Minimalist and handmade with ethically sourced gold and gems, these values are embodied in your RUUSK engagement and wedding ring. Tania’s understated elegance, warmth and care is evident in her designs as much as in her personal style. We’re so happy to welcome Tania to our Mindfully Wed event and part of the eco-ethical wedding community that we can wholeheartedly recommend to our clients. We have a little chat with Tania to get to know the philosophy that drives her work…
Tell us a little about yourself, how would your friends describe you?
By profession I’m a jewellery designer, however I like to think of myself as an all-round creative. I’m a lover of beautiful things, a maker and an explorer of life.
How did you grow to love jewellery design?
Even as a child I was fascinated by jewellery. I used to collect shells on the beach to make necklaces with my mother, and I loved playing with the bangles that my Grandmother used to wear. Jewellery has always been a symbol of the people I love, and this is where my passion lies. Jewellery is one of the few items that we wear that can truly become an extension of ourselves. It’s very personal and intimate, and I love creating these pieces.
What is the philosophy behind your work?
Designing for life is one of my key philosophies. It essentially means creating honest pieces that you can life in. It’s about creating with purpose and intention. Over time, and with the rise of fast fashion and costume jewellery, I think we have lost the powerful connections that can exist between ourselves and the pieces we choose to own. I love to help my customers develop a personal relationship with the jewellery I create for them, these pieces are their own modern heirlooms in the making.
What drives your passion for Ethical jewellery?
Ethical production is extremely important to me which is why all of my pieces are handmade in Sydney, using ethical Australian gold. I work closely with all of my suppliers to ensure that I only work with conflict-free Diamonds or locally sourced Australian Sapphires. Being able to make all of my pieces locally has always been a non-negotiable for me and am so proud to work with some wonderful and skilled people who truly love what they do.
Why is knowing your supply chains important?
Knowing your supply chain is extremely important. This is why I choose to work with small local suppliers, allowing me to choose and understand where my materials come from. I only work with Australian suppliers that I trust and know that share my values. Unfortunately not all countries and workers are protected or follow the same laws and ethics that we have here in Australia. I feel very lucky to be able to work with people and suppliers who I know respect their workers and the environment. All of my metal comes from one of Australia’s largest recyclers of precious metal and suppliers of ethical gold. I also choose to work with companies that I know that are re-investing in green technology and environmentally conscious methods. Knowing and believing in my supply chains allows me to create beautiful pieces with pride and honesty.
What advice would you give to couples when choosing a jeweller?
Take some time to find a jeweller that you connect with. Read their website, ask them questions and find out what they are passionate about. For me creating Ethical jewellery is an ongoing process, I’m constantly researching, learning and re-evaluating because ethical metals, stones and production are important to me. If you’re values align with your chosen jeweller, you’re much more likely to end up with a beautiful piece which feels authentic and honest.
Where do you see the future of jewellery design?
Although there are also big trends towards 3D printed jewellery, (a lot of the jewellery you see in stores is designed using 3D software), I sense that we’ll also see a turn back to bespoke handmade jewellery. I love honouring traditional craftsmanship to create new pieces to be treasured now and into the future. We’re also seeing a turn away from ‘traditional’ rings, with more couples seeking alternative centre stones and looking to work with jewellery designers to create unique pieces.
What are some interesting jewellery facts that you can share with us?
Oh that’s difficult! Jewellery really is one of those wonderful fields that you could study for years and still be constantly learning new things – this is one of the reasons why I love it so much! One of the fun facts that I love telling people is that Sapphires actually come in a whole range of wonderful colours! It’s commonly believed that Sapphires are only blue, this is because, back in ancient times, the term ‘Sapphire’ was used to describe any blue stone. It wasn’t until later on, when gemmologists were able to study the crystal make up of the stones, that they realized that there are many different blue stones and that Sapphires actually came in multiple colours. With this said, a Red Sapphire is what we call a Ruby. They have the same crystal structure. Australia is blessed with some absolutely beautiful Sapphires including Parti Sapphires which have to be my favourites.!What makes these stones so special is the way two or three colours are present in the one stone, making each Parti Sapphire beautifully unique. I recently created a custom engagement ring using a Parti Sapphire directly and ethically sourced from Queensland.
What’s the most treasured piece you have made?
The most treasured piece I’ve created so far definitely has to be my own engagement ring. Being a jewellery designer, I had told Nick, my now fiancee, to never buy me jewellery so instead of buying me an engagement ring, he organised an elaborate and incredibly unique proposal and presented me with a ‘placeholder’ ring so I could then design my own. My engagement ring was inspired by the beautiful night that Nick proposed and mimics the shape of the full moon and it’s reflection on the ocean below. I feel so blessed to have been able to create such a special and personal piece. It’s the perfect symbol for our unique story.
What makes your heart sing?
The ocean and delivering a completed piece – nothing beats the sense of satisfaction, honour, pride and joy that I feel when I deliver a ring and can see that it is well and truly loved.