This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Treasure Hunting With Wild To Ware

Creative People

You might remember Erin Malloy from her exquisite hand-carved timber homewares, which featured on The Design Files a few years ago. Back then, Erin described her attraction to woodwork as an escape from the daily grind.

Fast forward to today, and Erin’s added a few new strings to her bow –  jewellery design… and gemstone sourcing! Wild To Ware is a new ethical jewellery venture Erin has founded with partner Michael Tink, which sees the pair treasure hunting across Australia for undiscovered jewels.

9th January, 2020

Michael panning the riverbed for sapphires. Photo – Erin Malloy.

Natural stones collected from gemstone deposits. Photo – Michael Tink.

Erin searching for stones by the river. Photo – Michael Tink.

Michael initially discovered a passion for prospecting the Victorian Goldfields through working on his other jewellery label, Tink Jewellery. Photo – Erin Malloy.

A sapphire sourced from a field trip. Photo – Michael Tink.

Only one in ten stones sourced are able to be used in Wild To Ware jewellery, which is what makes each piece so special. Photo – Erin Malloy.

The couple take two longer camping trips a year and dedicate spare weekends to sourcing stones. Photo – Erin Malloy.

Wild To Ware Campaign imagery. Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Michael and Erin, the couple behind Wild To Ware. Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Sapphires after they have been cut and polished. Photo – Erin Malloy.

The exquisite final product. Photo – Erin Malloy.

Erin wearing one of the Wild To Ware pieces. Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Rings from Wild To Ware. Photo – Jessica Tremp.

Studs made with gold nuggets. Photo – Jessica Tremp.

A stunning ring by Wild To Ware. Photo – Erin Malloy.

Sally Tabart
Thursday 9th January 2020

‘For every 10 stones we find, maybe one is good. But we believe that’s what also makes these pieces and stones so beautiful – the scarcity’. – Erin Malloy.

‘Ethical’ has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years, and it can be difficult to understand exactly what it means. Supply chains are often hard to untangle, and there’s not always complete transparency about where materials are sourced.

Erin Malloy and Michael Tink are the creative couple behind Wild To Ware (W.T.W) – a true ethical jewellery label creating bespoke pieces created using raw materials painstakingly sourced from the natural world. Erin and Michael can tell you exactly where every part of their jewellery comes from, down to the very riverbed a gemstone was sourced, because they find them all with their own two hands.

Michael, who has been running his own jewellery label for the past 8 years, discovered a love for gold and prospecting in the Victorian Goldfields. When he and Erin met, the pair began fossicking for gemstones together – which is how the idea for their ethical jewellery label, Wild To Ware, was born. Discovering a gap in the market for sustainably, locally sourced gold and gemstones, the pair has embarked upon a true analogue process for developing their one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces. Drawing on Michael’s previous experience in the goldfields, the pair travel to areas known as gemstone deposits on spare weekends to source their raw materials.

Erin explains more about the methodical process of gemstone fossicking on the couple’s field trips: ‘After finding a spot that contains sapphires we get down to the river and “suit up”. We then begin looking for suitable bends in the rivers or old deposits – these are where the stones are built up over time’, Erin says. ‘From there we shovel from the riverbed into two sets of sieves – stacked on top of each other – shaking these from side to side. All of the smaller stones drop out and the heavies sink to the bottom. After a bit more shaking, the sieve is flipped over to reveal the sapphires and other gemstones at the top.’

So how do Erin and Michael figure out where to even look for these hidden gemstones? There are no gadgets or ‘Where To Find Precious Stones’ apps involved in this old-school process – it’s more like ‘X marks the spot’! ‘We collect a lot of old maps and books with hints and locations where gemstone deposits may still exist’, explains Erin.

For Erin and Michael, Wild To Ware is about so much more than creating a beautiful piece of jewellery. This painstaking process is one that requires much patience, and not every trip yields fruitful results. In fact, most of the time they either don’t find anything, or the quality of the stones they do find are not up to scratch. ‘For every 10 stones we find, maybe one is good. But we believe that’s what also makes these pieces and stones so beautiful – the scarcity’, explains Erin. A true treasure hunt!

Look out for the official launch of Wild To Ware in March. For now, you can keep up with Erin and Jessica on Instagram

This Week

Homes

A Photographer + Art Director’s Alistair Knox Home

Photographer Sean Fennessy, and art director Jessica Lillico's heart-warming Warrandyte mid-century family home, designed by Alistair Knox!
Lucy Feagins
  11 hours ago

On The Market

An Iconic Melbourne Art Family’s Richmond Home Is For Sale

The family of beloved artist Mirka Mora are selling their contemporary, multi-level home, featuring a pool-with-a-view!

Architecture

A Remarkable Reworking Of A Humble Gold Coast Shack

ME Architects have extraordinarily reworked and extended this humble 1970s Gold Coast home.

On The Market

The Perfect Architect-Designed Family Home Is On The Market

The Kingsville House by Olaver Architecture is potentially the closest thing there is to a perfect family house. And it could be yours!
Sasha Aarons

Shopping

An Epic Collaboration Between Two Local Icons, David Bromley + Review!

David Bromley collaborates with much loved local fashion label Review on a colourful new collection of apparel and accessories.

Creative People

The Earthy, Abstract Art Of Asha Holmes

Inside the textured, tonal and intuitive practice of a Northern Beaches-based painter whose star is well and truly on the rise!

Building Better

Everything You Need To Know About Working With A Builder

Where do you find a good builder? How long will it take them to build my house? How much will it cost? We answer these FAQs more.

