We are very excited to introduce Yarn’s new partner brand Pia Designs. The gorgeous jewellery and accessory brand is founded and owned by proud Palawa woman, Annie. Her beautiful artworks and designs show her deep connection to her Aboriginal heritage, country and culture. Many of her designs are inspired by the land on which she lives and works, Tommeginne Country, as well as the waterways and mountainous regions of Lutruwita (Tasmania). All of her jewellery pieces are small works of art, meaning that every individual piece is unique. Today we hear from Annie about Pia Designs’ mission and the inspiration behind her beautiful creations.
Pia Designs Echinacea Statement Dangles. Courtesy of Yarn Marketplace, 2021.
Why did you begin Pia Designs?
“I began Pia Designs quite by accident really. I saw someone had done some fluid art painting and decided to give it a go myself. I put a picture of my creation on my personal Facebook page, and someone offered to buy it, and the rest is history.”
What is Pia Designs’ mission?
“To create wearable art that gives women of any age the confidence to wear what they like, to be bold and colourful. I’d also like my Aboriginal art earrings to create conversation. They serve as recognition of the Aboriginal culture and strong, independent Indigenous women in businesses.”
What is your first memory of painting?
“I have been painting and artistic since I can remember. I guess my first actual memory is being at primary school, sitting in the hall at a big table and my mum had come in to teach us some Aboriginal art. I’ve always loved art. I always got good grades in art at high school, and studied pre-tertiary art, graphic design, and photography at college. My mum is an Aboriginal potter, and my uncle is an Aboriginal artist – both accomplished and have achieved great things in their own right – it’s in my blood!”
Pia Designs Floral Pendant featured pressed dried flowers. Courtesy of Yarn Marketplace, 2021.
What got you into creating accessories and jewellery?
“When I was creating fluid art, there was a lot of wasted paint. Once it dried, I could peel it away from the container…and catch the excess paint. This created some amazing patterns and colours, and I decided to use these dried paint scraps called acrylic skins to create some jewellery. These pieces of jewellery took off and I didn’t have time (or room) for the paintings anymore. I got bored with creating simple round or square designs though and wanted to create my own shapes. I also was busting to pick up the paintbrush again, so I did some research and found a new love for making jewellery the way I do now. I’m obsessed!”
What inspires your designs?
“I am inspired by anything and everything! Patterns, colours, shapes, a feeling, or memory will inspire an Aboriginal design. Something someone says that really resonates with me. The land surrounding my home is a big inspiration – the bush, gum trees, river views and hills. Where I spent a lot of my childhood and where I now spend a lot of the summer months are also big inspirations for me.”
Pia Designs Fun Hoops w/ Hearts. Courtesy of Yarn Marketplace, 2021.
Who is one of your favourite artists?
“I have a few, but my favourite modern day Aboriginal artists would be Amanda Hinkleman, Holly Sanders, Allan McKenzie and the Pwerle family. I have always liked Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso (his cubist period) and Georges Braque.”
Are you excited to be a part of the Yarn platform?
“Of course! I think it’s great that Yarn provides such support and recognition to Indigenous businesses, both through artists and community partnerships.”
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about Pia Designs?
“I just hope everyone loves my creations as much as I love making them. I hope that when people wear my artworks it has a real feeling attached to it, as I do when I am painting.”
Pia Designs’ beautiful earrings and pendants are now available on Yarn. Shop here.