Friday, March 11, 2016

Lately - Happy Days

Lately I have been investing my time in to a new website that combines my shop and blog, appreciating the gentle transition from a humid Brisbane Summer to a rainy Autumn, seeking out tell tales of that change, spending as many hours at the bench as I can around a toddler with a tummy bug and a newly minted four year old full of 'character', while also working on custom orders and training my new intern. (My oh my, how long a tummy bug can last and how much character one four year old can have!)

Meanwhile I have missed my much loved blog and the opportunity to take photographs just for the sake of it. Though I love faffing jewellery and directing photoshoots, my first photography love was capturing everyday moments. Just for the joy of looking, noticing and capturing. As in the photos above. Mushrooms found among the grass in our back yard. Four year old feet ready to jump from a cubby house. The first sprinkle of yellow leaves amidst the rain indented soil. I am looking forward to pointing my camera at more beautiful and mundane moments, and sharing them with you while I snuggle back in to this safe, warm space and share my musings, inspirations and creations.

Ah, happy days indeed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Photo Shoot Loving

Have I mentioned that I love working on jewellery photo shoots? So much goes on behind the scenes. The research - products, style, location, model. The gathering of props, the organisation of people, the dash of 'unknown' that each shoot brings with it. I'm always awash with excitement and nerves when we get started, worried that my ideas won't work together, and I'll have nothing to show for everyone's hard work. Even with six successful shoots under my belt now, those nerves are just as crazy each time. I like to think that nervousness is what keeps you on your toes and shows you that it is important to you. Once the shoot starts the nerves melt away and only the excitement and satisfaction remain.

I was heady with excitement and butterflies twice recently, as I worked on a Mother's Day and Easter photo shoot with photographer Trudi Le Brese. The first, we collaborated with the talented Louise of Floralovely Calligraphy at Vieille Branche to create a floral feast of creativity. Louise shone in my jewellery as she hosted one of her sold out calligraphy workshops. Beautiful, talented and generous, she was a dream to work with. Once a florist, she styled my jewellery, flowers and props with professional flair. It was such a joy to share the shoot with her. 

Last Monday I spent two hours sourcing quail eggs in order to fulfill my creative vision for Easter inspired images. I was up in the early hours of the morning polishing the final pieces, before driving around to three shops and one warehouse on the hunt for quail eggs. It was well worth the effort, as we shot more beautiful, original content, featuring the Wilderness Collection.

Keep your eyes peeled on my newsletter and Instagram account for the finished images!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Aiming High For Business Success

It's a week of meetings this week. Photographer, intern potentials, marketing and graphic designer meetings. I've been flipping between my 'maker hat' and my 'manager hat'. I'm looking at the future direction of the business and creating action plans. Working out where my time is best spent and where I can bring in other people. Getting my head around letting go of some parts of my business, while remaining the designer and creative director of the whole. Anticipating ways I can grow my business while staying true to my vision. My brain is bursting with ideas and excitement!

I am so pleased to be surrounded by such creative and talented women, whom I consider friends. By combining our skills and talents, Christina Lowry Designs is going to become the best jewellery designer, manufacturer and retailer in Australia. 

Watch this space!


Friday, February 5, 2016

Intern Wanted!

Wanted: a jewellery intern! 

Rochedale, Brisbane. 9am -2pm Tuesday. 

Creative, reliable, passionate about jewellery, some experience an advantage. Tools not necessary.

My previous intern went on to undertake a jewellery apprenticeship and has stayed a close friend. So I'm looking for someone who is interested in learning, or furthering their skills as a jeweller, while helping me fill orders. Duties will include finishing and polishing castings, then progress from there. Training in jewellery design, creation, small business, industry contacts and bench time in exchange. Suit someone looking for experience to gain an apprenticeship, or someone looking to start their own small business. 

Please email me at with some info about yourself and any examples of your work - even in another creative field. Know someone who might be interested? Please point them this way! xx

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


How foolish I was thinking I could prepare myself for the death of a loved one in the hope of easing the pain. Neither time or knowing it's inevitable make it any easier. I've been learning this with my lovely old cat these past few days. For all his sixteen years, and all my adult life, he was my dear black cat. Then suddenly, it was his time. I had kidded myself in to thinking I would cope better when that time came, knowing he had had a good life, knowing he was an old cat, knowing the time was coming sooner rather than later. But it did nothing to lessen the pain.

