I grew up in the 90's in the leafy and hilly suburb of Eaglemont, Victoria, in an old house with a giant backyard. It was filled with winding paths around towering trees, and colourful flower beds under a canopy of green. As an only child, I would spend a great deal of my time at the bottom of this garden, away from the world with only nature and my imagination to occupy my time. Days were spent making daisy chains, building miniature worlds with twigs and leaves, and having tea parties with faeries and the occasional butterfly or ladybird. As I grew older, I became fascinated with fairy tales, folklore and other stories about fantasy and adventure. I would write my own fables about magical realms full of legendary creatures in enchanted forests and shimmering lakes. I started to collect little tokens of nature; smooth pebbles from the banks of the Yarra River, colourful sea glass from the sand dunes at Half Moon Bay, and dried flowers that I would press between the pages of my diary. My collection of crystals came years later, when part-time and then full-time jobs (my first being at a local jewellery store!) allowed me afford to purchase the brilliant rainbow rocks that are nature's perfect creation. So started a love affair with gems that has continued with me since.
I began Gem & Tonik as a hobby and passion project over seven years ago while completing a course in Silversmithing, as a way to channel my passion for working with my hands and for all things magical. Each piece I make is created without machinery, casts, moulds or pre-made parts, using both traditional and experimental Silversmithing practices. I also focus on running a business that is eco-friendly and cruelty-free, working only with recycled fine and sterling silver, as well as using ethically sourced stones and recycled hand tools. I don’t use any harmful chemicals in both my work and the creating process, utilizing natural and vegan alternatives like organic cotton cords, soy wax, natural patinas (that are then used to fertilise my garden!) and citric acid. This ensures each Gem & Tonik piece is a complete one of a kind, made with an absolute love for the earth.
I'd like to think that when somebody wears a piece that I make, they get to keep a little bit of magic with them. Each stone perfectly encapsulates nature at its most beautiful, and combining materials that are billions of years old carries with it such rich history and meaning. I aim to create jewels that can become heirlooms to pass down to future generations, pieces that speak out and call to your soul. My designs are filled with love and pure intention, and I hope that translates into treasures that can be adored for years to come!
Elle Perry; the one-woman show behind Gem & Tonik.
Friday 11th December 2020
Mornington Twilight Craft Market
4pm - 9pm
Sunday 4th April 2021
Yarra Glen Craft Market
9am - 2pm
Sunday 16th May 2021
Bohemian Bulla Market
9am - 3pm
The Gem & Tonik Cabin Studio
Each piece is made entirely by hand, without casts, pre-made components or machinery.