The world is Renee Blackwell’s oyster – and vintage button collections are her pearls.
The Queensland-based jewellery designer, whose necklaces, pendants, rings, earrings and bracelets are worn and collected by customers around the world, continues to scour the world, searching for her next inspiration.
The Renee Blackwell Design collection has evolved from trademark beaded necklaces to include one-off pendants and cocktail rings. And thanks to the inclusion of vintage or antique buttons, it’s these show-stopping pendants and cocktail rings that scream, “look at me”.
“Vintage buttons are incredibly original. I find them to be miniature treasures,” said Renee, who creates from her idyllic retreat in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
“The variety of most button sizes works well in my designs – as pendants, earrings or rings. My customers love the buttons, so it encourages me to keep searching for more,” she said.
Working with vintage and antique buttons also enables Renee to work with colours quite different from today’s spectrum. “A 1940s vintage pink is unique … you don’t see that colour today.”
Renee’s quest for the unusual takes her to all corners of the globe. Most recently it was in south-east Asia. Next month she will visit one of America’s largest antique shows. “I’ve also made contact with several button collectors around the world and have been lucky enough to buy some great collections.”
Most of Renee’s pendants are designed to be worn on a silver choker or chain, so that they are interchangeable fashion pieces. Her rings are pure statement-making, cocktail-style knuckle dusters.
“In my experience, women who are attracted to large, bling rings or any bold jewellery, just want to have fun … they are not afraid to make a statement. In the case of my jewellery, they also want unique designs and good quality pieces. They want to have the confidence to wear a piece of jewellery that will be noticed and commented upon.”
Retail prices for the Renee Blackwell Design pendants range from $240 to $320. Rings are priced between $235 and $310.
Renee Blackwell Design jewellery is available from select outlets in Australia and overseas, as well as the famous Eumundi Markets near Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. To locate a stockist go to www.reneeblackwelldesign.com.