News

A Glamorous New Range Of Matte + Metallic Mixers

New additions to Phoenix Tapware’s popular Designer Sink Mixers collection will complement every element in your home.
Sponsored

Studio Visit

P0LY Designs : The Ultimate Pandemic Pivot Project

How Lara Fisher and Andy Kepitis turned their lockdown hobby into full-time business!
44:00

Podcast

The Unconventional Career Path Of Interior Designer Yasmine Ghoniem Of YSG Studio, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, host Lucy Feagins talks to the founder of YSG Studio and so-hot-right-now visionary leading the Australian int...

Shopping

Nau Releases 2021 Australian-Made Furniture Collection

Cult’s in-house Australian-made furniture and lighting brand, Nau, releases it 2021 collection designed by Adam Goodrum, Kate Stokes, Adam...
Amelia Barnes
  3 hours ago

Stays

A Contemporary Reimagining of Robin Boyd’s Fenner House

Las Palmas by DUO Architects in association with Davis Architects is a Byron Bay hinterland home inspired by the owner's upbringing in Robin...

Studio Visit

This Cheerful New Textile + Homewares Label Brings The Sunshine We Need Right now!

Hannah Veikkanen used Melbourne's extended lockdowns to develop and launch her own textile label, creating handtufted cushions and artwork f...

Creative People

Building A Family Legacy On Local Manufacturing, With Abode Living

Creative director Amelia Marasco Adair takes us on a tour of the company's Camberwell HQ - featuring their production warehouse, offices +

Homes

Poppy Garbin + Scott Gibson Of Pop And Scott’s Dromana Dream Home

The renovated '80s home of Scott Gibson and Poppy Garbin, founders of Pop and Scott.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Shopping

A Lofty New Base For Artist + Jeweller Hamish Munro

A Parisian-Architecture inspired jewellery collection, and new showroom for the Collingwood-based artist and jeweller.
Elle Murrell

Creative People

'Australis' By Abby Seymour

A new collection of delicate jewellery, handmade in Melbourne, inspired by a yearning to connect to the land.

Craft

Erin Malloy

Graphic designer turned woodworker Erin Malloy makes handcrafted homewares in Macedon in rural Victoria.

This Week

Studio Visit

P0LY Designs : The Ultimate Pandemic Pivot Project

How Lara Fisher and Andy Kepitis turned their lockdown hobby into full-time business!

Homes

A Photographer + Art Director’s Alistair Knox Home

Photographer Sean Fennessy, and art director Jessica Lillico's heart-warming Warrandyte mid-century family home, designed by Alistair Knox!
Lucy Feagins
  11 hours ago

Shopping

An Epic Collaboration Between Two Local Icons, David Bromley + Review!

David Bromley collaborates with much loved local fashion label Review on a colourful new collection of apparel and accessories.

Stays

A Contemporary Reimagining of Robin Boyd’s Fenner House

Las Palmas by DUO Architects in association with Davis Architects is a Byron Bay hinterland home inspired by the owner's upbringing in Robin...

Shopping

Nau Releases 2021 Australian-Made Furniture Collection

Cult’s in-house Australian-made furniture and lighting brand, Nau, releases it 2021 collection designed by Adam Goodrum, Kate Stokes, Adam...
Amelia Barnes
  3 hours ago
44:00

Podcast

The Unconventional Career Path Of Interior Designer Yasmine Ghoniem Of YSG Studio, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, host Lucy Feagins talks to the founder of YSG Studio and so-hot-right-now visionary leading the Australian int...

Architecture

A Remarkable Reworking Of A Humble Gold Coast Shack

ME Architects have extraordinarily reworked and extended this humble 1970s Gold Coast home.

Homes

Poppy Garbin + Scott Gibson Of Pop And Scott’s Dromana Dream Home

The renovated '80s home of Scott Gibson and Poppy Garbin, founders of Pop and Scott.

Studio Visit

This Cheerful New Textile + Homewares Label Brings The Sunshine We Need Right now!

Hannah Veikkanen used Melbourne's extended lockdowns to develop and launch her own textile label, creating handtufted cushions and artwork f...

Creative People

The Earthy, Abstract Art Of Asha Holmes

Inside the textured, tonal and intuitive practice of a Northern Beaches-based painter whose star is well and truly on the rise!

On The Market

The Perfect Architect-Designed Family Home Is On The Market

The Kingsville House by Olaver Architecture is potentially the closest thing there is to a perfect family house. And it could be yours!
Sasha Aarons

On The Market

An Iconic Melbourne Art Family’s Richmond Home Is For Sale

The family of beloved artist Mirka Mora are selling their contemporary, multi-level home, featuring a pool-with-a-view!

Building Better

Everything You Need To Know About Working With A Builder

Where do you find a good builder? How long will it take them to build my house? How much will it cost? We answer these FAQs more.

Creative People

Building A Family Legacy On Local Manufacturing, With Abode Living

Creative director Amelia Marasco Adair takes us on a tour of the company's Camberwell HQ - featuring their production warehouse, offices +

News

A Glamorous New Range Of Matte + Metallic Mixers

New additions to Phoenix Tapware’s popular Designer Sink Mixers collection will complement every element in your home.
Sponsored

Similar Stories

Shopping

A Lofty New Base For Artist + Jeweller Hamish Munro

A Parisian-Architecture inspired jewellery collection, and new showroom for the Collingwood-based artist and jeweller.
Elle Murrell

Creative People

'Australis' By Abby Seymour

A new collection of delicate jewellery, inspired by a yearning to connect to the land.

Craft

Erin Malloy

Graphic designer turned woodworker Erin Malloy makes handcrafted homewares in Macedon in rural Victoria.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.