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With our Autumn Issue in full swing, there is so much to love about and endless beauty in using autumn hues and seasonal blooms. Here, our lovely friend Catherine of Gathered Floral showcases, not only her incredible talent and work with flowers, but how to accentuate palette, mood and ultimately create the most charming floral setting from the bride’s bouquet to the tablescape!

My designs are based on a relaxed, unstructured, garden style. The concept for this story is inspired by my love for wild and free floral design, executed in a classic yet modern palette.

To capture an autumn palette I used blush/brown as my base colours. The blush colours are soft, romantic and the browns bring a sense of warmth. I still wanted to incorporate green (as a colour, not just as a foliage), but it couldn’t be jarring. Nandina was the perfect choice as its tiny leaves are speckled with green changing to red as the season cools.

This is a hardy foliage that grows prolifically on council nature strips. To bring in the browns, I used red leucadendron, after dark foliage and red bud wax. The arrangement is built on a textual base of wattle and grevillea foliage. The focal heroes are roses and carnations.

Interestingly, the arrangement is a combination of natives and traditional blooms. The blooms and foliage included the following:
Roses – Quicksand, Sahara, Capaccino, Vandela; After dark foliage; Wattle foliage; Red leucadendron; Blush carnations; Bud wax; Blush stock; Grevillea foliage and Nandina.

About Gathered Floral: Gathered Floral was born from my love of creating wedding and events floral arrangements. My design aesthetic is soft, romantic and vintage inspired. I love working with colour and texture and base my work on old garden inspired designs where the elements are effortlessly gathered together.

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Image via Mark Davis Photography

Can you believe it? Autumn has arrived in our part of the world with crisper mornings, warmer hues and shorter days.

If you love this time of year as much as we do at Bursaria and you are getting married during autumn, here are a few ideas to make your day extra special!

Image via Christian Marc Photography

Make the Most of Your Venue and Local Gardens

Autumn is sunny without the summer burn, therefore it is quite possibly the best time of year to host an afternoon wedding outside in a garden! The beautiful colours are a must to embrace with the rusty reds and warm oranges of the leaves for your floral inspiration.

Pull out that beautiful long-sleeved wedding dress and host your day with a mix of open-air and enclosed spaces.

Image Via The White Tree Photography

Venue and Garden Options

At Bursaria, we have two venue locations with insanely gorgeous gardens, The Abbotsford Convent and The Refectory at Werribee Park.

Only four kilometres away from Melbourne’s CBD, spread out over 16 acres, you can say ‘I do’ under The Oak Tree with its grand height and sweeping branches or in The Heritage Gardens as an elegant backdrop. Then head over to the Rosina courtyard for canapés before going inside to celebrate on the Rosina dance floor.

If you are going for more grandeur to the atmosphere however, The Refectory at Werribee Park is just for you! It is perfectly positioned on 10 acres of formal gardens and expansive lawns surrounding the grand 1870s Mansion. The majestic gardens feature a colourful parterre [formal garden], glasshouse, heritage-listed trees and lots of open space for your guests.

Whichever venue you decide on, make the most of this moderate weather and keep it interesting by mixing and matching spaces; even if your ceremony and reception are both held in one location!

Image via Mark Davis Photography

Drinks to Serve at an Autumn Wedding

Mulled wine and cider are a must to start the evening off. As there is that slight chill in the air, there is nothing better than something warm to hold and smell; the delicious flavours of cinnamon and cloves really bring out the season! 

Image via Michael Briggs Photography

Food to Serve at an Autumn Wedding

As for choosing your menu, Autumn food is all about comfort, warmth, spices and being indulgent!

At Bursaria, we personalise your menu and select seasonal and local flavours that are fitting to each changing season.

Entrees

Entrees like spiced lamb brick pastry cigar with a chargrilled eggplant salad, prawn and caramelised fennel risotto and charcuterie boards with prosciutto, peach pickle and grissini are the perfect ways to start your sit-down meal.

Image via Christian Marc Photography

Mains

As for mains, try Atlantic salmon fillet with sautéed leeks, prawns and dill salad, roasted duck breast with ancient grains and pressed, confit pork belly with roasted fennel bulb and rocket.

Image via Sayher Heffernan Photography

Sides

To top this all off we have a long list of sides like charred corn with baby corn spears, bulgur and polenta crisps with buttermilk dressing, thyme roasted heirloom carrots with crumbled sheep’s milk fetta and fresh herbs and seasonal roasted vegetables.

