What's the story...

Smith & Sun is a contemporary jewellery company launched in 2019 by artist Tara Li-An. 

Tara spent her childhood camping by the Pacific and collecting stones in the wildness, learning about nature, magic and folklore with one parent, and trawling gem stores, antique markets, and fashion houses in Southeast Asia, with another.

She then spent the next 20 years immersed in the creative industry, forming a strong aesthetic practice and gaining skills in using (almost) every toolWhen you visit her studio in Margate it looks slightly like a curiosity shop where you might get your Tarot cards read, drink a cup of tea, have your motorbike carb tuned, or simply trip over a wild cat. 

Her work draws upon mythologies, mysticism, and magick. Memento Mori, ancient symbols and long lost talismans, are some of the elements that reverberate throughout the collections. Some are subtle pieces to wear every day, while others are statement pieces to be taken out when you need to align all your chakras in one punch. Either way, her designs are primal and her jewellery holds power.

Influenced by the metalwork of ancient civilisations, Smith & Sun's pieces are often rugged and patinated. Her DIY aesthetic allows you to see the creator's hand, the hammering and forging.

The jewellery often uses an eclectic assortment of gemstones and crystals. The crystals themselves are chosen and handled with great care, as their energetic qualities are passed on to the new owner. No two pieces are the same. 

Most of the jewellery is hand-carved, made in bronze, sterling silver, and gold. Vintage elements and other recycled items are also used, with the metals used either sourced fair trade or using 100% recycled materials. Casting, if it is outsourced, comes from a single London based family run business that uses only 100% recycled content. Every material is chosen with great consideration to the environment. Smith & Sun are keen to eliminate all chemicals from the jewellery process; already all oxidisation is done naturally by using eggs, the website is as low res/energy efficient as it can be, and we are always looking for new ways to minimise waste (energy or otherwise). Our ethos is to be as environmentally friendly as possible. We feel the provenance of our materials is integral to the beauty and value of the pieces and feel it's incredibly important to be low impact business - whilst maintaining a high impact aesthetic.

Parallel narratives are intrinsic to Smith & Sun's creative process, from inspiring her individual collections to forming a brand. Entire collections are evoked by a scent, an idea, a poem, the natural world. From there, Tara explores these through different mediums. Her work with metal, her craft as a jeweller, begins to work in tandem with other practices. 

Smith & Sun only uses ethically sourced gemstones and crystals. Tara spends a lot of time sourcing them carefully, from artisanal miners around the world, to ensure that every piece remains in line with this central ethos. Working exclusively with 3 female suppliers who work directly with these family miners, conditions are checked, no child labour is used, and is as sustainable as it can be. Tara annually participates in Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference, keeping her keen eye on this field as it is very important to her and her working practice 

 Most of the pieces created are one-offs, totally unique, while other pieces are prototypes that can be replicated with additional customisation, or small-run editions. For others, a bespoke service allows you to work closely with Tara in the making and designing of your desired pieces. Please contact us with any questions or requests.

scout.smithandsun@gmail.com