Friday, July 9, 2010


Are you interested in learning about the origins of Canada? Well today, we visit Pier 21, located in Nova Scotia.

A one-time ocean liner terminal and immigration shed, Pier 21 is presently the location for the country's National Museum of Immigration. Canada is also the home base for jewelry brand Pyrrha Design.

For me, the appeal of films like Excalibur or Jason and the Argonauts is the grandeur of their presentation, the costumes, sets and even the dialogue.

A special aspect of these kinds of stories is the undercurrent of impenetrable honor, loyalty, and courage.

Named for a mythological, Greek heroine, the jewelry of Pyrrha Design is inspired by 19th century legends and intaglios. The company's proprietors and jewelry makers, Wade Papin and Danielle Wilmore, vividly capture the romanticism and heroics of the Old World.

The duo create designs from recycled gold, bronze, and silver that are majestic and commanding.  The striking, carved imagery of the Roman goddess Aurora, the musculature of Centaurs, and the regality of the Fleur de Lis are charged with corresponding messages of peace, bravery, and devotion.

"Wade and I were inspired to give new life and permanence to these 19th century emblems," says Wilmore. "As we started researching the seal images we were intrigued by the richness of symbolism. We learned that protection symbols can have many faces like eagle wings, dragons, and gryphons."

The slightly oxidized jewelry items of rings, cuff bracelets, and necklaces are offset by hammered and distressed outlines. This aspect certainly makes the pendant necklaces and rings, in particular, a great style option for men. At the same time, the inherent masculine energy of the collections is a wonderful contrast to the delicate wrist, slender fingers, and décolleté of a woman.

Next year, you can see Papin and Wilmore's iconic Aurora and Cupid Pendant worn by Julia Roberts in the upcoming 2011 film Larry Crowne. "A stylist picked up some of our necklaces for Julia Roberts to wear in her latest movie," says Wilmore.

"We try not to get too excited about this sort of thing since it often doesn't pan out but lo and behold we saw a photo of her wearing our Aurora and Cupid Intaglio Necklace on the set!

Incidentally, her husband picked up a pendant from our LA store a few days later for her for Mother's Day."  If you are a fan of the new ABC series Once Upon a Time you might have noticed that actor Jennifer Morrison, who portrays Emma Swan, regularly wears the brand’s reclaimed sterling silver Swan Wax Seal Necklace.

The environmentally conscious designing team supplies sale proceeds to California's Animal Acres, a refuge for farm animals, and as referenced above opened a flagship store in Los Angeles, California earlier this year.
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Gold Plated Sterling Silver Aurora and Cupid Pendant
Photo 2 (center) Jennifer Morrison Wearing Sterling Silver Wax Seal Swan Talisman in Once Upon a Time
Photo 3 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Fidelity Narrow Cuff Bracelet
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