The UNDONE in conversation with designer Nye De Marchi of By Nye. What does By NYE stand for and how do you phonetically pronounce it?
By Nye just refers to pieces that are designed by me, Nye. Phonetically, it’s pronounced ’n-eye’.
What background do you have and what made you start By NYE? Are you trained or self taught?
I have a creative writing and graphic design background. I started making jewellery whilst studying and then worked under a silversmith for three years before properly starting my own label.
Who would you love to see wearing your pieces? Is there a particular By NYE girl?
Erykah Badu is kind of the queen of jewellery in my eyes, so having her wear one of my pieces would be amazing. The By NYE girl is any person that is feeling confident and owns their own space and wants to have a little fun whilst doing so.
You have many art influences in your pieces - who are your biggest influences? Do they change from one collection to the next?
They change all the time but Badlands was heavily inspired by the relationship between Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keefe.
How long does it take to make each piece? What is that process?
Creating each piece can really differ in terms of a time line. A lot of the time I have a pretty succinct idea of what I want something to look like (I get all my best ideas in the bathroom) and then the next phase would most likely be sketching it or, playing with wax if it's a more organic form. If i'm stuck I try and incorporate as much play as possible when designing a new collection. The process of exploring new techniques and materials can take me in a direction I would never have imagined at the start.
Why do you think people have a such a connection to jewellery? What makes pieces hold sentimental value?
I think jewellery is a really intimate object. It generally has no useful purpose but is capable of carrying so much feeling. I've always felt that when someone gifts you a piece of jewellery it is endowed with a little bit of them. It's an object that you keep, hopefully, forever and I think whether you've bought it for yourself or it's been gifted to you it's difficult not to be sentimental and romanticise something that will last beyond your lifetime.
What music do you have playing in the studio?
I often get stuck listening to the same songs on repeat, Donny Benét's 'Working Out' is a current favourite, otherwise, Smooch Records releases playlists on Spotify and they're my favourite way to discover new music.
Who are your biggest influences?
Patti Smith, Barbara Hepworth, my mum and Jesse Kamm with her take on work-life balance.
In Melbourne where is the best:
Coffee - Burnside
Cocktail - Longrain
Place to dance - My kitchen, preferably with friends, but it's good to go any time.
Best kept secret - New Day Rising, their Valoumi bagel is unavoidable. Also, if you're human and like gelato then Pidapipo. It's probably not a well kept secret because it's far too good for no one to know about.
If By NYE was a city what would it be? And why?
If By Nye were a city it would be Lisbon - Sunny days, warm nights, a bit of a sea breeze, hills and wonky old wooden trams with open doors at the back, dinner at 10.30, Portuguese tarts and espresso for breakfast whilst standing in a bar full of old men.
What book are you currently reading? or if you could recommend only one book to read what would it be?
I'm currently reading Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson for a book club, but if I was to only recommend one book it would be The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion.
What’s your number one beauty tip?
Only in the past year have I cottoned on to facial exfoliating and it's lead me to an addiction with Swipeys by Zoe Foster Blake's Go-To. I actually use them in the car when i'm running late, followed by a few drops of face oil. Recently I left them on my night stand when I was overseas and it was the first time I'd ever missed a beauty product.
What’s the best advice you have ever received?
Never let the dishwasher outsmart you, there's always room for one more dish.