And Metal aesthetic?
S: Elemental, raw beauty. A celebration of nature’s gifts. Exactly as the name suggests: sumptuous stones offset by the ethereal lustre of precious metals, each one captivating you with its’ own story.
BT: What inspires when you are curating and creating a new collection?
S: I am always inspired by nature and its’ shifting forms and changing seasons. Lately, I am inspired by people and the cultures we create within. I am particularly fascinated by the history of personal adornment and the richness of symbolism spanning millenniums. I love to create pieces with meaning. It is special to think that by using precious metals and real gemstones, my pieces could endure many lifetimes and perhaps tell the story of our current society to our distant future ancestors. It’s a legacy in that way.
BT: What is your design process?
S: It usually begins with a stone. I’ll be sourcing or visiting with a supplier and then – BANG! – I’ll see it. It might be the colour; the texture; or the shape; but that spark will start the fire burning. The collection then usually evolves in my studio as I am working on it. I always design and make in collections (rarely as a single piece) as there are always so many facets of an idea or concept I want to explore.
BT: What is your career highlight?
S: Being a finalist in both 2014 and 2015 for the Jewellery Industry Awards – Australian Jewellery Retailer of the Year. This is Australia wide and every retailer in our category was about diamonds and engagement rings so it was really encouraging to see that people are appreciating something outside of the mainstream.
BT: What is your favourite piece from the current collection?
S: The big Lapis Lazuli disc necklaces. I found those discs in an unexpected place and they were just so raw and bold and tribal. I knew immediately what the collection would look like.
BT: What’s next for Stone And Metal?
S: I never like to have firm plans, I prefer a certain fluidity. I do have a few ideas and projects I am working on at the moment and one is shaping up to be a very exciting addition to the Stone And Metal range. Rustic, textural and so different from anything we have done before. Think our HORN range but with a major twist!
BT: And something fun to finish with, can you tell us five things about yourself that our readers might not know…
S: 1, Before becoming a Goldsmith, I studied art and sculpture in Sydney. 2, I have a very full house with husband, 3 beautiful children, two affectionate cats, two enthusiastic dogs and a rogue goldfish who lives in our pond – we only ever see him every few months. 3, My cat is a Havana Brown Oriental named Milo Mingus Dante’ Armani Anderson… but we call him Weed! 4, My ultimate getaway is my unit in Noosa – it’s my haven. Whenever I go up there I buy books that I never read. 5, I love hiking and getting amongst nature (the Noosa headland walk is a favourite).
I don’t know about you, but every time I speak to Samantha I fall more in love with her, and her jewellery. I can’t wait to get a piece of my own, so I’m dropping major (but hopefully subtle) hints to my man should he ever be in the mood for a spontaneous gift (hint, hint).
Now, check out these images! When I was putting this post together I asked Sam and the gorgeous girls from Al and Annabel Collective for a couple of images to use. Originally I was looking for 4-5, however when I received the complete Sticks and Stones lookbook, I just couldn’t resist – every single image is gorgeous and tells a little piece of the Stone and Metal story. I hope you fall in love with it too! Do you know a Brisbane creative or entrepreneur who should be featured in Spotlight On? We’d love to hear from you! Send an email to [email protected] and let us in on Brisbane’s talented individuals (we can’t promise that we’ll keep it a secret thought!).