Two top local jewellery lines give heavy metal heat
Things are going a little smoother for Jessie Turner these days. The local jeweller, who first came on the scene with her hammered-out Texture Collection in 2004, is launching a new silky-smooth line of gold-and-silver pieces called the Eclipse collection. And there’s nary a dent, dimple, or ripple in sight.
“I just really wanted to get down to the real basics,” says Turner, who sat down with the Straight at a West Side café. “With gold and silver, I feel an effective way for them to work together is to stay really simple. I feel like the mistake made in the ’70s with gold-and-silver mixing was things were maybe way too gaudy.”¦the key is keeping it really simple—not overdoing it.”
Inspired by the grandaddy of astronomical events, her pieces are concave sterling-silver discs with 23-karat gold leaf on the front. The only silver that shows is a ring of sunlike glow. Turner then suspends one of these celestial symbols from a silver cable choker ($98 to $190). She also makes stud earring ($140), ring ($160), and bracelet ($390) versions. When it comes to accessorizing, each Eclipse piece deserves to stand alone without the clutter of stacking or layering.
Conversely, Turner’s Heart With Wings line is a little more versatile in that it works great as either layering or statement pieces. The standout among this collection is definitely the Big Gold Heart Patina Wings necklace ($360). Though it’s been wildly successful, hearts weren’t an obvious choice for the nature-inspired silversmith.
“It’s funny because I was never really a ”˜heart’ person,” says Turner, whose lines are carried at Dream Apparel and Articles for People (311 West Cordova Street) and the Doctor Vigari Gallery (1312 Commercial Drive). “But a lot of people tell me, ”˜I’m not really a heart person either, but I like yours.’ I think it’s something about the weight of them—there’s sort of a substance to them.
“I feel a lot of the hearts that you find out there are really lightweight and overly feminine, but these,” she says, “have a sort of oomph to them.”
Halle Berry. Taylor Swift. Chloí« Sevigny. The star-studded list of people who love Pyrrha jewellery just keeps on growing. So it only makes sense that the Vancouver-based label that made a name for itself with silver and bronze pendants cast from antique wax seals chose to set up its first shop in West Hollywood.
“Our aim for L.A. is to reach more stylist-customers, celebrities, and then to have a window on the world of travellers,” says co-owner Danielle Wilmore, calling en route to LAX. “Just this past week, we’ve noticed that half the people in the store are from somewhere else, so it’s really great to have that.”
Opening its doors to global traffic with a show room full of different pieces is a long way from Pyrrha’s beginnings.
“When we first started, we were trying to keep it nice and contained so that we could get a good feel for what people wanted,” she says. “It was really just simple pendants on a chain with a lot of variety in sentiment but not so much variety in style.”
Today, Wilmore and her partner, Wade Papin, cast their tried and true seals on rings ($150 to $262) including the Mini Carpe Diem (Latin for “seize the day”), one of the original seals that remains a top seller in necklace form. The self-taught jewellery designers also make chain bracelets ($128 to $222) like the long-time customer favourite Butterfly, which they describe as a symbol of the soul.
Such core pieces are available at select stores in Vancouver, including BeautyMark (103–1120 Hamilton Street), as well as on-line at www.pyrrha.com/. But if you want something a little different, like a big, chunky, green-gold Vanity ring with an “Omnia Vanitas” (“all is vanity”) imprint on it for $2,100, you’ll have to head to the City of Angels. That’s where you’ll find a few hundred styles to choose from. The store has barely been open a month and already Wilmore can see the difference in how people shop when they’re given a wide range of items to pick from.
“They gravitate toward the really bizarre ones,” she says. “When you give them a choice of 300 different seals, the ones they pick are not expected.”