Saturday night he lay about the house in his usual cat like manner. He was a cat that knew just where you wanted to put your feet, and so there he lay. He was most fond of sleeping in front of the fridge while we attempted to prepare dinner. I think he just loved to feel involved (and annoy my husband.) Amongst the hustle and bustle of bedtime on Saturday night, he had an accident inside the house, but I thought nothing of it until the next morning. When I saw him, his little tummy was blown up like a balloon and I knew something was terribly wrong. 

We sat on the back deck with him while I waited for the Vet to open. Crying and cuddling him. Part of me still hopeful that it was just an infection and a table was the answer. But in my heart I knew it was time. I called my husband, my sister. I called my neighbour and arranged for her to look after the children. Then I called the Vet. I explained the situation and she told me it was time.

I brought a baby blanket to the Vet with me. It was a baby shower gift when I was pregnant with my first born. I've wrapped each of my babies in that soft blanket. After the needle did it's work and the Vet helped me lay Seth down, she wrapped him in that blanket too, and tucked him into my arms like a newborn.

He's buried in the garden now. Wrapped in our love, our memories and a baby blanket. 


More of Seth's story and my Goodbye letter to our dog, Odin, in this post.

Monday, February 1, 2016

'The Wilderness Collection' Release!

The Wilderness Collection
Botanically Inspired Fine Jewellery

 "Reconnect with nature through the botanically inspired 'Wilderness Collection.' Each piece in this range has been created using twigs cast by way of the traditional burn out method. The organic shoots are surrounded with plaster, which is heated until they are completely burnt out and only a hollow in the plaster remains. Molten metal is poured in to these cavities to produced finely detailed replicas of the original twig, meaning no two are alike. Designer and jeweller Christina Lowry then transforms these precious metal pieces in to beautiful, textured jewellery."

Product photos: Christina Lowry

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bright and Beautiful

I stared at these underwater marvels for ages when we visited the Solitary Islands Aquarium in Coffs Harbour. I really wanted to share them with you, as surely there is nothing else comparable in terms of colour, shape, movement and strangeness? They waved, nodded and undulated as the water moved. So alien to this affirmed land dweller. I can't tell you what each is called, though the last picture is a crown of thorns sea star. I hope you find them equally mesmerising. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Collections, children and crowns

Sneak peek from Friday's photo shoot with Trudi Le Brese Photography

There is so much to learn about running a small business, and I am definitely still learning. I was listening to a podcast at the end of November last year, which mentioned that small businesses should be beginning preparations for Valentine's day. I think I nearly choked on my cup of tea. Late November I was preparing for Christmas! With a photo shoot completed, Christmas cards for clients printed and ready to be sent, orders coming in and an 11 day holiday in Coffs Harbour on the horizon, Valentine's had not been on my mind at all! Until that point I thought I had been really quite organised. Thus, when January began, I was home with three children, planning and prototyping a new collection with the hope of having it ready for Valentine's Day.  

I set a goal of releasing my first collection for the year on the 1st of February, to give my lovely clients time to purchase for Valentine's Day if they so desire, and so I had a deadline to work with. I find I work well with a deadline. My husband and sister said I was crazy. At this point there were two weeks left of Janurary (and I was looking after three children full time.) One week to make and finish all the jewellery in the collection, and organise a photoshoot, during nap times and night time. Followed by one week for the photographer to edit the photos. 

Two hours before the shoot I was still polishing the last pieces of jewellery. I felt really nervous and was questioning all the creative decisions I had made for the shoot, from the location to the model, from the theme to the props. I didn't want to waste the photographer and models time. But as soon as I saw the first pics on Trudi's camera, I knew it had all fallen perfectly in to place and I relaxed and enjoyed the shoot. I was so proud of both the first and second shoot, but I think this one is the best yet and I can't wait to share all the photos - it's so hard to wait until the 1st of February!

Meanwhile I have been working all the behind the scenes things one does before a launch - photographing and editing each product image for the shop, creating new Facebook and blog headers, designing a catalogue and order form for my suppliers, writing product descriptions, blog posts, newsletters etc. in between trips to the park, building blocks and referring my seven and three year old - who are struggling to see eye to eye after six weeks together without the daily enforced break school brings with it.

