Wednesday, July 10, 2013

PIP KEANE

Sterling Silver Flower Drop Necklace
The capital city of Australia, Canberra, is the country’s largest inland city that rivals its more well-known neighbors Sydney and Melbourne.  

The Australian War Memorial and the National Museum of Australia are two sites to learn about the city’s origin.  Australia is also home to featured jewelry designer Pip Keane.


Why doesn’t silver get shine?  Considering the blog’s topic, the question is not a play on words.   

My reference of the shine colloquialism is one of my random musings on jewelers’ mentality towards the precious metal. 

In many cases jewelry designers work with both gold and sterling silver; however, photos of gold jewelry are often uploaded to an online gallery with the caption that the same design is in sterling silver.

If that is any indication it would seem gold is considered the belle of the ball, while sterling silver is the pretty but overlooked wallflower.

Although Keane works with gold, resin and titanium the entirety of the handcrafted jewelry photos uploaded to her online gallery are in sterling silver.

She makes full use of her silversmithing skills creating tactile surfaces of arabesque or perforated details; and juxtaposing blackened and polished metal.  Her style is sleek, modern and feminine; a great showcase of the beauty of sterling silver.
Blackened & Polished Sterling Silver
Square Flower Ring
A graduate of Australian National University, Keane is a seasoned crafter making jewelry and hollow-ware since 1996.  The jeweler set up shop in Melbourne seven years ago after leaving her hometown of Canberra.  The move proved to be a bit of a challenge.

“I had spent ten years working in a shared studio before moving to Melbourne.  My husband had gotten a job there and I felt it was a good opportunity for me to establish a presence,” recalls the working mom.

“I had to find new suppliers, customers and I had to get accustomed to delegating my workload after working for so long by myself.  Sharing the workload was very difficult.

I think the biggest challenge came after I gave birth to my daughter four years ago.  My day would start at 5 a.m. and end at 6:30 p.m.  I would work like crazy returning client phone calls, meeting with clients and making jewelry.  It was tough but I like being busy.”

Keane has cultivated a beautiful design style inspired by the varied patterns of nature, tea strainers, and crisp, geometric angles.  “I give great thought to comfort, flexibility and beautifully integrated design.  I like creating shapes that integrate and overlap into simple, stylish accessories.”
Matte & Polished Sterling Silver
Pebble Road Cuff Bracelet

2013 Jewelry Trend Alert:  Sterling silver metal has a strong presence in this year’s jewelry trends and as referenced above Keane makes the metal central to her aesthetic.
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