Image Via Sayher Heffernan Photography

Image Via Christian Marc Photography

Desserts

And lastly everyone’s favourite part, desserts – spiced carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate and macadamia nut brownie with chocolate ganache, dark chocolate espresso cup with tiramisu mousse…wow, we could keep going!

Image Via Sayher Heffernan Photography

Selecting your venue and menu is the best part of wedding planning, so sign up for those venue viewings, tastings and speak to wedding planning professionals who can give you all the inside scoops and tid bits.

Image Via The White Tree Photography

 Ms Zebra Says: What’s not to love about the cooler weather, falling leaves and delicious food that comes with autumn! The perfect time for a wedding if you ask me! Thanks to Bursaria Catering for their insights into their gorgeous spaces and food offerings.

About the author Bursaria Catering: We’re a boutique catering company using the freshest, seasonal produce to create delicious food concepts. We are the exclusive caterer for weddings & events at two iconic heritage venues – Abbotsford Convent and The Refectory Werribee Park.

I love how jewellery is an expression of personality and style. I also love how pieces can hold a deep meaning to the wearer, evoke certain feelings or memories, or tell a story. This is what engagement rings and wedding bands should do, especially as they are often our most worn and precious accessories. And that’s why I’m so glad that contemporary jewellers like e.g.etal exist. They understand and appreciate how personal jewellery is, and also celebrate it for the art that it is. Today we chat to Emma Goodsir of e.g.etal about the importance of handmade, independent jewellery and how she, and the other designers e.g.etal represents, craft unique and meaningful pieces for their clientele.

How long has e.g.etal been in existence?
We have just celebrated our 20th birthday! We opened in a tiny retail space just before Christmas in 1998, selling the work of 14 jewellery designers, most of them friends made while studying Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT. Many of those early artists are still represented at the gallery. Since then, we’ve moved to a larger gallery in Flinders Lane, launched to a worldwide market online, and now represent over 70 designers.

What was the inspiration behind e.g.etal?
Originally the reason behind e.g.etal was to create a space where people could connect with Australia’s leading and emerging jewellery designers in an accessible new context. At the time there was a growing movement towards independent design. People were seeking handmade pieces to express their individuality, and wanted to know more about the maker. My background was in marketing, and I knew the time was right to create a gallery that offered people an alternative to mainstream jewellery. As an artist I also saw the need for an outlet that was committed to selling work respectfully and with integrity.

Where is your retail space located?
You can find e.g.etal downstairs at 167 Finders Lane, Melbourne – right next to Hosier Lane’s iconic street art. Like many of Melbourne’s creative businesses, we are tucked away in a laneway. Many people are blown away when they first descend the stairs into our gallery space. We’re often referred to as Melbourne’s ‘hidden gem’.

Emma Goodsir  ‘Other Lives’ and ‘Poets’ rings. 

You’re not a traditional jewellery shop – but are more like a gallery featuring work from many different artists. How many artists do you represent?
At e.g.etal you’ll find work by more than 70 jewellery artists, mostly Australian, with a few international guests. It’s always been our philosophy to sell the work under the artist’s name. You’re not just buying an accessory, you’re buying an artist’s work. With each purchase we include a card revealing a bit more about the artist and their practice. We try to create a strong link between the artist and the jewellery, and in turn, between the artist and the wearer.

Do you design jewellery yourself for e.g.etal?
Yes, I’m a jeweller myself and I sell my work through e.g.etal. My most recent collection is called ‘Other Lives’. It celebrates the many parallel lives of an artist. Each ring is named after one of the eclectic creative pursuits I have embarked on during my career: the stonemason, the quilter, the songwriter, the codewriter, the beekeeper, the poet… The collection also pays homage to one of my earliest series, referencing the pure geometric forms of circles and squares – balancing their opposing qualities.

How has the jewellery offered at e.g.etal evolved over the years?
When we first started e.g.etal, we were mostly selling work in silver, semi-precious stones and other materials. We were young designers and we often couldn’t afford to work in gold and precious gemstones. But then more and more people began to commission us to make their wedding and engagement rings, and we realised this was an area we needed to grow into. We encouraged our artists to develop precious collections and we helped them financially – buying diamonds for them to get them started! These days, engagement and wedding rings are very much e.g.etal’s specialty and the core of our business.

A Katherine Bowman ring. 

Are more people now looking for unique rings and wedding jewellery that makes a statement about who they are?
Absolutely. People often come to us because they are seeking styles beyond the traditional. Every one of our rings has a story, and each piece is conceived and made by a skilled craftsperson. At e.g.etal we allow couples to do something very special: to collaborate with an artist and commission their dream ring.