So stay tuned, there's one week until the launch and I can't wait! 

If you want to be the first to see the new collection, sign up to my newsletter and keep an eye on your inbox! xx

Friday, January 22, 2016

Casting Nature

Ideas, inspiration, designs, they are all strange things, aren't they? How do you work with them? Quite often I find I design my jewellery first in my head and it stays there for awhile before I put pen to paper. A concept will float around in my mind for weeks sometimes before I pin it down and write a few words in my journal, or sketch a quick sketch in my notebook. I'll keep musing on it, adding to the jottings and sketchings, before starting to play with my ideas in metal or wax. So often the designs change direction as they make their way from my mind to my hands. So often once I begin I suddenly 'know' the answers I was asking myself about texture, scale, gemstones etc. The key is always just to begin.

What a joy it is, this whole process. This way of living in my creative mind while doing the dishes, having a shower, feeding the cats - tasks where I can let go of my focus and allow my subconscious to express it's self. What a joy it is to notice the details in the day to day, and absorb their beauty. A yellow leaf against a grey gutter. A white pigeon perched on a hills hoist. Spilt milk like a comet surrounded by constellations. Or the delicate detail of a twig, which will become lost forever amongst the leaf litter, except for a scarce few which have now been cast in silver.  

And so my new collection is coming to life, capturing the organic detail of a handful of twigs, to create jewellery to be treasured.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Childhood Musings

My dear Oscar, almost 20 months old
Empty, thankfully. A victim of the wind.
My clay creations, while attending a children's workshop.
The babies shelf
My view while breastfeeding

I love the way the third baby is just so at home in whatever space he occupies. He just seems so comfortable. At home, at friends houses, at the shops. He climbs up in to laps for cuddles. Chooses the most comfortable seats. Sits himself in his bed and sucks his thumb to admire his books. Last week he fell asleep sitting in a shopping trolley - arms folded, head on arms - to the delight of several older ladies! He is just as comfortable and fearless at playgrounds. Following in his sister's footsteps as if he were equal to her three years in age. I think pure joy is the look that radiates from his face as he slides down a slippery slide all by himself.

Next month Emerson turns four and she will no longer be my toddler. Instead, Oscar will well and truly assume that title when he turns two in May. Until then, he is still my 'baby'. It only hit me last week as we drove to the library that this is my last year with Emerson at home. (She's not going to kindy, just as Cohen didn't.) Next year she starts big school. Just last month it was still two years away, suddenly it's just one year away! And just as she is nearly four, all too soon she will be turning five. Oh how true the phrase - 'the days are long but the years are short'. She really is the middle child, I find myself thinking of her as one of 'the big two', when she is with her older brother, and one of 'the little two', when she is with the baby. Her moods and communication skills swing between their skill levels. One moment kind and articulate, the next frustrated and loud. With a little space though she is sweet, imaginative and loving with a slight obsession for pink and dolls.

My sweet seven year old can't wait to get back to school. He pours over his school pack as though it were a gift from Santa, and treats his first calculator like a Gameboy. He adores school. He loves being surrounded by children, playing at lunch time and all the new and interesting things each day. He has learnt so very much these holidays though - spending time in nature, exploring galleries, museums and aquariums, and reading, reading, reading. He won't leave the house without a book. Sometimes it's his favourite book about snakes, other times it's extreme weather. His seven year old obsessions are Pokemon and Lego Star Wars, and he has encyclopedias for both, which he carries with him everywhere. The names and details he can recall amazes me. 

My sweet children. I hope one day they read these little sketches about their lives and it brings back memories for them, or at least gives them a glimpse of how very much I love and adore them.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Made OF Australia - Anna-Marie Wallace

I visited the lovely Logan Art gallery for the first time last week. Upon entering the primary coloured building, one steps foot in to a gift shop showcasing the work of local artisans, before heading left or right, to peruse the varying spaces hung with canvas and board. Toward the back of the gallery was a lovely space housing a ceramic exhibition, to which I was of course drawn. Those who have been reading for awhile will know I have a growing collection of handmade contemporary Australian pottery. Here I discovered the beautiful work of the Northern Rivers based artist and designer, Anna-Marie Wallace, and was introduced to the saggar firing process which makes all of her pieces so unique.

