Read our quick Q & A with Tara Lois and win a special piece from this fantastic Gozo-based Jeweller.
Tara Lois is an emerging jeweller with a burning passion for creating heart-led commissions with a special interest in sustainability. She’s just twenty-two years of age and already has a catalogue of achievements and experiences behind her including her latest collection ‘Positive and Negative Spaces‘ featured in British Vogue. We caught up with this Gozo-based artisan to find out what makes her designs unique.
At the age of fourteen, Tara’s passion for jewellery ignited during a work placement with a jeweller in France. Inspired by his work, Tara’s sketches and doodles were quickly transformed into bespoke pieces and her journey began. Tara’s first item was an upcycled cast pendant for her Mum using existing (broken) gold items. Following this placement, Tara was blessed with an opportunity to join an elite pre-apprenticeship course in London where she was trained by top City jewellers covering; enamelling, stone setting, chasing, silversmithing, diamond setting and micro setting (working with gemstones smaller than 1mm). Here, she excelled and at just 18 years old Tara won her first prestigious Goldsmith Award.
Following London, Tara continued her training in Scotland and spent the summers in Malta learning from Malta’s leading filigree jeweller George Farrugia at Ta’Dbiegi Jewellery. Preserving the art of Maltese filigree is something Tara feels deeply connected to. Tara Lois Jewellery was officially launched in September 2020 and it’s been an evolving and exciting journey ever since.
Tara’s creations are bespoke commissions, her greatest joy is learning about her clients, listening to their stories and emotions and transforming them into meaningful jewellery. She has many tales of this sort, however, Tara recounts a particularly poignant occasion where she designed a memorial bracelet for a lady who went through the devastation of a stillbirth. She wished to mark her baby with something she could wear close to her heart. The bracelet featured the baby’s birthstone, birth date and name and within the design, there were more also more subtle reflections.
Customers approach Tara with family heirlooms, whereby people love the memories that the jewellery brings but perhaps the design doesn’t fit or is not their style. Tara will melt down the metals and transform them into something more suitable where the memories and that connection remain. This method follows the thread of sustainability which is of utmost importance to Tara. Although more expensive she buys from Bullion companies that sell recycled silver in support of doing her bit to save the silver mining industry and promoting conscious consumerism. Amen to that!
Tara is very determined and embraces the challenge of figuring out solutions to complex techniques and difficult materials so her style continues to grow. Her last collection raised many challenges when infusing Mdina glass to silver, however, she persevered and the outcome was stunning. Tara recounted how she recently spent three days creating an extremely delicate handmade chain that required a heap of patience.
Tara has received recognition this year for her entrepreneurial drive as a finalist in the Creative Business Malta Cup. It was during her pitch that she manifested one of her wildest dreams by telling the judges that she dreamt of being in Vogue Magazine. The universe was listening and two weeks later Tara was contacted by British Vogue who will be publishing a feature on the emerging young jewellers’ work. The Positive and Negative Space Collection which uses the Mdina Glass will be presented in the Autumn 2021 print and digital edition – such an incredible achievement! Tara added that her next wish would be to commission a piece for the President of Malta, so if you are reading this George Vella, get in touch.
As a solo Artisan, Tara can create around a hundred commissions a year and she is looking forward to launching a new and innovative collection. Tara has wonderful goals and hopes to one day train and employ local young jewellers to reignite the love for Malta’s filigree, which she feels is extremely undervalued.
Best wishes Tara, we admire your drive and creative energy.
Head to Gozo In The House Instagram for a chance to win this Wellness Medal.
This bronze character was created by Tara to help a fellow student struggling with social anxiety, OCD and mild depression. Tara talked to her about what triggered these emotions and researched what may help to soothe in times of discomfort. This was during Tara’s last year of university where she too was under stress and enrolled on a mindfulness course, like many Tara found the stillness challenging and thereby discovered that having something comforting in her palm would ease this. From here she developed this beautiful bronze wellness medal that fits perfectly in your palm and warms up with your body heat. Importantly she chose bronze for the weight which gives it a grounding property and created contrasting textures with smoothness on the front and ridges on the back. The wellness medal represents something that’s consistent when other things may feel out of control, something her classmate sought great comfort in. Read more about the backstory and design process here.
The winner will be announced via Instagram and Facebook Stories on 20th August. Good luck!
Tara Lois Listing on GITH | Website | Facebook | Instagram Tel: +356 7979 7200 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org