It’s hard to sell jewellery from a cave – shiny things need light to attract crows, after all. But for over a decade, David Rees and Ron Anderson of TenThousandThings had been doing a version of this – with a shop in New York’s Meatpacking District that didn’t even have a proper street-facing display window. Blink and you’d have missed it. It’s not that they weren’t successful – a fiercely loyal client base includes the fashion pack (Christy Turlington, Inès de la Fressange) and film stars (Julianne Moore, Jake Gyllenhaal and Susan Sarandon) – but the space wasn’t great for showing off their stone-centric designs.
This became evident after the duo – who also produce fashion photographers Inez and Vinoodh’s jewellery line – recently moved to a corner shop in a historic section of Tribeca, with banks of windows that flood the space with light. “The whole point of a jewellery store is to make the designs look good,” says Rees, surveying the room with its original 19th-century exposed ceiling beams and the company’s now-signature brick flooring. “It is easier to suss us out here,” Anderson adds. “The pieces look different in this light.”
Displayed in custom-crafted Plexiglas boxes, many of their designs are one-of-a-kind – the pink tourmaline pendant ($3,080), or Peacock necklace ($17,540) with three garnets dangling from a large black sapphire – and all are handmade on-site by Rees and Anderson, who are both self-taught. Unlike other jewellers who create collections with a story every season, Rees and Anderson focus on finding stones that inspire them – American natural pearls (charm necklace, $4,279), black opals (trapezoid ring, $5,325) and rose-cut diamonds (dome ring, $9,560) are perennial favourites – and, in Anderson’s words, “making the stone the best of itself”. The pair can spend weeks creating a setting to make the stone sing, with a result that’s minimalist yet strikingly sculptural, as seen in a pendant necklace in which a pale-green prenite is punctured in a ring of gold (from $2,390). “Ours is not really a commercial collection, it’s an artisanal one,” explains Rees. “It isn’t calculated, it’s organic.”
Organic is an apt description, applicable to grass-blade cuff bracelets in brushed silver ($825) or 10ct gold ($5,140), the oxidised silver Amoeba link necklace ($815) and Double Snakebone pendant necklaces ($320). Charm necklaces, in their hands, do not feature quaint miniature dogs and trinkets, but rather brilliantly colourful clusters of various stones, pearls and beads (emerald, tourmaline and pearl Luxe Combo necklace, $3,265), while other pieces contain an abundance of light-catching, not-always-smooth pearls (Keshi pearl mesh bracelet, $4,115; pearl disc dangle earrings, $750).
Anderson is especially proud of their new three-tiered, stoneless sterling silver Chandelier earrings ($990), as well as a large blue-grey tourmaline bracelet ($3,920) with a chain made of links inspired by squash blossoms and a sterling silver Biker bracelet ($1,210) that’s oxidised, then high polished. “It has a whole sexy thing going on,” he tells me. He’s not wrong – these pieces may have a back-to-nature allure, but there’s plenty of raw sex appeal in there too.