Simply loving... The Empress Dowager's New Jewels

It's funny how once you tap into something, it seems to start cropping up all over the place. Since I started making my fabric necklaces, I've started to notice other interesting fabric jewellery creations around the traps.

I previously mused about some ideas around using yo-yos, after being inspired by Easton Pearson's exhibition at GOMA and their latest range. Lo and behold, this week I discovered the work of The Empress Dowager's New Jewels, who creates whole necklaces using yo-yo "gems" she fashions from her collection of recycled and new fabric (including Marimekko - this is truly a range after my own heart). It was great to discover not only a fellow fabric jewellery maker, but one making the most of hoarding like me!

Designed and handmade by Ping, aka the Likkle Girl, I think the pieces are just gorgeous. Ping informed me that she didn't know them as yo-yos, but "jiap poh", which means "join cloth" in Teochew, the Chinese dialect that her grandma speaks. Her grandma was the one who taught her how to make them when she was a little girl. I love them even more knowing this history behind it.

I love how the pieces work on both sides, and how some of them can be worn multiple ways. Her merchandising looks great too, as seen in the first pic of this post.

As I've come to discover as a bit of a trend, the person behind the designs is just as gorgeous and interesting as her pieces, as we've chattered away over email over the last few days, sharing stories, ideas, banter and connections.

Our biggest connection was the wonderful miss Zoe Brand, a jewellery and object designer/ maker/ curator, and general all-round great gal, who I have been meaning to write about for a while. Zoe designs and makes a very cool range of blackboard brooches, which you can check out on her website, and has an awesome blog where she is setting out to make a brooch every day. She also works for Studio 20/17 at Danks St, where she has a couple of great looking shows coming up.

You can see and buy The Empress Dowager's New Jewels at Finders Keepers in Sydney on the first weekend in December. I think I will be first in line... but which one will I choose?

I've started uploading photos of some Simply Phoebe pieces on the right hand side of the blog, so new visitors can get a quick look at what I do. The snaps are a mix of new, old and sold pieces. If you are interested in buying, click on my Etsy shop link or email me at simplycorrespondence@gmail.com. I am also happy to do custom orders if you don't see what you are looking for in the shop.

Simply yours,


1 comment:

The Likkle Girl Who Wurves Pwetty Things said...

Dear Phoebe,
Thank you for such a glowing write-up!!! *blush* And for getting in touch in the first place! And for all the helpful tips for the markets that you've given newbie me!

When you finally decide on a piece of New Jewels that you like, do let me know. I'll put it on hold for you. xx