Meet the Maker - Recycled Materials a Hit with Guys!
No doubt we all have at least one man in our life that is difficult to buy for, making birthdays and Christmas just that little bit more stressful than they need to be. Marieke Treloar, the creator of Sir Stag Men's Jewellery, says she was inspired to design unique jewellery and accessories for difficult-to-buy-for men after working part-time as a sales assistant for a major jewellery chain and seeing the total lack of originality in relation to men's pieces.
Sir Stag pieces are all designed and hand-crafted in the Hunter from a variety of materials, including precious and semi-precious metals like gold, sterling silver, titanium, stainless steel, aluminium, brass and copper, as well as recycled materials, natural materials like wood and leather, precious and semi-precious gemstones and contemporary materials like resin, ceramics and plastics.
Each piece is created using various traditional jeweller's techniques, including organic casting, lost wax casting and hand fabrication, and where possible, materials are sourced from locally owned and operated suppliers.
Marieke says she has a definite preference for recycled materials.
"It's a privilege to be able to take a piece of copper pipe, not useful to its original purpose and turn it into a beloved piece of jewellery to be worn and enjoyed," she said.
"When I was working in jewellery retail, the commercial pieces available for men all seemed to be too lightweight, and the designs were very sterile. I became aware that while not many men seem to wear jewellery, it was more about them not finding pieces they could relate to or sometimes it was as simple as they didn't fit or feel right. The idea of creating mainly for men stuck with me, and that embryo of an idea finally became Sir Stag."
This experience has been the guiding force for Marieke in the design process.
"I have some hard and fast rules when it comes to my creations. Firstly, I try to use as many recycled materials as possible.
Secondly, I source as much as possible of the raw materials from local suppliers. Thirdly, it's about creating short runs or, better yet, one-of-a-kind pieces that tell a story and finally, the pieces need to fit and feel suitable to the wearer," she said.
Marieke says that one of the reasons she loves creating jewellery is the variety each day brings.
"There are an enormous amount of techniques, style and materials involved. One day I might wield a hammer to beat a piece of metal to shape, and the next day I could be carving in wood or even working with plastics. It's never boring, and there is always something new to do or learn," she said.
"I am hoping to bring a smile to many and reduce the headaches for the friends and family of those men that are just so hard to buy for."
You can visit Sir Stag Men's Jewellery at Handmade in the Hunter Markets in the picturesque gardens of Sobels Wines in Pokolbin. Upcoming market days are 30 & 31 October, followed by 6 & 7 November. For more information, visit www.handmadehuntermarkets.com.au