Wade & Danielle Papin of Pyrrha
It’s hard to resist the mysterious allure of Pyrrha talismans. Made from old world heraldic seals, each piece reverberates now like it did hundreds of years ago. Artists Wade and Danielle work with fragile fragments of wax seals and bring out the sigils in silver and gold, and turn them into necklaces, bracelets, rings and cuff-links that empower the wearer. Stepping inside the flagship store on West 3rd Street you’ll feel privy to a treasure chest of powerful goods; each case carefully arranged with stunning talismans of all sizes and credos. It is not unusual for visitors to spend hours in the shop in search for the piece that calls to them. We caught up with Danielle and Wade after the successful launch of Pyrrha’s Zodiac and Charms Collections, and got the story behind their unique approach.
Q:: How did you get into jewelry making?
Shortly after we met, Wade and I both quit our jobs and taught ourselves how to solder and silversmith. iphone 8 case on sales We saw a large gap between fashion jewelry and fine jewelry that we felt needed to be filled. We read every jewelry making book that we could get our hands on and we spent a lot of time experimenting with many different techniques and materials. iphone xs case for sale Our road to success wasn’t easy – we struggled to pay our bills but we remained focused on building something important to both of us. We were driven to create and giving up wasn’t an option.
Read more about their history here: http://pyrrha.com/pages/history
Q:: How did Pyrrha get started?
We both knew that we had limited capacity for conventional jobs and that we would ultimately only feel satisfied running our own business. We began handcrafting jewelry at our kitchen table in Vancouver. Two years later—following myriad conversations about our shared appreciation for good design—we founded Pyrrha with a commitment to letting our materials inspire our work.
Q:: Tell us about the process of designing a new talisman.
Since first discovering a box of old seals at an estate sale, we now travel the world scouring flea markets, antique auctions and stores in search of these authentic 18th & 19th century treasures that inspire our designs.
Many seals are badly damaged but their fragility is what draws us to them. We have recently upgraded our production equipment to help make repairs to some of the seals that were too damaged to use. We’ve also began incorporating imagery from the seals into our own original designs and we’re excited about this next step in our design journey.
Q:: Surely now you both could write a book on family seals. Do you have a favorite era for seals?
We do feel like we have acquired a huge amount of knowledge about symbolism in general, because that’s what heraldry is all about. It’s a fascinating subject and covers just about every era and every culture throughout history. The Victorian Era is where most of our designs originate, and we love it, but we also love medieval imagery for its darkness and simple beauty.
Q:: What’s your favorite part of your job?
Life is nothing without meaning. We love that our pieces can do amazing things like give people hope, make them happy, or remind them of their loved ones. Knowing that something we created is making a difference on a daily basis to so many people is incredibly rewarding.
Q:: What about your craft continues to surprise you?
Every day we are confronted with new challenges and we realize that we never know as much as we think we do. cheap iphone xs case It keeps us on our toes and means that we are always experimenting.
Q:: Recently (correct me if I’m wrong) you added a gold collection. iphone 7 case outlet uk How is manipulating gold different than silver?
Gold is a much softer material than silver and is very satisfying to work with, but casting such an expensive metal means that we have to alter our designs in order to remain affordable. iphone 7 case on sales Our gold line is much more delicate than our Signature Collection and appeals to our customers that are looking for more understated pieces.
Q:: Who is the Pyrrha customer?
The Pyrrha customer is someone who is looking for jewelry that transcends fashion. Our customers choose their talismans based on a personal connection with the meaning and this forms a very strong bond. We’ve learned that people buy our jewelry with the intention of keeping it forever.
Q:: On average, how long does it take for your clients to choose the perfect talisman?
That varies from customer to customer but we’ve had guests stay for hours in the store, choosing the perfect one. With so many different meanings, Pyrrha is easy to shop, but we have so many different pieces that it is often hard to choose which one is right for you. Part of the appeal of our jewellery is just that – the hunt. Most of our customers become collectors – many have a list of pieces that they can’t wait to purchase.
Q:: All of your pieces are unique in their message, but do you find that there is one that is the most popular?
Talismans with themes that inspire the wearer to live in the moment, forgive themselves or start anew are ones that remain popular, but for the most part they are so personal that we could never single out any one in particular.
Q:: Current design/fashion/food/product obsession?
We are in love with all things fermented. We eat a lot of kimchee, sauerkraut, pickles and kefir.
Q:: What’s up for you guys outside of jewelry and running the business?
Music has always been a big part of our lives so we always try to find time to sit and actively listen to records without trying to accomplish anything else. Also, we have a three year old daughter, so we find ourselves spending a lot of time in children’s book stores. Reading with her is a great way for us to stay present and in the moment.
Q:: When did you move to West 3rd Street? How did you find this area? What was the appeal?
In 2010 we opened our flagship store in LA despite being based in Vancouver, Canada because we always felt an affinity with LA and West Third Street was always our first stop when we got off the plane. cheap iphone xr case We really liked that W. 3rd was understated and didn’t have paparazzi permanently camped out.
Q:: What is your favorite part of being a part of West 3rd Street?
Sometimes we tell people that we have a store in LA, on West Third, and they get a little faraway look in their eye and we have to give them a little more description before they say “oh, yeah, right! I love that street!”. It isn’t a stop on the Hollywood bus tours.