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Sydney label Poesia Pietra is making jewellery that feels like poetry

PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRONTE GODDEN

WORDS BY CAIT EMMA BURKE

“To me, jewellery feels similar to poetry, because it involves the combination and synthesis of stand-alone elements to create a cohesive and meaningful whole.”

Sydney label Poesia Pietra came about almost by accident. Its founder Ally Sara was studying law abroad and took a six-week casting course because she wanted to make her “dream signet ring”.

The short course sparked an enduring love for designing jewellery, and for the last three years, she’s been juggling her burgeoning jewellery label with her law career. Her initial desire to create jewellery that was simply pretty and decorative has evolved into designing pieces that feel “potent, powerful and meaningful”.


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Her hope is that each piece feels so meaningful to the wearer that they want to keep it forever, and eventually pass it on to someone else. This search for meaningfulness is imbued in the label’s branding, too – representing Ally’s Italian heritage and love of poetry, Poesia Pietra roughly translates to ‘stone poetry’.

As she says, “In both jewellery and poetry, the individual elements (whether they be stones and silver, or words) hold little meaning when viewed alone, but when combined, provide context to each other, and tell a story.” Below, she shares the label’s journey so far.

Tell us about you. What’s your creative background?

I actually don’t have much of a creative background! I studied law at university and fell into jewellery quite coincidentally, while I was on exchange in California. I was really just mucking around doing a bunch of silly electives and took a six-week casting course because I’d always been an avid jewellery wearer and wanted to make myself my dream signet ring. From the day I started the course I completely fell in love with it and [I] have been juggling doing jewellery alongside pursuing my law career for the past three years. 

How did the label get started? Talk us through the process and the challenges. 

The label started super organically. For ages, I was just making things for myself and [my] friends. The incredible spiderwebbing power of Instagram was really what kickstarted it, and as friends posted photos of their jewellery, I would get messages from people [with] further and further degrees of separation from me.

In May 2020 I made a separate Instagram page for jewellery, under the moniker ‘Wrong Angler’, and that’s when it started to take shape as a brand that reached beyond my immediate circle. As with all creative projects, the challenges are too numerous to list, but I would say my biggest personal challenge was getting over the imposter syndrome of ‘running a brand’ while not being a professionally trained silversmith or creative. That, and learning how to spell ‘jewellery’ properly. 

What were you trying to achieve from the project at the time? How has this evolved and what are you trying to communicate through the brand now? 

When I first started, I was just trying to make things that were pretty. That’s still a goal, obviously, because jewellery is inherently decorative, however, my impetus has shifted towards creating things that feel potent, powerful and meaningful. I think jewellery has this unique sentimentality to it and an unrivalled position as a traditional ‘heirloom’.

I’m making a new collection right now and my sole goal is to make every item feel hyper-special and hyper-meaningful, to the point where someone wants to keep it for their whole life and pass it on to someone else. This also means I have to make things that are atemporal or timeless and not too referential to current trends, which has posed its own challenges.

Where did the name come from? 

My family is Italian, and the name translates roughly to ‘stone poetry’. To me, jewellery feels similar to poetry, because it involves the combination and synthesis of stand-alone elements to create a cohesive and meaningful whole. In both jewellery and poetry, the individual elements (whether they be stones and silver, or words) hold little meaning when viewed alone, but when combined, provide context to each other, and tell a story. 

What are you most proud of in your work on your label? 

I’m proud that my mum wants to wear my stuff. 

What do you wish you knew when you started? 

Don’t try [to] sell anything you wouldn’t wear yourself.

Who do you think is most exciting in local fashion/jewellery right now? 

There are so, so many talented silversmiths in Eora/Naarm [that] it’s impossible to name just a few, so I want to pick someone who I haven’t seen profiled as much as the usual suspects. I don’t know if she counts as local because she’s in Aotearoa, but I’m personally obsessed with Alice Lang Brown.

If you haven’t seen her stuff, I highly recommend checking it out – it’s so spooky and ethereal. In terms of fashion, I feel similarly (too many talented people to name!) but I think Sydney folk doing exciting stuff include Felynn and Julia Baldini.

What about the local fashion/jewellery industry needs to change?

Nothing! I’m so proud of the resilient and determined fashion and jewellery scene in Eora [and Naarm], for sticking by this (sometimes godforsaken) city and not succumbing to the creative brain-drain of Naarm. Anybody who battles it out in a city that works so actively against the creative arts deserves a pat on the head, a cup of tea, and maybe a biscuit. 

Dream local collaborators? 

The first independent Sydney brand I ever came across was Diaspora and [I] have since had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful Stef in person. I think we’ve chatted about it briefly on a dancefloor (where most good ideas happen) but that would be a dream collaboration because their brand really opened my eyes to small-scale, inspired production. Also, Niamh from Ramp Tramp Tramp Stamp is an icon and everything she touches turns to gold, so I would love to see what we could come up with together.  

Go-to dinner party playlist? 

The Cocteau Twins for sure, because their lyrics are so bogus, they never distract from conversation. 

Who is in your wardrobe right now? 

Little elves putting mould on everything.

How can we buy one of your pieces? 

Either through my website or one of my wonderful stockists, RTTS.land, Error404 Store, and So Familia!

To view Poesia Pietra’s range, head here.

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