handmade in vancouver: pyrrha

our new shipment arrives saturday!!!!(just in the nick of time, eh?)
if you would like to get an in stock pyrhha piece for someone special,
please mention this post and we will gladly take 25% off thru monday.

Wax Seal Necklaces

All Pyrrha wax seal necklaces, pendants and charms are cast in reclaimed sterling silver or bronze from 19th century wax seals. Each of these unique pieces of wax seal jewelry feature insignia rich with meaning culled from heraldry.

new pieces from polli!

we always love seeing what our australian pals at polli come up with, and we just received a shipment of some new pieces in the shop. come see!

this cute little whale is happily swimming along in the sea.
tess and maja have also started incorporating more buildings
into their work, and this townhouse is based
on the architecture of amsterdam.
these lotus earrings are composed of two separate pieces
and look lovely when they move.

molly m jewelry designs

molly mcgrath is the face behind one of our favorite jewelry lines, molly m designs. molly uses the laser cutting skills she learned in architecture school to produce delicate and lovely pendants and earrings. and in case you needed another reason to love her work, they are usually made from sustainable materials like bamboo, veneer from responsibly farmed forests and recycled suede and felt! come see for yourself!

branch 1 necklace

wood circles earrings and necklace

wood moire earrings and necklace

pod necklace

pith earrings

vortex earrings and necklace

layered drops necklace

ushering in autumn

as we, at o'suz, usher in autumn, we also seem to be ushering in some new jewelry artisans with it. no better time, as we were ready for some fresh adornments at our counter! here are just 2 of many new lines awaiting your notice.
megan auman resides in Jonestown, Pennsylvania, where she maintains a studio making sculpture and jewelry. Her work explores the floral patterns found in textiles and decorative ironwork. megan employs a torch welding technique to create her steel jewelry and sculpture.

we also have some of her earirngs in the shop!!

pyrrha designs is based in vancouver where all their work is made. they take their name from the myth of pyrrha and deucalion, a story of 2 young lovers who are the sole survivors of a catastrophic flood. each seal expresses symbolic sentiment through the casting of authentic 19th century wax seals.
the bee seal says mon ami ("my friend" in french). bees are symbolic of wisdom.

the fidelity seal reads fidele en absence (french for "faithful in absence').

the leaf seal reads e ne change qu'on mourant (french for "i change only in death").

the wings and wheat seal is symbolic of protection (the wings) and the achievement of pnes hopes and dream (the wheat).

the carpe diem seal reads carpe diem which means sieze the day in latin.

lots more seal necklaces in the shop plus some of their stunning bracelets.

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!

tiny naturescapes by polli

we love our jewels around here, and we are always on the lookout for cool new lines to carry in the shop. about six months ago we picked up a new line of jewelry from australia called polli, and we are absolutely in love with these intricate organic shapes. we each have a set of earrings and a necklace, and it's hard not to snag more! the piece that first caught our attention was their iconic elm necklace:

i mean, holy moly, who wouldn't love this stunning tree?

or these earrings, a personal favorite, with little birds perched on the tree branches?

one of the coolest things about polli is that the shapes are etched from stainless steel, which allows for the high degree of detail and the incredible weightlessness of the work. (all of the chains and the earring hooks are sterling silver, fyi.) just this past week we got a new box of polli goodies, complete with a chocolately caramel australian treat that was a welcome delight on a thursday afternoon. i saw the new designs at the gift show in august (where they also hand out chocolatey caramel australian treats), and it was so exciting to get the new work in the shop. here are a few of our faves from the new additions:

this is a more compact and robust version of the popular succulent pendant. i love the way this piece evokes a lush, squishy-leaved plant but is also really light and delicate.

how lovely is this necklace, called magnolia? it's a little bit of a departure from polli's usual shapes and is so sweet with the two little birdies sitting side by side. when it comes to earrings, we couldn't resist these tiny saplings:

the only downside to this post is that even these photographs, graciously lent by polli, just can't do these babies justice, which means you'll just have to come check them out for yourself. you won't be disappointed, i promise. xoxo, jessica

gift fair, take one

while most new yorkers are fleeing the oppressive heat of the city during the first few weeks of august, thousands of professional shoppers descend on manhattan for the new york international gift fair. the javits center plays host to countless aisles of vendors, selling everything you can imagine: books, bags, product, baby gear, jewelry, tableware, and so on. this is one of the ways we keep up with what's new from our current peeps and also find new lines that we love. between placing reorders and new orders, collecting catalogs, fiddling with the calculator, chatting with our o'suz pals, and trying to remember to eat, it's an absolute whirlwind of activity! in other words, it is SO much fun.

definitely one of the best parts of the gift show is discovering new lines and meeting people whose wares you've only ever heard about on the internet or through word of mouth. (also, i should say there are some 'celebrities' at the gift show. for example, thomas paul was actually working his own booth, and i was so starstruck by his natty style that i was dumbfounded into silence.) we wanted to give our faithful readers a little sneak peek into some of the new delights that will be popping up in the store this fall -- we hope you'll be as excited as we are!

