Flavia, the maker behind Atelier Nomada, has travelled far and wide throughout her lifetime; originally from Romania, she now calls Australia home. Upon arrival in Australia, Flavia undertook a course for jewellery making, taking a turn from her profession as an architect. An eye for design, a love for nature and the incidental stumbling across a small shared studio really formed the beginnings of Atelier Nomada.
“Nomad’s studio” – Atelier Nomada,
I visited Flavia in her shared studio in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Here, a handful of jewellers spend their days together along with all kinds of artists; from photographers, to painters and textile designers. A warm, friendly studio with a strong community feel was just what I needed on a cold, Melbourne winters day. Flavia showed me around and introduced me to the weird and wonderful techniques and machinery used for creating her jewellery.
Lost wax jewellery casting is a process used to create moulds from objects. This is the way many of Atelier Nomada’s pieces get the gorgeous natural structure. It is then hours of working the sterling silver (and other metals) into the final forms.
No silver is wasted
The majority of Atelier Nomadas work is created with sterling silver. Sterling silver is a combination of 92.5 % pure silver with 7.5% of another metal (usually copper) to add strength. Alone, silver is too soft to turn into jewellery. Of course, in the making of jewellery, some silver is separated! Flavia explained how she collects all of the scraps, shavings and left overs from the jewellery making process in the studio and sends it to Sydney for re-melting and reusing.
Seeing the beauty in nature
What I found remarkable about her work is the story and the appreciation of nature that is the basis of the forms seen in her pieces. All of her pieces have some aspect of Ausralian nature. Flavia said she appreciates the beauty in Australian nature, especially objects like gum nuts and parts of the eucalyptus trees. Gum nuts were found on the ground in the Melbourne botanical gardens and Leaves were found on the beach of Sandringham. From a recent trip to the Blue Mountains a collection of seed pods were used for casting in her most recent work. It is amazing to hear the story of how her father picked up a leaf out of appreciation on Sandringham beach while visiting from Romania and to see how this leaf has been created into a piece to be taken back home with him to Romaia as a true memory of Australia.
Souvenirs should actually be made in Australia and represent something meaningful about the destination.
Australia has many unique plants and landscapes which form a large portion of the Aussie experience. This identity is written all over each piece created by Atelier Nomada. From the gum nut ring to the leaf necklace to the seed pod earrings, a true Aussie story is shared. Flavia hopes to encourage people to make wiser choices. She encourages people to stop buying products made in China or overseas as we have fabulous, high quality, more meaningful items created right here in our country. With the Australian gum nuts and seeds transformed into jewellery, a true part of Australia can be held onto for life.
By supporting small businesses such as Atelier nomada you are supporting a real people and real communities.
When people show appreciation for her work and get excited about what they have just purchases is a great experience for Flavia. “…it is a gratifying feeling and makes my heart jump out!”. As a friendly, welcoming, bubbly person, it is no wonder customers show such appreciation. Flavia showed true passion for her new profession and the energy in her body language and voice really showed this. “It is a process of finding ones identity as an artist”.
The pieces of Atelier Nomada truly represent the beauty that we are lucky to have here in Australia.
See her collection here