Two Plums Design: Nature reflected in recycled silver jewellery
Have you ever wondered what happens to the technology you recycle? Well, the precious metal used as conductors inside can be melted down and repurposed into a completely different object!
Michelle Stemm, the designer and silversmith behind Two Plums Design uses silver recycled from technological gadgets and old jewellery to create her stunning and unique pieces of jewellery.
Michelle has been making and selling her creations for two years at markets around Brisbane and the Sunshine coast, including the Brisstyle and Young Designers markets. She also recently held a stall at the Green Heart Fair on Brisbane’s north side, where I fell in love with her elegantly quirky creations and wanted to learn more about her and her muses.
From the secluded peace and quiet of the studio on her ten acre property in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Michelle gains inspiration for her designs from the ‘botanical beauty’ surrounding her. You will recognise the shapes of silver seed pods, leaves, and tree branches, as well as the occasional pearl and geometric pattern in her designs. As she makes each of her pieces by hand, every piece of sterling silver jewellery Michelle creates is special, though they are all equally wearable and beautiful.
Michelle describes herself as a ‘backyard environmentalist’, living as much off the land and in a self-sustaining way as possible. The philosophy of recycling to avoid waste strongly influenced Michelle during her childhood, and motivated her decision to use recycled silver for her creations in her adult life. One huge benefit of working with metal is that it can be melted down again and again to create something new each time—without removing additional materials from the earth. Like energy, Michelle told me, metal can be transformed, reshaped, and repurposed, but doesn’t get used up in the process.
In a nut shell—or a seed pod, in this case—Michelle’s hand crafted jewellery tells a story of metamorphosis. The silver is taken from the earth, crafted into a component in a piece of technology, melted down, then recrafted into designs of natural shapes—reflecting the material’s earthly origin.
We are eager to see what Michelle creates next. You can view her inspired collections in the gallery on her website, purchase her pieces online, or track down her stalls at the markets.