Stepping into jeweller Melanie Katsalidis’ new Pieces of Eight store, is like stepping into a life sized jewellery box.
The intimate, richly coloured and welcoming space inside Melbourne’s iconic Royal Arcade is a treasure trove of Australian-made pieces, including a delicate pendant by interior designer Brahman Perera; hand cast concrete sculptures by Five Mile Radius; and, at the centre, a life-sized jewellery holder, dubbed the ‘ripple bench’, designed by Adele Winteridge of Foolscap Studio.
This ‘stroke of genius’ was inspired by the presentation trays with curved channels for rings used to display jewellery to clients, Melanie explains. Adele designed the bench with exaggerated and enlarged curves to act as a modular display system for small objects, which when upholstered in ‘Yves Klein blue’ neoprene by local business Camm Upholstery, became the centrepiece of the store.
‘We have so many brilliant creatives in our city, it’s a pleasure to connect with them and work with them on great outcomes’, says Melanie. ‘I see it as one of the benefits of being part of creative Melbourne. Without these connections, it would all feel less personal and joyous.’
It’s a concept Melanie is familiar with. The jeweller works with Australian artisanal miners and stonecutters in her collections, and is fond of championing Australian gemstones.
‘I make all my work in Melbourne and these elements of my practice are very much attuned to my core values, which include supporting local industry and makers,’ she says.
The store’s location, beneath the arcade’s magnificent Gaunt’s Clock, helped inspire the design by Foolscap Studio around the concept of ‘Future Histories’—something Melanie also likes to reflect in her devotion to honouring the ancient and precious gems and metals in her jewellery designs.
Foolscap Studio have expertly adapted elements of the former space to work with their bold and modern fit out, celebrating both the store’s history and the beautiful collections of the artisans and jewellery designers featured in the store.
‘I really love our original Victorian shop windows and checkerboard floor in the arcade,’ says Melanie. ‘I love being part of a longer story of Melbourne retail and history, adding our own new chapter to what came before.’
Pieces of Eight
Shop 27 Royal Arcade, Melbourne