Founded by Catherine Wu, The Traace jewellery line came together as an extension of Catherine's own philosophy, where beautiful things of human endeavour can speak about our inextricable connections with the worlds of natural processes and cultural heritage. The Traace crafts pieces where fossilised life forms and artefacts of cultural antiquity take on a unique perspective.
A range of sources interconnect in Catherine's work. From her Chinese heritage, global travels and love of sunny Sydney, through to her background in menswear design and her academic work - her PhD in cultural evolutionary theory. In this volume, entitled; 'Darwin's New Clothes: a Neo-Darwinian Metalogic of Cultural Evolutionary Theory', Catherine investigates the ways through which we engage with the 'traces' of human histories.
Working with predominately fossils, cultural artefacts and carved gemstones inspired by extinct fossils and marine life, Catherine, then, brings their stories to life with natural polki and brilliant-cut diamonds. Filtered through her design eye for clean lines and abstraction and, executed through artisan craftsmanship, the pieces are set in gold, ranging from softer 9k and 14k gold through to the richer look of 24k on 925 sterling silver. Working closely with a Jaipur workshop, the pieces are handcrafted by artisans using methods which are steeped in the long, rich heritage of artisan jewellers, gem cutters and goldsmiths in India.
At the forefront of Catherine's vision is to choose fossils and gemstones that are natural, untreated and with inclusions that make statements about the processes and histories which make them distinctive. Combined with their handcrafted qualities, each distinctive piece becomes a testament to preserving their unique characteristics with a contemporary voice.