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Gem illustration journey

Let’s start from the very beginning…

From as early as I can remember I was surrounded by creativity and jewels. From mixing colours at kindergarten to afternoon craft projects in the backyard with my mum. 

I remember fairytale storybooks that talked of gems in far away magical lands. From Emerald city in the Wizard of Oz to the dwarfs in Snow White going off to work each day to mine gems. 

Fast forward to my early 20’s and I found myself traveling the world in search of my own treasures. From adventures to Lightning Ridge with my dad to find our own opals to the depths of South America discovering amethyst geodes the size of cars. 

Each gem has a story, and jewellery is a great way of sharing this with the world. 

After high school, I studied design at the University of New South Wales. Here we learnt conceptual art and how to apply this in the form jewellery, using materials of all sorts. Whilst this helped me shape my understanding of design, I had a yearning to learn more. 

After completing an exchange semester in Nova Scotia, over a decade later I studied gemmology. Something that made my inner child captivated. Learning all the many cuts, colours, and origins of these precious specimens allowed me to incorporate them more into my collections. I traveled to Geneva and saw the largest selection of gems on display at the Natural History Museum of Geneva (Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Genève). Again, I was in awe. 

Combining my love of travel, gems, and design, the next natural step was to illustrate these beautiful specimens. January this year, I began researching online how to paint gems using an opaque like watercolour - gouache. And after returning to Halifax and being in lockdown, I took it upon myself to paint a gem a day whilst in isolation. 

Coincidently through the internet, I was then introduced to a jewellery designer, who has been practicing the art of gem illustration for years, including designing for Van Cleef and Arpels. 

For the past month, I have been taking classes on the traditional art of gem illustration. Here you can find a series of images of the pieces I created in class.

We hope you enjoyed this journey, thank you for following. Your gem enthusiast jeweller, Tori xo

Written by Tori Poynton — May 13, 2020

2020 Inspiration

How is everyone holding up? It feels like the world is on standby while we get through this.
Our 2020 collections are waiting patiently. I am sharing a sneak peek into our sketch books for a preview for what's in store for our summer collections.

Australis ~ Flora

Waratah collection

Inspired by the natural beauty abundant in Australia.

The Waratah is the state emblem for NSW. Inspired by the resilience of the land and what it has endured over the years. This collection is a stylized take on some of the native flora. 

Cut-out elements depict the inflorescence, particular to the waratah. A sweet and intricate design that will become part of your everyday favourites.

Written by Tori Poynton — March 25, 2020

TORI•XO Jewellery Party 2019

We're excited to announce our 11th annual Jewellery Party

@ Lady Luck Boutique

Nov. 30th, 10am - 5pm

5519 Young Street, Halifax, NS

This is our last show of 2019. Bring all your friends and start your Xmas shopping.

See you there,

Tori xo

Written by Tori Poynton — November 20, 2019

New Collections

We're excited to introduce you to our 2019 collections:

T H R E A D   X O 

This series of twisted silver and gold threads will become your everyday go-to jewels.

Thread XO Inspiration 

When I was younger, my grandparents showed me how to make twisted silk thread with a hand held drill. I loved the simplicity of the process and the outcome that I had made something on my own. Fast forward decades later and I am using this process in my jewellery collection.

The inspiration for this collection goes back to the essence of TORI•XO and our signature lace . Representing the hand spun silk threads that make up the basis of this lace. 

Shop our Thread XO collection here:

F O L I A G E 


F O L I A G E Inspiration 

Emerging from the luscious foliage, trees entangled in vines, floral gems set in tropical backgrounds.

Walking through hidden pathways that wind through dense foliage of tropical origins. 

Silhouettes of vines on the forest floor. This collection is wild, luscious, reminiscent of a Hawaiian goddess. 

I was inspired by getting lost in the jungle of Hilo, Hawaii. And the inspiration continued to the exotic foliage of my hometown in Australia. Walking sandstone stairs, overgrown with palms and vines, emerging to sunlight. This foliage frames the tropical seas, rich in aquamarine and gold.

Enjoy browsing the FOLIAGE collection here:






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Written by Tori Poynton — July 08, 2019

Tweets XO