Who are your clientele?
Our clientele is quite varied but they have one thing in common: they value handmade, authentic pieces. The ‘bling’ of a stone is not as important to them as the symbolism and personal relationship with a piece.

Not only are the designs really different – do you think they challenge our concept of what a wedding and engagement ring should look like?
Yes, our rings absolutely challenge traditional ideas. White diamond solitaires are a rarity here. Instead, our artists and clients tend to favour gems such as parti sapphires or unusual coloured stones, even black and raw diamonds. An engagement ring will be worn for a lifetime, so we give expert guidance on materials and stones that will stand up to everyday wear. But beyond that, there are no expectations. We even had one client who wanted to buy a small sculpture from one of our artists in lieu of a ring! We love moments like that: making quirky ideas a reality.

Emma Goodsir, Michelle Cangiano and Todd Reed rings. 

There are lots of different materials and gems used in your jewellery such as tourmaline, coloured sapphires, diamonds and gold – but what do you consider to be the most unusual material that is being used at the moment?
Many of our artists use quite traditional materials and techniques, but they work with them in new ways. They also often elevate little-known gems to highlight their intrinsic beauty. For example, some of our artists use ‘salt and pepper’ diamonds, which have marble-like black and white threads or speckles running through them. These inclusions have traditionally been thought of as ‘flaws’. But we encourage our clients to think of them as the diamond’s unique ‘fingerprint’. They are remnants of the incredible forces of nature, which over millions of years, created the stone.

Metals and other materials are used in really interesting ways and combinations such as oxidised metals. Do you feel that this challenges the wearer to think of jewellery as changeable, rather than a static piece that must be kept in pristine condition?
We often talk to our clients about how their piece will wear over time, and how this will become part of the story of the ring. For instance, some blackened metals will wear away, gradually revealing the texture or detailing of a piece. Some pieces are specifically designed to evolve, such as Jin Ah Jo’s ‘Intervals’ series that can be stacked and added to over time, with new interlocking pieces to mark life’s milestones.

Suzi Zutic and Jeanette Dyke rings.

I’m also intrigued by the design differences – some pieces are very ornate, some seemingly simple with hidden elements such as ball tracks on the inside of the rings. Does this creativity inspire your customers and keep them coming back to see what’s new?
We try to represent a really diverse range of artists. Our collection ranges from very architectural and minimalist designs, which require amazing skill and technical precision, to very organic, meandering pieces where you can even see the marks of the maker’s hands in the finished piece.

We also regularly present briefs to the artists for exhibitions, inviting them to push themselves creatively or explore new ideas around a concept. There is always something new to see at e.g.etal!

Do you love that there is a story behind the design of each piece of jewellery?
Yes, this is my favourite part of selling jewellery. Not only does each piece have a story and point of view imbued by the artist, our clients can also overlay their own story on to a piece. For example, a client recently purchased a piece from our 20th birthday collection which featured a gem ‘hidden’ inside an envelope stamped with the Roman numeral for 20. To the client, this was the perfect piece to mark her 20th wedding anniversary, and the little gem inside represented her daughter.

How does giving a platform to independent jewellery designers enhance or inspire jewellery design in Australia?
We have always seen ourselves as strong advocates for jewellery artists. e.g.etal has helped establish Melbourne as the contemporary jewellery capital of Australia. Our city is now considered one of the most vibrant jewellery communities in the world.

Nicky Hepburn and Natalia Milosz-Piekarska rings. Image by Gold and Grit 

Is your jewellery available online to clients Australia wide and world wide?
Our jewellery is available worldwide via our website, which showcases the largest online contemporary jewellery collection in Australia. We also work on ring commissions with many interstate and overseas clients by email and phone. In the past year we’ve worked with clients in 14 different countries including the US, UK, Japan and Singapore.

Where to now for e.g.etal?
Our birthday celebrations continue this year with an exciting program of events, partnerships, exhibitions and new artists!

As a designer and maker, is your non-working life centred around creativity?
Yes, I feel like everything I do has a creative component. I am always making things. Can’t help myself! I run four businesses, have a husband, two kids and a large four-acre garden (with resident sheep, chooks, dog and cat). My most relaxing things to do are gardening and cycling through the Macedon ranges.

Krista McRae and Katherine Bowman rings.

A huge thank you to Emma for sharing e.g.etal’s story and philosophy with us. That link between artist and jewellery (and artist and wearer) is so special. To find out more about e.g.etal, their designers and the stunning rings showcased throughout this post, head on over to the e.g.etal website.