"Each piece, each object, whether large or small, be it either functional or simply beautiful in its form, imparts a sense of connection with the earth when it is held in the observer’s hand. Works of art in clay are tangible, tactile & so somehow often more engaging than two dimensional works. It is almost impossible not to gravitate toward a beautifully sculpted vessel & caress it, feel the satisfying mass of it, the refreshing coolness of it & appreciate its unyielding form as a solid, all the while aware that it was once a shapeless, malleable & indistinct morsel of earth & water & that through the careful manipulation of a skilled hand this small piece of our planet now has form, purpose even; not only is it beautiful, but in the case of a vessel or adornment, it is also useful & practical…” 
Anna-Marie Wallace 

Don't you just want to pick up these cups and feel them in your hands?

I love Anna-Marie's words above, and I did indeed want to touch her work. To weigh it in my hands, navigate the textures of each piece and examine the patterns that spill across the surfaces. I restrained myself and resorted to taking photos to share with you instead. But I bet there have been many that couldn't resist gently running a finger tip across one of these pieces when the gallery staff weren't looking!

And oh, the nature table of found and foraged treasures above presented the same tactile allure. Feather, shell, drift wood, seeds. Just the things we were collecting on our beach holiday the week before, and to which my inner magpie is drawn.

The exhibition closes on the 16th of January, so if you are in the area, pop in and try to resist touching the pieces. Or else you can see and purchase more of Anna-Marie's work on her website.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Contact Me!

Thinking about a custom made design and want to know the next steps?
Have a questions about your ring size?
Interested in reviewing my wholesale catalogue?

Please feel free to contact me!  
Phone: 0437 775 907

Brisbane, Australia

Thursday, January 7, 2016

What's Your Colour Giveaway!

It's the 7th day of the New Year (!), I'm still sorting through holiday snaps, the shop is open again, and my studio is in the middle of a new year clean. How about you? What have you been up to?
With a new year comes a new collection, and I am drawing, planning and working on new designs. I just need a little help. I want to create jewellery that my lovely community will love and wear and I'd love to know what colour jewellery you wear?! Silver, Oxidised Silver, Yellow Gold, Rose Gold, White Gold, a mix? If you have a moment could you please either leave a comment below, head to Facebook, or leave a comment on Instagram?
As a little thank you I am giving away a ring sizing gauge to several commenters chosen at random on Monday. A great little tool to tuck away in your jewellery box!
I've always been a silver girl myself. My engagement and wedding ring are white gold. But lately I find I am mixing in a little bit of gold with my silver, like a yellow gold Elsa ring beside a silver Edith ring, or the rose and white hues of a Beryl necklace. I find the warmth of gold mixed with the coolness of silver can really make some designs pop. But I want to know what you think, what you like to wear?
I'm looking forward to hearing your response!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

My Word For 2016

We've returned from our holiday and I have photos and stories to share in the coming days, but before the New Year gets too far behind us, I wanted to share my word for 2016.

Rather than resolutions, I've embraced a single word for the year, as a reminder, inspiration and promise to myself. My word is NURTURE - nurturing myself, my marriage, children, family, friends, home, creativity and business. The word graces the fist page of my diary and is chalked across the black board in our kitchen, so that I am reminded daily. I'm committed to asking myself 'Will this nurture me/them?' - be it food, possessions or activities - 'will it nurture the way I want to live?' 

I settled on 'nurture' after reading this article and discussing with my sister the questions and points it raises. Fiona has also adopted 'nurture' as her word of the year, so that we will keep each other accountable. What could be more powerful than identical twins on the same mission?! 
Because nurturing myself typically comes last, I started the New Year with a relaxing facial, my first ever eyelash and eyebrow tint, and a new skin care regime. I splurged on a cleanser, which I now follow with 2-3 drops of Sukin Rose Hip Oil, and essano Rosehip Moisturiser, followed by sun cream and make up in the morning. This simple, deliberate, daily cleansing and care of my skin already feels so much more nurturing and respectful to my skin, and is inspiring other changes in my daily routines. 

I'm looking forward to sharing more of  my discoveries over the course of the year.

Do you have a word or a resolution for 2016? 
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