Live to Travel, Travel to Live – with Jeweller Celeste Twikler
A desire for the exquisite and an eye for beauty have lead this jewellery designer along a beautifully creative path
Travel is indeed intrinsic to your life and comes through beautifully in your work. For you how do the two work hand in hand?
I must admit, I do have a “live to travel, travel to live” attitude to life. I have an overwhelming passion for adventure which needs to be feed and my business gives me the perfect excuse to go on a sourcing trip. My previous trips have certainly helped with the way I design my jewellery. I’m a visual creature, I love exquisite things, they don’t have to be shiny they just need to have a story.
Places like India get my creativity going into overdrive, every turn throws up an exotic surprise. It’s so exciting knowing that around each new corner and in every new alleyway there is an endless array of trinkets, idols and objects for sale just waiting for a new lease on life. Sometimes, the most beautiful objects I’ve found inspiration from are those that others have overlooked or in that particular country seem unusable. Its not just the objects that inspire me, it can be the smell of spices, the stench of rubbish, the constant sound of horns and yelling of street vendors, the bright colours and endless shelves of materials in ever texture imaginable. All this has me “Oohhing and Aahhing” all day long. It’s sensory heaven for me, I thrive on the experience and all these things naturally flow into my designs.
Your recent campaign encapsulates the spirit of India, with images reminiscent of the Holy River Ganges. Tell us about the concept behind this beautiful new range.
For sure. I created the designs while I was in India, but the campaign was shot here in Australia, although some of the images could easily pass for the banks of the Ganges. The Maharani, wife to Maharaja, was the inspiration but Chandrani, wife to the moon, was my final muse.
The photographer, Pip from ‘Seagypsea’ and exotic beauty Nakisha did an amazing job at recreating the mystery I see in the Indian women. The women that dress in traditional clothing seem to be unaware of just how ethereal they appear in their flowing saris and masses of jewellery. There is no evidence of vanity which is refreshing after being in a culture that is so ego driven.
They appear to effortlessly perform the most strenuous labour with such grace and dignity, it is enchanting to see. I wanted my pieces to be worn with the same attitude, loads of layers and textures but it must seem effortless.
Living and having your studio space in gorgeous Byron Bay must create a beautiful balance for you, have you always been an ocean lady?
Yes, in fact you could say that it’s encoded in my DNA. For most of my life the family has lived near the beach because of Dad’s job. We would often go to work with him so if we weren’t out on a boat, we were swimming, playing in the sand or beach combing hence my particular fascination for shells. I was known to set up my shop counter which was an upturned cardboard box from where I tried to flog shells, fossils, worn-down bits of coloured glass and all manner of jetsam. Sadly, I have the photos to prove it. We did all the usual activities which country kids did, tennis, basketball, bikes even motor bikes but it was surfing lessons which really grabbed me.
However the waters off the Mornington Peninsula (Victoria) can be quite wild and woolly but more particularly cold. I can’t tell you just how much I hate the cold. So the lure of a warmer climate and waters became irresistible and the rest, as they say, is history. After first moving to Queensland I found myself here in Byron Bay. I’ve created a business and made many great friends, even my rad little brother has followed me here and my surfing expertise is definitely improving. It’s all done to the tune of a great climate.
There was a recent moment in India involving a sari…? tell us about it…
Ahha! Yeah! I do have a beautiful antique sari with silver thread but wouldn’t have the courage to wear it here in Australia for fear of looking real a git or being culturally offensive.
So when in Rome, do as the Romans or in my case when in India, I did pluck up the courage to enter a sari shop and was overwhelmed by the welcoming enthusiasm of the ladies. There seemed to be hundreds of them who just came from nowhere, they clucked and fussed around me and pretty soon I was swathed in yards and yards of a cellophane stiff olive green sari which had been tucked, wrapped, pleated and draped around me. The initiation ceremony was over and I was set free and alone into the streets of Varanasi dressed in my excruciatingly and obviously brand new unyieldingly stiff sari.
Varansi is a maze of dark alleys but not dark enough for this little black duck. Regardless, tourists do attract stares but I felt like every eye was on me and that there were so many people turning to look. Was I being offensive? Did I look stupid? Worst of all possibilities, did those women in the sari shop stitch me right up? Hell on earth, I was at a party and the only one in fancy-dress until I entered an alley near my hotel.
There was a man seating on the ground, his eyes opened wide, he smiled and raised his hands in a gesture of prayer. We smiled, we laughed and bowed to each other and with uncharacteristic self confidence instead of the hotel, I went to the banks of The Ganga. I was greeted warmly by the women and I felt accepted even told I looked beautiful.
I was lucky enough that my travelling companion caught a few of those priceless moments with his trusty camera. As a framed photo above my bed it is a constant reminder to me to be brave, test the boundaries, embrace all peoples and always, always be ready to laugh and most importantly, laugh at oneself.
This frame wall above your bed captures loads of memories and special moments of you and loved ones on the road. What is a moment you would love to revisit?
Honestly, none. Each was perfect in its own time and place but I would prefer to create more memories. Not to say that I don’t reflect or am unsentimental but I’m always ready for new experiences which in turn create more memories. I do have more walls I can fill … haha!
Magic is in the air for the CT brand, what’s next in the universe for you…?
Magic indeed, well, I hope so and very nice of you to say but if that is my future then my answer must be that a magician must never reveal the secret to her tricks.
See more of Celeste’s magic HERE