The visionaries whose names are forever etched in history are often those who flip the norm upside down and repackage it in their own perspective. With fervent zeal that is hard to contain, these rebels have appeared across time, disciplines, and the world, leaving marks that can never again go unseen.
Take for example young Steve Jobs who, at the age of 21, sold his VW van to co-found the company that was celebrated in 2018 as the first public company to be worth $1 trillion.
Besides the revolutionary paradigm shift that he induced with his introduction of Apple computers, the brand soon became aesthetically unmistakable for its minimalist simplicity.
Walking a similar path, yet towards a polar opposite direction, William Llewellyn Griffiths, a silversmith of over 30 years, took his first steps in London’s Hatton Garden jewelry workshops at merely 17 years of age. Today he sets out to rebel against the fashion industry which strips everything down to clean, minimalist designs.
Crafted in the serene solitude of his Melbourne jewelry store, Metal Couture, Griffiths’ jewelry is emblazoned in far more than gemstones and precious metals.
An Extravaganza of Darkness and Mystique
Ranging from themes of death, intoxicating love, and medieval vistas, WLG’s handcrafted masterpieces are guaranteed to leave its spectators awestruck and bewildered.
Although WLG started off in the jewelry trade making diamond clusters and very traditional rings, his art inspiration was dramatically altered following a serious car accident which left hospitalized for six months. Lost in morphine-induced lucid dreams, WLG’s consciousness was blanketed in images of skulls, biomorphic machines and dead animals.
While inspiration may often be depicted as a moment of illumination, it could also spring out from moments of utter darkness.
Modern Day Splendour Cast in Ancient Moulds
A thorough glance across the Metal Couture shop soon reveals the WLG’s unorthodox medieval and baroque influences. What it doesn’t reveal though are the much older techniques used to bring these exquisite pieces to life.
Dating back to the 3rd millennium BC, the lost wax casting method sits at the heart of WLG’s artwork. After each piece is handcrafted with ultimate care, it is coated in oxidized silver, high carat gold, or a mesmerizing mixture of both.
The Soils from Whence they Bud
All around the world, countries have commemorated their iconic characters by restoring the places they dwelled and opening them up to the public, allowing them to relive the moments which led to their glory.
Imagine if you could visit the garage where Jobs and Stephen Wozniak conceived and manufactured their first Apple computer. It may be a shame that there are many places where history took place that are not available for the public.
But what’s a bigger shame is not visiting the birthplace of dark wonders while it still exists.
“I feel like [the shop] is a reflection of me, it’s a reflection of my jewelry,” says WLG. “I’ve made it the perfect space to house what I do.”
Situated at 122a Gertrude St, Fitzroy, Melbourne Australia, the Metal Couture workshop and boutique is an experience that you must not miss.
An item might be valuable to own, but a chance to meet its maker is undoubtedly priceless.