Monday, August 07, 2017

On 55 Parramatta Road in Annandale, step inside the inspiring Happenstore. Part retail shop, part working studio and part exhibition space all of which embraces the maker culture. Driven by her passion for all things hand made, owner Cath Derksema a textile designer says...        "I really love the notion of ‘happenstance’: a natural, unexplained coming together a place of calm excitement."
We cannot wait to be part of it!

Etelage will be hosting workshops at the Happen Store, Annandale from September 2017.

I have designed a series of workshops teaching not only jewellery making but exploring body shape, style and identity. Plus use artisan elements I have personally sourced globally from vintage Lucite from West Germany, original 1970s wooden beads, nuts and modern Czech glass and crystals.

“What I love most about these new beginner classes is not only are you learning the foundational technical skills to make jewellery but also creating and designing the jewellery to suit you. Your tastes. Your style. Your body shape.” Chris x


If you are looking for a new hobby, want to make some DIY gifts or just feel like it is all work and no play get creative and make some jewellery which will impress you as well as your friends. So gather your girlfriends for some making and mindfulness and nurture your creative soul!

Generally as a society we are becoming more mindful about our choices: conscious of choosing products which are made using artisan traditions and not mass produced, and seeking quality over quantity. So it is with that philosophy I share my passion, skills and knowledge of jewellery design to encourage all my students to awaken their creative soul and seek the maker culture of beauty, slow, artisan and local.

My goal is to create a teaching environment where participants can share ideas, be inspired and let their imaginations run wild! With over 14 years teaching experience from community to corporate, hens and TAFE I am dedicated to empowering my students to become better designers and better makers, equipping them with skills and confidence to create whatever my students dream! 

VENUE: 55 Parramatta Rd (nearest cross st Trafalgar)

for more info:

earring workshop click here
necklace workshop click here

I look forward to seeing you in class!
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Thursday, August 03, 2017

The making culture is cooler than ever.
Whether you drop by your local market, hunt in the virtual world or shop at your local gift shop chances are the majority of goods are handmade and lovingly made.
And handmade, bespoke, crafted artisan, whatever you want to name it, is now getting the attention it deserves.
But better still there is an alternative crafted lifestyle. A movement of us who are rejecting mass produced goods and supporting local, artisan and fair trade.
Once you have bought your first artisan object or made one, I guarantee you will be hooked.
Craft is less about doilies and more about a way of life. It is better for the environment, adds some individuality to you and your home, builds community and brings a little joy to our souls.

What’s not to love?

    •    Start a collection
    •    Join an evening class
    •    Take your hobby to the next level and sell your crafted things.
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German Bead History

Friday, July 21, 2017

Little Known Facts of the German Bead Industry

Often I am asked why so many beads are from Germany when the Czechs are so famous for their manufacture of beads and jewellery and they have never heard of German beads.

The German bead industry was based briefly after WW2 in the southern area of Germany in Neu Gablonz, named, after Gablonz, the Bohemian city which was the capital of the Austrian bead industry during the Austrian Empire, and later Czechoslovakia, when the name was changed to Jablonec nad Nisou.

German glass makers were invited to settle in the Jizera Mountains (in the Czech Republic) where the bead industry still exists today, as early as the 12th century by the Austro Hungarian Empire.

By the 1800s many factories owned by those of German heritage were producing millions of beads for export to such far flung places as Africa and Asia.

At the end of WW2, in 1946, the Germans, known as Suduten Deutsch, were expelled by Czechoslovakia and were given 48 hours to leave. They left behind everything and walked hundreds of kilometres to Bavaria settling around Kaufbeuren, as a former ammunitions factory was purchased to restart the bead production. There were approx 2000 refugees who had combined skills of bead makers, mould makers and jewellery makers.

Consequently many German beads look exactly like Czech beads. Some makers of beads and jewellery still exist but most sadly have closed due to mass production of cheap beads in China.
For more info; visit the bead museum if you find yourself in the area.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

If you are a passionate crafter and love handmade you won't want to miss the Quilt and Craft Show. Your chance to see demonstrations, buy crafting supplies and participate in workshops over 4 days.
show is returning to the brand new and highly anticipated International Convention Centre. Darling Harbour June 22-25 from 9am - 4:30pm daily.
Drop by our stand at A23 in the first aisle and be inspired, top up on basics and new beads and learn new techniques.
This time next week we will be packing up our stand so mark your diaries now.
We look forward to seeing you, inspiring you and educating you.

click here for more info and to pre purchase your tickets
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Join us at Craft & Quilt Show Sydney June 22-25

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

  The Craft and Quilt Show is back at the highly anticipated new Sydney Convention Centre, June 22-25
It is a destination event for the dedicated craft community as well as a great place to visit for the modern crafter or those looking to try their hand at something crafty for the first time.

The Craft and Quilt Show Sydney  is all about doing what you love. Covering a great selection of crafts, this event offers the perfect mix of inspiration, learning opportunities through demonstrations and workshops, and great shopping for the latest supplies to get crafting straight away!

