Reflecting on 22 Years of Contemporary Jewellery
By Emma Goodsir
As a jeweller and the founder of e.g.etal, I usually can’t help myself from surreptitiously checking out other people’s jewellery.
Not to notice the size of their diamond or to judge their aesthetic, but to see if I recognise the maker.
As makers, we send our pieces out into the world often not knowing where they will travel. I remember the thrill of first seeing a pair of my earrings on a stranger sitting on a tram. I was too shy to fess up as the maker. But I held on to the joy of that earring – silver carved, bent, filed and polished by my own hands – being the chosen piece for someone to wear that day. When I finish a piece I always give it a final little rub for good luck. Especially wedding rings. “Be the keeper of love, little ring”.
Years ago a hairdresser told me he’d been at a dinner party where it became apparent that everyone had wedding rings from e.g.etal. Twelve e.g.etal rings from different makers as the common thread between strangers.
It would be fascinating to trace the thousands and thousands of threads e.g.etal has sent out over more than two decades as a gallery. Or maybe not … possibly we’ve heard enough of contact tracing for now!
As we approach our 22nd birthday, during a year that’s definitely one for the books, I find myself reflecting on what e.g.etal means to the makers, the collectors and the culture of Melbourne.
Providing jewellery artists with a way to make a living is still e.g.etal’s driving philosophy. Right now our goal is to support our artists more than ever. We continue to value their work in the same way we always have. We encourage our clients to buy for longevity. We don’t follow trends or seasons. That’s why you won’t find us participating in Black Friday sales or offering deep discounts at this time.
Since reopening, we’re buoyed to see our clients return and support our makers and what we do. Melbourne people have such a wonderful appreciation for design. We are very lucky to have amazing customers who will happily see jewellery as an art form and become collectors.
Meanwhile, e.g.etal will continue to do what we do best: champion independent makers and showcase innovative design. I’m proud that when people leave e.g.etal, they leave adorned by a piece of this city.
As we always say: each piece is carefully conceived, beautifully crafted, and sincerely passed on.
Emma Goodsir is the founder and director of e.g.etal and a contemporary jeweller. Her collection is available at e.g.etal.