Words: Beverly Ligman
Margaret River is sometimes referred to as the Jewel of the Cape so it’s no surprise then that there are plenty of talented artisans in its midst.
NINA’S – Dunsborough
Nina’s ethos is pretty simple. They want to make pieces for their customers that will quite simply take their breath away.
And they want their customers to feel like part of the family.
Owner Steve Turner says Nina’s is passionate about what they do.
“When someone buys a piece of jewellery from us, we want them to be happy, we want to see them again,” he said.
“They really become part of the Nina’s family. We’re passionate about what we do and that shows in our service and attention to detail.”
The Nina’s story began in Kununnura in 1965 with a vision of creating unique designs infused with the brilliance of pearls from the Broome region, diamonds and Western Australia’s own pure gold.
Nina’s designs are a reflection of the extraordinary natural landscape and its aweinspiring beauty; from the miles of stunning coastline to lush forests and the wilderness of the Kimberley region.
And if you want to be pretty in pink then you’ve come to the right place; Nina’s is one of very few Argyle Pink Diamond Select Ateliers in the world today.
“Our inspiration comes from the sea and the South West, the tall forests and nature, the beautiful colours and rugged nature of the natural environment and Indigenous paintings and culture,” Steve added.
“We are proudly the only Argyle Diamond select atelier in the south west – and one of only 17 in Australia.
“We design and handcraft pieces of jewellery to fit every person’s taste and budget.”
PAYET GALLERY – Margaret River
Another fine edition to the Margaret River region is Payet Gallery and its fabulous handcrafted jewellery. The stunning studio gallery is just six kilometres from the Margaret River town site, where visitors can see brothers Nicholas and Francois Payet at work, crafting pieces that incorporate pearls and semi-precious gems in a variety of textured and polished metals, including silver and gold.
The Payet brothers were born in the Seychelles, moved to Melbourne as children and have been part of the Australian jewellery industry for more than 30 years, with Francois operating small retail stores in Melbourne.
Visitors to the gallery often turn out to be past clients, who are thrilled to renew their acquaintance with Payet jewellery designs.
The Payets left Melbourne in 2006, hoping to find a quieter and more inspirational location. Beautiful beaches, native bushland and a country lifestyle made Margaret River the perfect choice. When Francois discovered the property on Boodjidup Road, he was able to fulfill a dream –to create a purpose-built workshop and gallery.
“At the Payet Gallery I can work surrounded by nature and my family,” Francois says.
“I draw inspiration from nature; the textures and organic shapes that attract my mind’s eye gently work their way into my designs which mostly take shape in my dreams.”
Francois also travels to trade fairs in search of unique pearls and gems, the different cuts, colours and shapes of these, can often lead to a new design.
The brothers work closely together with Francois designing and Nicholas quietly crafting the superbly finished pieces.
FUSION JEWELLERS – Busselton
There’s something to be said for changing locations and therefore changing your perspective.
Which is exactly what award-winning jeweller Barrie Lander did when he relocated his family from Broome to Busselton a decade ago. Barrie has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and says he is as inspired by the beautiful coastline and tranquil waters of Geographe Bay that he now calls home as he was the dramatic landscapes and wildness of WA’s North West.
“I moved to Busselton in 2006, from the Pearling town of Broome where I was very inspired by the more irregular shape of the Keshi pearls,” Barrie says.
“The heart of the Kimberley reflects those beautiful mauve hues as the sun sets on Cable Beach, but in the South West we have the turquoise waters of Geographe Bay.
“They are both stunning natural landscapes I’ve been lucky to call home.”
Barrie is a master jeweller who transforms gold and silver into stunning pieces that will become cherished family heirlooms.
He was a finalist in the 2015 Jeweller’s Association of Australia (JAA) competition, hand-crafting an exquisite Argyle diamond and pearl pendant.
Fusion Jewellers stock an extensive range of white and yellow gold pieces including rings and necklaces, sterling silver and custom pieces made to order.
They can also re-model old treasures if you have a piece that’s been sitting in your jewellery box, unloved for way too long.
JOHN MILLER DESIGN – Yallingup & Margaret River
Talented jewellery designer John Miller has been making stunning, original pieces in WA since 1973.
He started off working in Cottesloe when silver jewellery was hot property and has continued in the field pretty much ever since; forging a successful acting and singing career in his spare time.
John has a studio in Yallingup where he works with the finest metals and gemstones available and is renowned for his hand-carved sterling silver and gold pieces which depict parts of the local landscape including vineyards, ocean and wildlife. He has also recently opened a shop in Margaret River.
Miller is not afraid to think outside the box and says he is often inspired by history and the amazing landscape where he lives.
The jeweller works with diamonds, rubies and sapphires creating pieces for both men and women to treasure for a lifetime.
“For inspiration, I always look to the ancient and tribal or primitive metal ork. The Egyptians, Mayans, Incas and Celts for instance all had a very sophisticated aesthetic and traditionalechniques,” he said.
“I feel that making one-off pieces gives them a real artistic value and this is what makes them exciting for me.
“It’s about the artistic journey and not going back over the same ground all the time.
“We send things all over Australia and the world. It’s not unusual to get a website request from customers in London, Auckland or Beijing.”