Come drop by at stall A23. We are located in the first aisle near the workshop room.
Chris, Ally, Cas and Nanda


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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Historically the great ancient civilisations were built on rivers for agriculture and the excess goods they produced became the reason of the existence of trade routes.
In Egypt it was the Nile, in Mesopotamia (from the Greek, meaning 'between two rivers’) was an ancient region in the eastern Mediterranean, think  Iraq, mostly, but also parts of modern-day Iran, Syria and Turkey. The 'two rivers' of the name referred to the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers for example.
In northern Afghanistan little agriculture existed because of the mountainous and desert terrain, the steppes and vast area of grasslands. (Herding was most common.) However they were able to trade their natural resources of lapis lazuli, turquoise, and garnet, copper, tin, bronze and gold. All these precious metals and semi precious stones along with fur and horse were traded in the 3 millennium BC which at that time the demand by wealthy western neighbours the Greeks, Persians and Egyptians was great. In a sense luxury goods were traded from central Asia to the wealthier civilisations in the west as status symbols.
The Silk Road from China to India via Afghanistan and to the west to Egypt became the heart of the trading route where the oldest lapis mines in the world.

We may all not have had the opportunity to take the adventurous overland trip pre 1978, which many of my aunties and uncles took, (This hippie trail started from India, into Pakistan, Kabul, Iran (Persia) and all the way to Spain via Turkey.) however we can appreciate the time honoured traditions of jewellery making which thrived through these trade routes and the inspiration it gives to so many designers, of which my current jewellery collection honours.

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Friday, May 05, 2017

These charms are inspired by my love of weekend trips to the country, my cactus collection and more recently becoming a country music fan through the hit TV series Nashville.
If you are the wanderer, the dreamer and the adventurer create some unique jewels with these.

All filigree charms & motifs are brass and manufactured from original vintage patterns by predominantly hand crafted family owned companies in Germany, Czech Republic and France dating back to the early 1900s.  A few of these companies still survive today and manufacture original vintage styles like the leopard.

The cactus plant symbolises warmth, protection and endurance. The cactus flower is a symbol of maternal love because it can endure and thrive in harsh conditions and therefore symbolic of a mother's unconditional love.

The horse is a universal symbol of freedom without restraint, because riding a horse makes you feel you could be free from your own bindings. Also linked with riding horses, they are symbols of travel, movement, and desire. The horse also represents power in Native American tribes.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Jewellery making (or for that matter anything handmade) is a viable business idea for hands on creative’s.
From starting on the kitchen table, many creative preneurs have come from the most humble beginnings and created
a successful brand. Creating your own brand can be as scary as it is exciting. It takes a huge amount of energy, courage, will power,
 risk and investment of your precious time and money.
Only you can create the job you want.

Dream it.
Plan it.
Do it.
Be committed.
Be passionate.
Listen to your gut.
Embrace the maker culture.
Support other creatives.
Create the life you want to live.

Only you can do it.

Want to learn more: grab our free mini guides. click here

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The Beauty of Marrakech & Its Berber Jewellery

Thursday, March 30, 2017

moroccan enamelled silver pendants

These are made by the Nomadic Berbers who have an ancient tradition of silver work.
Many intricate processes of manufacture, all still done by hand.
Firstly circles of a thin sheet of metal are stamped out. The metal is then hammered into a spherical shape and tiny rings of silver are added for decoration. Enamel paint is then applied to each bead and fired several times. The method is very similar to Chinese cloisonne work.
Created by skilled artisans, each cloisonne bead can take up to four hours to produce. Dozens of tiny cells are soldered to the beads surface, then filled with four layers of enamel and fired after each filling. Each bead is then polished and gilded revealing intricate and beautiful designs.

I was Marrakech in 2002. "a pink frenetic city” I could have easily stayed.

Framed by the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains, by the crimson coloured walls which  allow access to the city by 8 gateways & by a thousand year old palm grove.
The great Berber metropolis is where the mountain people flock. The city is much as it was at the end of the 17th Century where poverty is evident and luxury hidden.
It is a place for those who have time to travel and a place to relax.

It was in Marrakesh in 1943 that Winston Churchill worked on the only painting  he did during the whole war. It was also there that he sought refuge and peace of mind after his defeat in the 1945 elections.

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The Psychology of Colour

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Psychology of



It's INTERNATIONAL COLOUR DAY TODAY. At Etelage we love colour and thought we would share some facts.Its not all art but science too.
Different colours evoke different emotions.

We make colour choices everyday in what we wear and what colour we decorate our homes.

Colour psychology is used in marketing and branding because of the influence consumers' emotions and perceptions.

Companies also use colour when deciding on brand logos. These logos seem to attract more customers when the colour of the brand logo matches the personality of the goods or services, such as the colour purple for Cadbury Chocolate branding.




youthful, elegant, royal


trust, calming, relaxing


restful, tranquil, growth, stability, positive, organic, go, comforting


warm, wholesome, organic, unpretentious


joy, cheerful, happy, emotional, positive,


friendly, warm, vibrant, energy, emotional, positive, organic


Passion, stimulating, love, courage, danger, stop, negative, excitement, hot


youthful, feminine, warm

SHOP BY COLOUR NOW! click here

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