Lure - Jewellery for All the Floors of Life’s Staircase
While not known for much more than foot-stomping irritability, Rumpelstiltskin would love Lure, a place where gold is spun daily; a fairy tale tower full of artists prepared to let down their hair (actually, that might be Rapunzel, but let’s roll with it) and create objects to inspire impish greed. 12 jewellers from Otago are represented, 8 working out of this Edwardian building. Every floor of the winding staircase features banisters painted in different colours: 80s purple, 90s lime… the jewellers go back to alluvial times: “We’ve known each other 20 million years, since 1991” says Ann Culy. How do they manage to share such a small space without getting on each other’s proverbial? “We know when to shut up.”
The best thing about Lure, apart from the plan drawers full of rings to try on – so ‘no pressure’ it reminds you of playing dress ups as a kid - and framed necklaces that are such works of art, whether hung on the wall or you, they are resplendent – no, the absolute best thing is that Lure isn’t the province of marrieds buying identi-ware. If you wanted a forever ring this is where you’d come, but Lure’s jewellery is for all the floors of life’s staircase. I found a single-lady-being-awesome ring that read “what are you waiting for?” What indeed.
Alchemy and old lace, tea sets and statues of the Virgin, clutter and crucibles, Lure is a cross between a smithy, a Victorian workhouse, a hippy commune and an uncovered Viking hoard. It’s a place where a handful of gold granules are super-heated, alloyed and bashed from base metal into body adornment, into inheritable mementos. Do jewellers have a particular temperament? “We’re highly individualistic,” says Ang. “Jewellers love being in their own little world, but they also have to love people.” “We talk to the clients, hear what they think they want and then we make what we want,” says Rainer. The design process is a winnowing of ideas not possible or sensible, a melting down. “What you’re offering is you, what they’re offering is themselves” The end result is a union, the hand fasting of something that glitters, and something lasting.
Jewellery needs to be worn and touched, exclaimed over: “Where did you get that!?” its provenance and design discussed, and pieces from Lure do all the heavy lifting in this regard by virtue of their own bright light. “It’s like the jewellery runs out into the world and does your advertising for you,” says Ann. “So if someone comes here they’re primed to meet the jeweller and the jewellery.” She reckons it’s kind of a village blacksmith mentality: “Oooo that horse has good shoes…” plus, there’s the olde worlde charm of hands-on adjusting, sizing, altering the length of a necklace, or changing the stone in a ring, or the fit. It can be done right in front of you. Just like magic.
Post submitted by Lisa Scott
Photos by Sharron Bennett