(photo courtesy of pillow pillow pillow)

one of the products i'm most excited about is the tote bag group from pillow pillow pillow. while i can't actually show you the tote bags (no photography is allowed at the show), i can tell you that these bags are painfully adorable. as a hardcore lover of the mighty boston terrier, i can assure you that i will be sporting my 'otis' all over town. fyi, all the dogs in their line are actually modeled after real life pooches, and they are always on the lookout for new pups to lead double lives as pillows.

we love our jewelry at o'suzannah, so we are forever scoping the scene for beautiful and fun new lines. this time around we found several new possibilities, but we can tell you for sure that lucid new york will be debuting in the shop soon. (check out their site for images!) we're getting a few of anna's classic pieces and several others from her 'charming' collection, which are all sterling silver single charm necklaces. as you know, we love the proud and prickly hedgie here at o'suz, so i was pleased as punch when a good friend gifted me with lucid's hedgie necklace last christmas. however, we know that not everyone is as enamored by the hedgehog as we are, so we also ordered a nice selection of her other charms -- horseshoes, keys, birds, wishbones, and so on.

(image courtesy of the lomographic society)

on the giftie front, we're excited to introduce a few cameras from the lomographic society. they've not only invented some new cameras in the last decade, but they've also brought back some of the most iconic cameras of the 20th century, among them the lomo, holga, and diana. we'll be getting a few of the newer cameras, like the actionsampler, but also the classic diana, an all-plastic camera introduced in the 1960s. the diana is a great experimental camera and produces more lo-fi imagery. all of the lomographic society's cameras come with modern instructions and tips for getting exciting photos. no one would ever call me a photographer, but i do own a few of these babies and have a lot of fun experimenting with the end products.

(image courtesy of third drawer down)

one of the hands down coolest things we got at the show comes from australia's third drawer down. they print contemporary artists' work on household linens: tea towels, handkerchiefs, aprons, pillowcases, and so on. continuing one of the most dominant themes of 20th-century art, these objects encourage a dialogue between art and everyday life, which is a project i personally find extremely compelling. all of their textile projects are editioned works of art -- it's up to you how you use them, whether they're hanging on your oven door or mounted on stretcher bars in your living room. this is an incredible way to bring art into your home and to support contemporary artists. i can't wait to get my hands on a camilla engman tea towel!

these are just a few of the new lines that you'll see in o'suzannah in the coming months -- there are so many more en route, too! stay tuned for the second part of my gift show post, where i'll let you know about some of the new goodies from our old friends. xoxo, jessica.

love it...susan fleming!

it's no surprise that one of the most exciting parts of daily life at o'suzannah is a visit from ups, and one of the smallest yet sweetest parcels that arrives is the work of jewelry artist susan fleming. susan makes two collections at the moment, one called the paper collection, which is full of lovely necklaces and earrings that are sterling silver with carefully chosen details of japanese chiyogami paper. her other collection, called "semi-precious," is a series of organic shapes in delicately hammered silver and gold, often accented by tiny diamonds inlaid in the metal. all of us o'suz girls own a piece (or two) of susan's work, and we were excited to get a peak into her creative process and life in bozeman, montana. check out susan's interview below!

triple circle chiyogami choker

what was your first job and how did you end up making jewelry?

i first fell in love with jewelry making in high school. i took the three courses that they offered and then completed an independent study in my fourth year. after attending a small private liberal arts college and majoring in political and environmental science, i headed to mt. desert island off the coast of maine. it was there that i realized my love for jewelry making had not dissipated, and i apprenticed with nationally recognized jeweler sam shaw in his beautiful studio/gallery space. while there i honed my jewelry making skills, and i remained with him for seven years, gaining much metalsmithing and gallery experience.

single teardrop chiyogami earrings

what is your favorite piece/group/series in your work?

because it was the chiyogami paper that inspired the paper collection, i think i am drawn to some of the larger pieces because you can see more of the patterns. the chiyogami papers are so beautiful and often so intricately patterned which is why i am so drawn to them. i also like the pieces that integrate multiple papers as i enjoy playing around with the colors and patterns to make interesting combinations. as far as the semi precious collection goes, i really like the mixed silver and gold pieces that are layered as i think they take on a sculptural look. i also like the subtlety of the pieces with small diamonds.

triple teardrop drop necklace in silver and gold

who or what inspires you?

i think ray and charles eames most inspire me. the scope and range of their work amazes me - their architecture, furniture, films, textiles, etc. their talent was as endless as their projects.

describe your ideal sunday.

there are many perfect mornings to be had, but i do have a few favorites. one would be waking up to my husband doug's famous buttermilk pancakes with warm maple syrup and fresh squeezed o.j. followed by a hike in the bridger mountains with our golden retriever, pema.

triple disc silver earrings...light as a feather!

what do you see outside your studio windows?

our studio is located in a renovated multi-use new deal era brick school building. we are on the second floor and look out onto the tree lined streets of bozeman's historical district.

the only thing that makes us sad about this post is that our photos just can't do these delicate little jewels justice -- you'll just have to come see susan's work in person!