september love it...polli!

we discovered australian jewelry designers polli about two years ago, and we continue to be charmed by their amazingly intricate necklaces and earrings. the body of each piece is laser cut in stainless steel, which means it's strong, lightweight, and also stays nice and shiny no matter how much you wear it! (fyi, the hooks and chains are sterling silver.) we were first drawn to the line by their iconic elm necklace, pictured below, and in the past few seasons, they've introduced some more playful designs, like the cute little hoot owl. (you know how we feel about owls!) we love polli products, and not surprisingly, tess and maja are super awesome ladies -- they've increased our australian vocabulary significantly and also send painfully yummy chocolate candies in their shipments.

one of our best sellers, the succulents; new terrace earrings with two different houses, one of which is modeled on the house in which polli was born (see if you can find the tiny dog, alfie); new feather earrings (all en route as we speak!)

this was my first piece of polli, the canopy necklace, which you must come visit in order to see all the detail. after i'd had it for a few weeks i realized there were tiny birds! and what i thought was a curly-tailed monkey! i was later informed by tess that my 'monkey' was actually an australian possum, which as far as i'm concerned, makes this even more awesome. that's one of our favorite things about the designs, that they are so firmly rooted in the visual world around them, and that tess and maja are able to incorporate these tiny details of their environment into the works. speaking of the environment, polli was recently awarded the low CO2 rating by the carbon reduction institute, and they are working hard to be no CO2 by 2010. yay! maja and tess, who will be a new mama very, very soon, agreed to answer our usual questions. enjoy, and see you soon!

interior of polli studio

what were your first jobs and how did you end up working in jewelry design?

Maja and I both worked at Dinosaur Designs at various stages through school and university. It was an inspiring experience as we were exposed to many different facets of a design company who manufactured locally and exported worldwide. We met at university in 1999 studying Industrial Design. After graduating we started working for competing design consultancies and were faced with strict confidentiality on our work. Product design is a slow process with some products taking years in R&D. We yearned to design together again and to design something with a fast turnaround that we would use ourselves. So we started Polli, initially as a hobby, by designing and die cutting polypropylene baskets and bags. We soon recognised regular off cuts from this process and use these plastic discs to make simple jewellery. The jewellery took off and the bags discontinued. Soon we started to work with other materials like stainless steel and aluminium and Polli has grown from a weekend markets stall to an international business with distribution through Australasia, North America, the UK and Scandinavia.

what are your favorite pieces/groups/series in your work?

Everything new is exciting but we’re both big fans of the original mobiles made from Stainless Steel – they’re like a giant necklace hanging in your room and cast beautiful shadows when lit. We’re also thrilled with our new hand stitched collection of jewellery which allow us to add colour and texture to our classic stainless steel jewellery. Being able to experiment with different colour-ways is something that we don’t often get to do and it’s been surprisingly challenging.

polli mood boards

who or what inspires you?

Life, Travel and Nature are our main inspirations. We’ve been fortunate enough to travel to interesting places and to get to travel regularly with our work. The new woven range has drawn inspiration from a tapestry carpet with spans three generations from Maja’s family. This carpet was designed, the wool hand dyed and hand stitched in Denmark by Maja’s grandfather. The final stitch was done in Australia by Maja and her mum, Pia, and the piece hangs proudly in Maja’s Sydney apartment.

maja's three-generation family carpet

what three websites do you visit daily?

describe your ideal sunday.

Tess - Sleeping in, waking to warm Sydney weather, walking my two dogs by the water, enjoying a home cooked meal with friends.

Maja – Start with a good espresso coffee, followed by a bike ride in the sunshine, a long lunch with friends and finish it off with an early night.

what do you see outside your studio windows?

Our studio is part of a converted ginger beer factory (this is a kind of natural soda, I actually think it’s an Australian thing, it was originally made in ceramic bottles). It uses a lot of recycled timber and each studio faces an internal courtyard. The doors / windows are so grand they’re as wide as a our studio and nearly two stories high so you can literarily open the front of the studio! At the rear of the studio we look onto leafy gum trees.

thank you, tess and maja!