The ar­ti­san jeweler and her Ba­li­nese jour­ney.

NICHE Magazne - - Inside This Issue - by Sylvia Ten­nant

DE­SIGN­ING A COL­LEC­TION IS A TIMELY PROCESS THAT INCLUDES WAVES OF VAR­IED EMO­TIONS

NICHE colum­nist, jew­elry de­signer and un­apolo­getic fash­ion­ista, Sylvia Ten­nant cre­ated her new­est crys­tal jew­elry col­lec­tion, and NICHE has the ex­clu­sive story that be­gan with an in­spi­ra­tional jour­ney to the In­done­sian is­land of Bali, and con­cludes in this is­sue with the ful­fill­ment of a dream... When I think back to the be­gin­ning of this process, the sug­ges­tion of shar­ing my jour­ney to read­ers felt daunt­ing. There were days when the pres­sure of cre­at­ing trend­con­scious, unique and time­less jew­elry was slightly crip­pling. I kept re­mind­ing my­self that fly­ing across the world to cre­ate my art is nor­mal, to me. All of the lit­tle moments – the warm smiles and laugh­ter of mar­ket ven­dors, the free­dom of rip­ping through rice fields on my scooter, the smell of a meal dur­ing a tor­ren­tial down­pour – these are the mem­o­ries that make it all worth it.

De­sign­ing a col­lec­tion, like any large-scale cre­ative project, is a timely process that includes waves of var­ied emo­tions. In my case, the in­au­gu­ral rush of nerves and doubt while sketch­ing and gem buy­ing leads to re­lief as I sub­mit plans to my sil­ver­smith. This mo­men­tary pause for joy and re­lax­ation is bro­ken like a dam when sam­ples ar­rive and the game of mi­nus­cule al­ter­ation be­gins. Stones are switched, bands are thinned by mil­lime­ters, and chain is re-cut un­til it feels like I could wear the pieces for­ever. In these moments, my in­tu­ition kicks into over­drive. Ap­prov­ing fi­nal de­signs is a re­lease of much more than sketches and sam­ples. Af­ter the ex­hil­a­ra­tion of es­tab­lish­ing pro­duc­tion in an un­fa­mil­iar place, it was time to leave Ubud and re­treat to a world

of glo­ri­ous dis­trac­tion along the coast. Vastly dif­fer­ent from the cen­tral jun­gles that had be­come fa­mil­iar, Seminyak is a truly unique shop­ping, foodie, and party mecca. There is an un­apolo­getic vi­brancy to this scene that en­tices one’s cu­rios­ity and sends my bo­hemian heart soar­ing. The Pris­on­ers of Saint Peters­burg, an ever-evolv­ing women’s fashion and ac­ces­sories store, was a re­fresh­ing find in my search for a beau­ti­ful dress (also an ex­cel­lent stop for lovers of cu­rated prints, vin­tage-in­spired sun­glasses, and one-of-a-few pieces).

Tucked away from the ev­er­p­re­sent purr of com­mo­tion is Alila Seminyak, where I mor­phed into the next phase of my trip: beach mode. My face was met with the smells of par­adise and salt water in their vast, open-air re­cep­tion, which is both ar­chi­tec­turally min­i­mal­ist and op­u­lent. In ad­di­tion to the ex­pan­sive suites and man­i­cured grounds, Alila of­fers mul­ti­ple unique as­pects that make this prop­erty no­tably ex­cel­lent. The concierge team ex­tends an im­pres­sive list of of­fer­ings, tai­lored to their guests’ in­di­vid­ual in­ter­ests and pri­or­i­ties. My stay in­cluded a hands-on les­son on the tra­di­tions of Ba­li­nese cul­ture in an an­cient tem­ple sit­u­ated in the mid­dle of their prop­erty, and fin­ished with a sun­set din­ner at the newly launched (and highly rec­om­mended) Seasalt.

This trip would not be com­plete with­out show­ing my mom the south­ern shore of Bali’s epic coast­line. We trav­eled south on a wind­ing road to our fi­nal des­ti­na­tion – Karma Kan­dara. De­signed with con­sid­er­ate ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the land, the sur­round­ings are dom­i­nated by stag­gered lime­stone cliffs that rise above the In­dian Ocean. It is here that we steeped our senses in the slow plea­sures of villa life, rel­ish­ing the fi­nal days with ses­sions in the lux­u­ri­ous spa huts and soaks in our pri­vate pool. My brother and his friends popped in

from Viet­nam, which re­ally put our am­ple three-story, four-bed­room villa and lush grounds to good use. On our last day, we wan­dered past mon­keys, val­leys, and view­points on a walk­way that led to a tram, which brought us to the beach club. The col­lec­tion would have to be de­liv­ered here, in the fi­nal hours of our trip. This of course was not planned, how­ever the nervewrack­ing de­lay that al­ways seems to fol­low cre­ative pro­cesses was well worth the wait.

The first glimpse of the col­lec­tion was met with cel­e­bra­tory cock­tails and group hugs, yet this cre­ative pil­grim­age is just one spoke in a wheel that con­tin­ues to roll my busi­ness for­ward. Look­ing ahead, this chap­ter is sim­ply a draft - one I will re­write each year in an at­tempt to perfect the process.

But for now, I am at peace, fi­nally hold­ing a phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tion of my ideas in my hands.

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