Stepping into the new Meg Maskell boutique there is an enchanting, electric energy in the air. Eclectic jewels dazzle beneath art deco style cabinets, a young couple scour the infinite cuts and pairings on display, and Meg herself, intuitively sketching and selecting stones for a bespoke engagement ring for a young man, a brilliant cut diamond and morganite encrusted piece destined for an unexpected Christmas proposal. There is a distant whirring that draws us through the boutique, ever curious, uncovering a studio of artisans, masterfully crafting and refining every detail of these treasures with a rather industrial finesse. It’s a stark contrast to the delicate end products we have come to know and love from Meg Maskell, yet the journey to get there never ceases to amaze us. It’s here, nestled in the leafy streets of Sydney’s upper north shore, where all these incredible fine jewels come to life. There is undeniably a deep sense of magic igniting here, and we’re right in the heart of it…
The Meg Maskell aesthetic is steeped in such an enchanting simplicity, what inspires you and guides you with your designs?
We draw a lot of my inspiration from natural forms and beautiful Australian wildflowers. We are also so passionate about working with natural gems and the amazing array of colours they have. Each gem has a unique color pallete that offers endless design opportunities.
There is such an electric energy to your new Sydney boutique, with your in-house studio in arms reach of your shop floor, giving your customers a real authentic, first-hand behind-the-scenes look at your master jewelers and diamond specialists at work. Walk us through some of the experience customers can expect when booking an in-store consultation with you?
We love meeting one-on-one with clients, either in person or virtually to discuss designs. After viewing stones and design concepts we then take those ideas and put them to paper with detailed illustrations along with videoing gemstone choices for those that cannot see them in person. Our bespoke process works to all budgets giving everyone the opportunity to create their perfect piece.
You’re trained in masterful handmade jewelry techniques that have evolved over thousands of years, what is it about these processes that you love?
I just love how raw the process of truly handmaking jewelry is. It starts from molten metal forms and finishes with intricate hand forged details. It is such a detailed process that in many ways looks industrial until the very end when it all comes together. It is a labour intensive process but well worth the extra effort. No two rings are the same and that is truly the beauty of being a bespoke handmade jeweler.
These techniques give such an artisanal yet refined essence to your pieces that really honor the quality of each stone. What draws you to a stone when selecting your jewels in the first place, what are you looking for?
Quality of the stone itself in its cut and color, along with where it has been sourced are our most important factors. We love unique colors and shapes, so we are always looking for something timeless with an edge. Being able to offer our clients exclusive cuts and colors of stone is a real treat!
Socially, ethically and environmentally friendly materials and practices are so important to The Lane bride, can you tell us a little about some of the ways you uphold this at Meg Maskell?
We are incredibly are conscious of the impact throughout the whole supply chain and as a result we are very selective of who we purchase our materials from. We only source from miners and gem suppliers who share our values and stand behind their product to ensure that they are ethically sourced. In addition to this all of our diamonds are sourced in accordance with the Kimberley Process ensuring that they are conflict free.
Our metals are sourced from some of Australia and New Zealand’s largest fine metal suppliers. These refiners are accredited and are incredibly conscious of the social and ethical impacts throughout the supply chain. They are also committed to minimising their environmental impact by using the latest techniques, and wherever possible, use recycled metals, with the remainder coming from local mines within Australasia. As our pieces are handmade within our workshop environment, this enables us to continue this recycling process by refining all of our scrap metals and lemel.
You have a broad range of gemstones and cuts you work with across your Engagement and Wedding collections for couples to choose from, what advice and guidance do you have for men and women coming into your store unsure of where to start?
My advice is to jump right in and have an open mind. You absolutely do not need to know what you want when you walk in the door. We often find that clients fall in love with something they might not have considered prior to beginning the process. As we offer so many custom options it just takes a meeting with us to start the design concepts flowing.
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