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Journal: Emma Grace

The Treasury

A few years ago I started a workshop and named it The Treasury. The basic idea was that people would bring along their old and broken costume jewellery, and I would teach them how to fix their bits and pieces, or re-create them into something more contemporary and interesting to wear.

There have been many fascinating off-shoots from this venture—the first is of course the people. We begin each workshop with ‘show and tell’. It’s a simple exercise (we’ve all grown up with this in primary school) but one that’s crucial to this workshop for fostering a safe and stimulating environment, where people feel open to create and learn. One thing I’ve learnt is that every trinket tells a tale, I guess that’s why no-one ever throws anything out. The most banal looking piece of jewellery can have the most extraordinary story behind it, so it’s an exciting challenge to be able to work these into a wearable piece of jewellery that is not only a story piece, but will look great as well.

I created The Treasury as a space to explore a more sustainable approach to fashion—one that incorporates creativity, community and self-belief. For me, it is the place where my path towards a more sustainable practice has really started to take off. Some people come because they want to incorporate sustainability into their every-day lives, but many are just pleasantly surprised that this workshop is sustainability in action. I think ‘sustainability’ has a stuffy connotation that comes with it, so it’s nice to dispel that myth.

The next Treasury workshop is Saturday the 28th of April, see for details.

In the coming weeks I will be investigating the social and environmental impacts of my jewellery practice, and the potential for a bigger shift towards a more sustainable business. If any other jewellers are interested in finding out more, or embarking on this mission with me, please contact me: [email protected]

At first it was just me and the monster…

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…but then some others joined us…

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…and pretty soon it was a big ol’ party.

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Every piece tells a story…


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Proud artist Leeyong Soo with her re-fashioned jewellery pieces at the Sustainable Living Festival…

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