The new Winter 2014 range from Samantha Anderson Metalsmith has just arrived in-store at Stone And Metal. The new collection, titled “MING”, celebrates Samantha’s fascination with the Orient – an obsession that has now culminated in a Havana Brown oriental cat following her everywhere she goes. MING is her biggest collection yet, and so we sat down with Samantha to find out a little more about it.
Sam, you are one of the best local jewellery designers in Brisbane at the moment. Tell us a bit more about your latest collection. What inspired the pieces?
I called the latest collection Ming. My jewellery designs are always about telling a story, and the rich colours of the jade and the intricate carvings that you find in the stones lend itself so well to what I love creating. There is so much history, culture and hidden meaning in the carvings, that the jewellery means much more than what first appears. Whether it is a detailed dragon, or a mongoose fighting a cobra – there is always a story. As i beat and shape the metals, I imagine the stories coming to life for the wearer. I want these pieces to have a specific meaning or story to them.
What are some of your favourite pieces from this collection?
Whilst there are some very detailed pieces, I have also made pieces where the beauty is in the stunning polished simplicity of the stones, such as the big, round red and green circle of Jade, or the round piece of Zosite. The weighty feel of the stone helps you realise that you are wearing something precious. I love the way the pieces have formed with textured and beaten sterling silver.
What kind of woman do you imagine wearing your beautiful jewels?
I only ever imagine making jewellery that allows a woman to feel beautiful for herself. What I have loved more than anything about the Stone And Metal gallery is that the customers are so varied. We have women from all walks of life… They could have a shaved head and a body covered in tattoos, or be a high powered barrister in a business suit… But they fall in love with ‘their’ piece, and leave feeling like they have found their own story in the jewels. I want my jewelery to mean something to them, and to make them feel beautiful.
You scour the globe looking for the most unique and precious stones and metals for your jewellery. Where is your favourite place to travel?
I have been so fortunate to travel to countless numbers of countries across the world, but my favourite two places in the world would have to be Italy and Mexico. I stayed in Florence, specifically to visit the Ponte Vecchio, an old bridge that crosses the Arno river. It’s filled with jewellery stores, so I went there to meet and see all the Italian Goldsmiths… Aaand, ok, the original Salvatore Ferragamo is close by and a girl has to shop! I also traveled around Tuscany meeting with other goldsmiths whose craftsmanship oozed centuries of tradition. The opulence and grandeur of their designs were just out of this world.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, I traveled to the town of Taxco (the bus ride took 20 years off of my life, I swear!) in Mexico – a town that is renowned for their silver work. I was so fortunate to be able to see all the finalists for the silver awards in Mexico. There was one piece that I will remember forever where a statue of a woman weaving a basket had been forged from silver, and her braided hair was carved from a long piece of black onyx.
What is your favourite stone to wear? And what is your favourite stone to work with?
I don’t exactly have a favourite stone to wear or work with, as there is so much beauty to find in all stones. However, the 2 that stand out for me are Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli, because of their depth of colour and the many different variations you can find in the stone.
What would you say to people who are afraid to experiment with jewellery?
To them, I would say, “perhaps you haven’t found the right piece yet”. Don’t be afraid to try things on and be aware of how they make you feel. The right piece of jewellery should make you feel more beautiful; more confident. The most important thing is to find a connection with a piece.
If you could only wear one piece of jewellery for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My wedding ring. People are sometimes amazed that I just wear a simple plain band of gold, but it was forged from 2 old rings that have huge sentimental value, and so the story behind it makes it very special to me.
What can we expect from future collections of Samantha Anderson Metalsmith?
You can definitely expect more colour, more boldness, and more texture with the Spring 2014 and Summer 14/15 collections. For Spring, we will see the strong floral inspired pieces, whereas the summer collection will be heavily influenced by the depths of the Aegan Sea. I am not intending to tame down any of my designs in the foreseeable future, that’s for sure.
June 12, 2014